A Life of crime: The best of the Coens
Miller's Crossing (1990)
Gabriel Byrne and Albert Finney starred in the Coen brothers' sweeping and stylish crime drama inspired by the great Warner Brothers gangster pictures of the 1930s, and set in an unnamed Prohibition-era city where a turf war between Irish and Italian mobsters spirals out of control. Brilliantly paced and beautifully made.
The Coens returned to their Minnesota roots to make this fantastically atmospheric moral crime thriller set in a wintry small town. Frances McDormand plays a heavily pregnant but redoubtable local police chief who smells a rat when the wife of a harried car salesman is kidnapped, while Steve Buscemi is a memorably twichy villain.
No Country for Old Men (2007)
The brothers' Biblical sensibilities are very much to the fore in this dark western set in the late 1970s. Josh Brolin is a Vietnam veteran who finds himself running for his life after he finds $2m at a body-strewn desert crime scene, and Tommy Lee Jones is a world-weary sheriff who recoils at the spiral of senseless violence that ensues.