Saints & Sinners
Review by Ross Anthony

"Ladykillers" makes a fine movie, but not a terribly appropriate title for this quirky criminal comedy with a churchy-gospel backbeat. How about "Of Saints & Sinners" or "Stealing Heaven" or "The Golden Calf" or "Face the Music" or "Duping Ms. Daisy?"

But enough dawdling, let's get right to the "Tom Hanks" miscast. Is Tom less the actor than he used to be? Or simply exercising his well-earned clout in the entertainment business to try out roles he finds different or interesting? I don't know. But, his performance here nails mediocre. Better choices? Sure, how about Alan Rickman? Alec Guinness? Geoffrey Rush?

After "Road to Perdition" and "Catch Me If You Can" I not longer assume Hanks will be awesome in a film. However, the Coen Brothers (writers/directors) are still a strong draw. You may have seen some of their other films: "Intolerable Cruelty," "O Brother Where Art Thou," "The Man Who Wasn't There."

While Hanks makes for a less than snug fit, the other cartoony criminals in the "band" each have their moments (sometimes extremely funny moments), though none quite break stellar. However, Irma P. Hall (as the chatty church-going widow) gives the film the character anchor upon which all others lean. Great momentum gives way to an intellectually fun (though less-than-exciting) climax. Imperfections aside, "Ladykillers" is still a great deal of fun. The film sports excellent costuming, sweet cinematography, strong direction, and wonderfully crisp quirky dialogue.

Btw, I never saw the 1955 British version, upon which this remake is based.

  • Ladykillers. Copyright © 2004. Rated R. 104 minutes.
  • Starring Tom Hanks, Irma P. Hall, Marlon Wayans, J.K. Simmons, Tzi Ma, Ryan Hurst.
  • Directed by Joel Coen, Ethan Coen.
  • Screenplay by Joel Coen, Ethan Coen.
  • Based on "The Ladykillers" by William Rose.
  • Produced by Ethan Coen, Joel Coen, Tom Jacobson, Barry Sonnenfeld, Barry Josephson at Buena Vista/Touchstone.

Grade..........................B+ (2.5/4)

Copyright © 1998-2023 Ross Anthony, Author - Speaker - Solo World Circumnavigator In addition to reviewing films and interviewing celebs at, traveling the world, composing great music, motivational speaking, Mr. Anthony also runs his own publishing company in the Los Angeles area. While traversing the circumference of the planet writing books and shooting documentaries, Mr. Anthony has taught, presented for, worked &/or played with locals in over 30 countries & 100 cities (Nairobi to Nagasaki). He's bungee-jumped from a bridge near Victoria Falls, wrestled with lions in Zimbabwe, crashed a Vespa off a high mountain road in Taiwan, and ridden a dirt bike across the States (Washington State to Washington DC). To get signed books ("Rodney Appleseed" to "Jinshirou") or schedule Ross to speak check out: or call 1-800-767-7186. Go into the world and inspire the people you meet with your love, kindness, and whatever it is you're really good at. Check out books by Ross Anthony. Rand() functions, Pho chicken soup, rollerblading, and frozen yogurt (w/ blueberries) also rock! (Btw, rand is short for random. It can also stand for "Really Awkward Nutty Dinosaurs" -- which is quite rand, isn't it?) Being alive is the miracle. Special thanks to Ken Kocanda, HAL, Jodie Keszek, Don Haderlein, Mom and Pops, my family, R. Foss, and many others by Ross Anthony. Galati-FE also deserves a shout out. And thanks to all of you for your interest and optimism. Enjoy great films, read stirring novels, grow.

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Last Modified: Saturday, 16-Sep-2006 08:04:38 PDT