The so-called Golden Age of Hollywood gets the Coen Bros. treatment with amusingly all-over-the-place trifle "Hail, Caesar!" Writer-directors Joel Coen and Ethan Coen (2013's "Inside Llewyn Davis") aren't aiming for the lazy ol' moon with this particular project, but something lighter and more jocular as studio "fixer" Eddie Mannix (Josh Brolin) races across backlots trying to solve the quandaries of his roster of filmmakers and movie stars. Does it amount to much more than a hill of beans? Not really. At this point, one expects the Coens to aim a little higher and dig a little deeper. Nevertheless, it's nice to be reminded how willing they are to still have fun.
Eddie Mannix is Capitol Pictures' resident one-stop-shop problem-solver. He heads to church every day, confessing middling sins like his inability to quit smoking for his wife (Alison Pill), but the rest of the time he is kept busy moving from one studio set and screening room to the next as he keeps tabs on the upcoming prestige releases and tries to paint a rosy public relations picture. There's water-dancing actress DeeAnna Moran (Scarlett Johansson), who has recently found out she is pregnant but—gasp!—isn't married. There's Hobie Doyle (Alden Ehrenreich), the professionally green western star plucked from Podunk America who gets in over his head trying to act in a serious drama directed by the increasingly flustered Laurence Laurentz (Ralph Fiennes). There are competing twin celeb columnists Thora and Thessaly Thacker (Tilda Swinton in a dual role), forever sniffing around for a story. And, perhaps most trying of all, there is veteran matinee idol Baird Whitlock (George Clooney), who has been kidnapped seemingly off the set of his religious swords-and-sandals epic "Hail, Caesar!" and is currently being held for a $100,000 ransom.
See Dustin Putman, TheFilmFile.com. for full review