Herald Sun - Hit - - UP STREAM -

The times, they must be rapidly a’changin’ when first-rate film­mak­ers of the likes of the Coen Broth­ers are sidestep­ping a tra­di­tional cin­ema re­lease and choos­ing to pre­miere their work on a stream­ing plat­form. More will be fol­low­ing their lead from hereon in. In the past decade, the Coens have been at their very best when roam­ing the bad­lands of the Amer­i­can west with movies as mag­nif­i­cent as No Coun­try For Old Men and True Grit.

So the good news here is that The Bal­lad Of Buster Scruggs

is chock-full of cun­ning cow­pokes, ornery out­laws and fron­tier freaks do­ing their thing in the wild, wild west of yesteryear. The movie is best clas­si­fied as an an­thol­ogy piece, where six rad­i­cally dif­fer­ing sto­ries of de­cep­tion, heart­break, re­venge, mur­der and mad­ness are told on a chap­ter-by-chap­ter ba­sis. There is a stack of great ac­tors drift­ing in and out of frame, in­clud­ing James Franco, Brendan Gleeson, Zoe Kazan, David Krumholtz and an in­spired Liam Nee­son as a car­ney-cu­munder­taker not to be trusted.

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