[[quoteright:318:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/coen_brothers.jpg ]]
[[caption-width-right:318:Serious men.]]
Joel David Coen (born 1954) and Ethan Jesse Coen (born 1957) have been making films and thumbing their noses at traditional genre boundaries since 1984. Bouncing from FilmNoir to screwball comedy, from quirky indies to big-budget studio pieces, they function as a two-man writer-director-producer-editor SiblingTeam.

The brothers are known for their meticulous planning, not least the incredibly detailed storyboards they create for every shot of every film. This saves time during production (as they can show their cinematographer exactly what they want done) and makes the films look unbelievably cool.

Joel has been married to actress Creator/FrancesMcDormand - whom he met on the set of their first film ''Film/BloodSimple'' - since 1984. She's since appeared in many of their films, including ''Film/{{Fargo}}'' for which she won the AcademyAward for Best Actress. She said of the event "After all these years sleeping with the director, it's finally paid off." Ethan has been married to Tricia Cooke since 1990, who worked as an editor on several of the brothers' films.

All of their films are scored by Music/CarterBurwell. All of their films are edited by Roderick Jaynes. He doesn't exist. He is a pseudonym for the brothers themselves. They like to have creative control on their films. Yeah.

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!!Films written and directed by the Coens:
[[index]]
* ''Film/BloodSimple'' (1984)
* ''Film/RaisingArizona'' (1987)
* ''Film/MillersCrossing'' (1990)
* ''Film/BartonFink'' (1991)
* ''Film/TheHudsuckerProxy'' (1994)
* ''Film/{{Fargo}}'' (1996)
* ''Film/TheBigLebowski'' (1998)
* ''Film/OBrotherWhereArtThou'' (2000)
* ''TheManWhoWasntThere'' (2001)
* ''IntolerableCruelty'' (2003)
* ''Film/TheLadykillers'' (2004)
* ''Film/NoCountryForOldMen'' (2007)
* ''BurnAfterReading'' (2008)
* ''Film/ASeriousMan'' (2009)
* ''TrueGrit'' (2010)
* ''Film/InsideLlewynDavis'' (2013)
* ''Hail Caesar'' (201?)
[[/index]]

!!Notable tropes in the Coen Brothers' films include:

