Defining dialogue: In the last lines of the film, J.K. Simmons' CIA superior asks his subordinate: "What did we learn, Palmer?" Reply: "I don't know, sir." Simmons: "I don't . . . know either. I guess we learned not to do it again." The rumpus over the Coens usually involves what critics see as a heartless misanthropy. After the deeply felt "No Country," it was no surprise they'd return to comedy's darkest fringes. The Coens may not be nihilists, but they know how to make much ado about nothing.
Copyright © 2016, Los Angeles Times