New York Times - 03/26/2004
"What keeps the movie going - aside from the rambunctious performances of Ms. Hall and Mr. Hanks - is the Coens' obsessive devotion to the American vernacular."
Los Angeles Times - 03/26/2004
"[Hanks] works energetically to find the character under the costume and he plows through the screenplay's reams of purple prose with sonorous dexterity."
Entertainment Weekly - 04/02/2004
"[A]n enjoyably screwy, mad-as-a-hatter remake of the 1955 Alec Guinness comedy."
USA Today - 03/26/2004
"Those seeking a quirky and clever comedy should hightail it to THE LADYKILLERS..."
Sight and Sound - 07/01/2004
"The dialogue is predictably a treat..."
Premiere - 10/01/2004
"[D]elightful....[T]he Coens' stylish touch manages to give a holy aura to both the poetry of Edgar Allan Poe and a garbage dump in the middle of the Mississippi."
It is always difficult to try to recreate a classic movie, so Joel and Ethan Coen took the premise of Alexander Mackendrick's beloved 1955 Ealing Studio caper comedy, THE LADYKILLERS, as the basis for coming up with their own entertaining and bizarre remake. Tom Hanks stars as Goldthwait Higginson Dorr, Ph.D., a would-be professor who talks his way into the root cellar of Mrs. Munson (Irma P. Hall), where he and his supposed band will practice their "Renaissance music." But they are actually plotting to tunnel through to steal a mint from a riverboat casino. The motley crew of incompetent criminals includes Marlon Wayans as Gawain MacSam, a hip-hoppity thug pretending to be a janitor; J.K. Simmons as movie prop man and demolition "expert" Garth Pancake, who has problems with intestinal bowel syndrome; Tzi Ma as the General, a Vietnamese tunnel rat with a Hitler mustache; and Ryan Hurst as a pathetically dumb football wannabe named Lump. Just when they think all is going well, they run into a curious Mrs. Munson, who smells something funny. The film includes several exhilarating Gospel scenes set in southern churches, and lots of riotous site gags. The Coen brothers have done it yet again.
Description by Buena Vista Home Entertainment.:
Academy Award(R)-winning Tom Hanks (Best Actor, FORREST GUMP, 1994; PHILADELPHIA, 1993) turns in a hilariously original performance in THE LADYKILLERS, the laugh-out-loud comedy that explodes with outrageous wit and slapstick humor from the Coen Brothers (O BROTHER, WHERE ART THOU', FARGO). Underneath Professor G.H. Dorr's (Hanks) silver-tongued southern gentleman persona is a devious criminal who has assembled a motley gang of thieves to commit the heist of the century by tunneling through his churchgoing landlady's root cellar to a casino's vault of riches. But these cons are far from pros. As their scheme begins blowing up in their faces, their landlady smells a rat. And when she threatens to call the police, they figure they'll just bump her off. After all, how hard can that be' Wickedly funny from start to finish, it would be a crime to miss THE LADYKILLERS.