* AdaptationDistillation: ''Film/NoCountryForOldMen'', and widely regarded as superior because of it.
* TheAntiNihilist: The most readily apparent philosophy underlying all of their works, though they do on occasion toy with spirituality, fate, and the possible existence of God.
* AssociatedComposer: Music/CarterBurwell has scored every one of their films.
* AuteurLicense: They've actually managed to have final cut on every film they've made.
* BlackComedy: We're talking black-hole, no-light-escaping black comedy. And they are masters of it.
* {{Blackmail}}:
** ''Blood Simple'', ''Raising Arizona'', ''Miller's Crossing'', ''The Man Who Wasn't There'', ''Burn After Reading'', ''A Serious Man''
** Subverted in ''TheBigLebowski'': [[spoiler: They never had the fucking'' girl]].
* BrokenRecord: Another trademark. Many of their films feature characters repeating the same line of dialogue many times in a row.
* CallBack: The Coens often reference past films in their works.
** The mysterious blue Volkswagen in ''BloodSimple'' returns fourteen years later in ''TheBigLebowski.''
** In the same film, Walter's "This is what happens, Larry!" rant echoes [[BartonFink "I will show you the life of the mind!"]].
** JohnGoodman's voice-only cameo in ''Film/TheHudsuckerProxy'' is credited as [[BartonFink "Karl Mundt."]]
** The law firm Tuckman Marsh is brought up in both ''Burn After Reading'' and ''A Serious Man''.
** In ''Raising Arizona'' Gale Snoats uses Fop pomade. In ''O' Brother, Where Art Thou?'' when Ulysses stops to try and pick up his pomade (Dapper Dan) the store owner tells him that they don't have Dapper Dan, but they have Fop.
* CrapsackWorld: Pretty much every movie they make.
* DownerEnding: Several of their films feature these.
* DreamSequence: ''Blood Simple.'', ''Raising Arizona'', ''Miller's Crossing'', ''The Hudsucker Proxy'', ''The Big Lebowski'', ''The Man Who Wasn't There'', ''A Serious Man''
* DVDCommentary: ''TheManWhoWasntThere'' is their only film to contain a serious one. The 20th-anniversary re-release of ''BloodSimple'' has a parody commentary by a spokesperson for "[[RunningGag Forever Young Films]]".
* {{Eagleland}}: Each of their movies so far is about a particular time and place in America, or in some respects the AmericanDream.
* EasterEgg: They occasionally hide jokes in the credits; for example, ''Film/NoCountryForOldMen'' has a credit for "the one right tool" (referencing a line from one of Chigurh's {{Hannibal Lecture}}s during the film), and ''Film/ASeriousMan'' has a disclaimer at the end of the credits assuring the audience that "No Jews were harmed during the making of this film.", ''TrueGrit'' credits Ethan Coen's son Buster as ''Mr. Damon's Abs Double" and BurnAfterReading credits "The Walrus".
* FilmNoir: ''Blood Simple'', ''Miller's Crossing'', ''The Big Lebowski'', and ''The Man Who Wasn't There'' are based on the classic potboilers of Creator/DashiellHammett, Creator/RaymondChandler, and Creator/JamesMCain. Respectively, with Hammett getting the first two.
* GenreBusting: Several of their films are simply indescribable in terms of genre.
** ''The Big Lebowski'' is arguably the most prominent example in all of film. It's part stoner film, part film noir, part political satire, part musical, and the narrator is convinced that it's a western.
* {{Greed}}: A major part of their work concerns the destruction money can do to a person's life(s).
* HanlonsRazor: One of the main themes in all their films is human stupidity and its horrible consequences
* TheHyena: The two of them have what's been referred to as a "collective laugh" and often get the other going when one of them starts it.
* IdiotBall: Their characters are ''notoriously'' known for carrying this, to the extent of pushing things to an IdiotPlot. This is however a prime example of TropesAreNotBad, though, because their work is actually ''better'' for it.
* IHaveYourWife:
** Subverted in ''Raising Arizona'' (I have your baby, simply because I want a baby.), ''Fargo'' (I have your wife, just like we planned.), and ''The Big Lebowski'' ([[spoiler:I know your wife's missing and I'm strapped for cash.]])
** Played straight in ''Film/NoCountryForOldMen'' ([[spoiler: I'm planning on murdering your wife after you're dead because {{I gave my word}} ]].)
** Played with twice in ''BurnAfterReading'': Chad and Linda try to pull this on Osbourne, whereupon HilarityEnsues. Later, Linda tries to invoke this with the Russians to secure Chad's release [[spoiler:not realizing that he's already been killed by Harry.]]
* MoodWhiplash: Both in their films and their career in general.
* MotorMouth: Many of their characters have this trait.
* TheMuse: Frances [=McDormand=] to Joel seems to have elements of this.
