A hilarious homage to black and white film
I finally sat down and watched this, not expecting much, but instead took a walk down memory lane without even realizing it! The most brilliant aspect of this film is that it FEELS like an old movie but at the same time pulling laughs (and nostalgia) from the way old films were made back then with all their drama, affects, and the rest.
A lot of people complained about how it wasn't funny, but I disagree. It was packed with subtle humor, the kind you wouldn't get unless you grew up on old movies. The actors were brilliantly cast, and it was surprisingly clean. It was a stereotype of 50's movies, with Communists (dun dun dun duuun) as the villains and lines that could have been plucked straight from 50's film. The film is very Catholic, as the film "Hail, Caesar!" is a retelling of the crucifixion of Christ. What I like, as a Catholic myself, is that the Catholic aspect is handled with due respect and the Catholic character behaves as a Catholic should (he is seen going to confession on multiple times and praying the Rosary).
Now for the cons....the film was a bit slow and dragged in a few parts. There were like 7 different plotlines and it was confusing at first, but they all tied up neatly in the end. The characters were shallow, typical Hollywood characters who had no deep development throughout the film. But they weren't bad role models, more like just normal people in old show biz from the adorable helpful young cowboy-turned-actor to your scandalous but too good to lose star and the "affair that needs to be covered up as quick as possible".....but you didn't hate any of them, they were great characters and did amazing jobs. Even the villains were laughable and Hollywood-esque. There were some racy parts, but nothing you haven't seen in a 50's film anyway.
All in all, this was a fun trip down memory lane for lovers of old movies and I would compare it to La La Land in it's tribute to old Hollywood.