Liam M’s review published on Letterboxd:
Although not having a full understanding of the films intentions left me feeling slightly empty, Hail Caesar is absolutely an experience I would recommend.
Each new character introduction was highly entertaining, paying homage to studio era westerns, biblical epics, film-noirs, dancing sailor movies etc. The whole ensemble cast were terrific, with Johansson and Fiennes standing out to me, embracing their caricature-esque characters to add comedic value. Josh Brolin is the lead, and he adds great likability and empathy. His performances in the last couple of years are making him one of my favourite working actors. I was also very impressed with Tatum's song and tap dancing.
Roger Deakins is the cinematographer, so of course, the film looks stunning, and the Coen's flawless direct a variety of different film styles, which probably came naturally to them, due to the array of genres they have previously produced.
This variation, along with a large ensemble cast, many of whom only have a couple of scenes, can make the film seem a bit of a mess. I for one wasn't sure what the point of some scenes, and sometimes I felt perplexed and overwhelmed by what was going on. As I stated earlier, this left me feeling slighlty numb.
That being said, I could easily have given this film a higher score for my own personal entertainment and the fact that, stylistically, I adored the film, it's just that I want to revisit it and soak it in some more, because I'm sure the film will get better and better with each watch and more understanding of character emotions and motivations.
This definitely intrigued me enough to be very excited for the Blu-ray release. The universe the Coen's created here is fascinating and vibrant. Truly a unique cinematic experience.