* {{Narrator}}: Visser in ''Blood Simple.'', Hi in ''Raising Arizona'', Moses in ''The Hudsucker Proxy'', The Stranger in ''The Big Lebowski'', Ed in ''The Man Who Wasn't There'', Bell in ''No Country for Old Men'', 40-Year-Old Mattie in ''TrueGrit''.
* NewOldWest: ''BloodSimple, Raising Arizona'', and ''Film/NoCountryForOldMen''. ''TheBigLebowski'' is mistaken for one by the narrator.
* NoEnding: Another one of their favorite tropes, used in several films.
* PsychoForHire: Gaear Grimsrud and his spiritual successor, Anton Chigurh. Also Leonard Smalls. Eddie Dane too. Heck, even Wheezy Joe.
* RealisticDictionIsUnrealistic: Often and successfully averted. The dialog is as meticulous as the cinematography.
** Perhaps the best example of this comes from ''Film/{{Fargo}}''. All of the [[VerbalTic jas and jeezes]], as well as all of Jerry's stutters, were specifically written. Also, Peter Stormare first read the line "Where is pancakes house?" as "Where's the pancake house?", thinking it was a typo. The Coens put him in his place, saying "We don't make typos".
** Played extremely and intentionally straight in ''TrueGrit''; the diction itself (for instance, the lack of contractions) is in fact authentic, but the dialogue itself is practically Shakespearean.
* RunningGag:
** The commemorative DVD releases of several of their films (such as ''BloodSimple'' and ''TheBigLebowski'') contain introductions (and, in the case of ''Blood Simple'', an entire [[DVDCommentary commentary]]) by "Forever Young Films", a fictional organization dedicated to preserving "classic" films (but really the Coens' way of poking fun at self-important cinephiles and pretentious film critics).
** The Coens like to make it seem like Roderick Jaynes, the credited editor on all their films, is a real person. It's really just the pseudonym they use due to guild restrictions on shared editing credit.
* SceneryPorn
* ScrewballComedy: Many of their films are inspired by this genre. ''Film/TheHudsuckerProxy'' and ''IntolerableCruelty'' could even be considered throwbacks.
* SelfDeprecation: A collection of their scripts had an introduction written by their "editor," Roderick Jaynes, which basically slagged off the brothers as incompetent film-makers. Roderick Jaynes is actually a pseudonym for the brothers themselves.
* ShaggyDogStory: Combined with ShootTheShaggyDog, if the Coens are feeling cruel enough.
* ASimplePlan: Pretty much all their movies start with a simple plan.
* SlidingScaleOfIdealismVersusCynicism: All of their films are extremely cynical, with the jarring exceptions of ''Film/RaisingArizona'' and ''Film/TheHudsuckerProxy''. There's something to be said for the strong underlying sense of morality that permeates their films, though.
* StupidCrooks: The brothers tend to include [[{{Criminals}} criminal characters]] in a lot of their stories, including a few bumbling crooks who usually, but not always, appear in their comedies.
** [[InvertedTrope Turned on its head]] in their adaptation of ''Literature/NoCountryForOldMen'', which shows the protagonists making many stupid and[=/=]or rash decisions, or simply being unable to cope, in the face of a [[DangerouslyGenreSavvy frighteningly competent]] and [[ImplacableMan relentless assassin.]]
* TheVerse: Several of their films seem to take place in the same universe. The hotel fire from ''BartonFink'' is referenced in a newspaper article in ''MillersCrossing'' (''Crossing'' was produced first, but the films were written simultaneously) and the law firm "Whitehall and Marsh" is mentioned in both ''BurnAfterReading'' and ''Film/ASeriousMan''. The mysterious blue volkswagon from ''Blood Simple'' reappears in ''The Big Lebowski''.
* VeryLooselyBasedOnATrueStory:
** Their film ''Film/InsideLlewynDavis'' is based partially on the life of folk musician Dave van Ronk.
** ''Fargo'' is not, as it claims, a true story, though it was inspired by a real incident in which a man murdered his wife and disposed of her in a wood chipper.
* TheWalrusWasPaul: Several of their films (most obviously ''TheBigLebowski'', ''BartonFink'', and ''Film/ASeriousMan'') contain imagery, dialogue, etc. that appears to be significant, but has no discernible meaning. [[EpilepticTrees Not that this has stopped people from trying to find one.]]
* WrongGenreSavvy:
** TheNarrator in ''TheBigLebowski'' seems to believe that he's in a {{Western}}
** Llewellyn Moss and Sheriff Ed Bell in ''Film/NoCountryForOldMen'' are under the presumption that they don't live in a CrapsackWorld. Moss [[spoiler: gets himself and his wife killed because of it]], and Bell ends up realizing the world went to hell a long time ago, but he was too idealistic to accept it.
** Linda and Chad in ''BurnAfterReading'' think they're the heroes of a spy movie.

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