A bad film is defined by it's director, screenwriter, producers, cast, and it's overall execution. These above jobs are all done very well here, so this is may end up being a very confusing review. "Hail, Ceasar!" is yet another Coen Brothers film that finds Hollywood star Baird Whitlock, kidnapped and held for ransom. While that is the essential plot, studio head, Eddie Mannix, is on the hunt for answers to Whitlock's whereabouts. This is a very simple story that does far more than it needs to, in order to keep it's audience interested.
Even though this film is well-written for what it is, that is also it's biggest issue. Padded out with Hollywood set pieces to impress film fanatics (such as myself), "Hail, Caesar!" feels like scenarios pieced together to stretch it's running time to 106 minutes. This makes for a very boring and tedious experience in the theatre. This is definitely the Coen Brothers at their weakest, even though it shows that they were trying.
George Clooney plays his character to the best of his ability, and I enjoyed watching his quirky scenes, but the true standout to me was Alden Ehrenreich. He plays the western movie star who has been selected to take part in an elegant period piece, solely due to his stardom. This portion of the film is the most fun to watch and how his story interlocks with Baird Whitlock was a satisfying tie in. Everything else felt like filler to me, and as a result, this is a very boring picture all around. I am very disappointed with "Hail, Caesar!" and I simply can not recommend it. I do not believe even Coen Brothers fans will be all that enthralled with this.