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The Ladykillers (2004) - movie overview

The Ladykillers (2004)

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(172 votes)
Critic Rating
(14 reviews)
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Plot Description
Shooting Locations

Original title: Ladykillers, The

Release Date
• USA: Mar 26, 2004
• UK: 25 Jun 2004
DVD Release Date
• R1: Mar 23, 2004
• R2: 25 Oct 2004

Budget USD 35,000,000
BoxOffice: $39.7M

Official Website:
The Ladykillers Website

MPAA Rating
Rated R for language including sexual references.

Running Time
1 hour, 44 minutes

Country USA

Studio Sonnenfeld/Josephson Productions, The Jacobson Company

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Other Titles
• The Ladykillers (2004)

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Genre: Crime, Comedy, Black Comedy, Thieves, Suspense

Tagline: The greatest criminal minds of all time have finally met their match.

Plot: Goldthwait Higginson Dorr (Tom Hanks), Ph.D. is a charlatan professor who’s assembled a gang of so-called “experts” for the heist of the century. The thieves: experts in explosions, tunneling, and muscle, and the critical “inside man.”

The base of operations: the root cellar of an unsuspecting, church-going little old lady named Mrs. Munson (IRMA P. HALL). The ruse: the five need a place to practice their church music. The problem: it quickly becomes evident that Dorr’s thieves lack the mental capacity to do the job. The bigger problem: they have all seriously underestimated their upstairs host. When Mrs. Munson stumbles onto their plot and threatens to notify the authorities, the felonious five decide to do her in. After all, how hard can it be to knock off one old

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 External Reviews
external linkI would recommend this movie to anyone who loves the work of Mr. Hanks, since he delivers yet another enrapturing performance (love the laugh), or folks who enjoy the whole "bumbling crooks" scenario in their motion pictures, but otherwise, check it out on video, if only to listen to some of the brilliant dialogue eloquently delivered by Hanks or chuckle at some of the goofiness that entertains every now and again. Overall though, this film offers nothing particularly memorable or amusing. 5/10

external linkThe Coens' remake of a comedy classic flounders amid extreme caricatures and stained humor.
--Kirk Honeycutt (Hollywod Reporter)

external linkThe movie itself is one long joke, and there are long stretches where its inventiveness flags and its humor wears thin.
--A. O. SCOTT (The New York Times)

external linkBut, perhaps because I have a somewhat warped sense of humor, I laughed more heartily during The Ladykillers than during anything since the Coens' last effort, Intolerable Cruelty. 3.5/4
--James Berardinelli (ReelViews)

external linkKiller comedy? Not exactly. Tom Hanks, Irma P. Hall and a cat named Pickles do their best, but this Coen brothers remake just doesn't pay off.
--Charles Taylor (Salon)

external linkThe Coens' "Ladykillers," on the other hand, is always wildly signaling for us to notice it. Not content to be funny, it wants to be FUNNY! 2.5/4
--ROGER EBERT (Chicago Sun-Times)

external linkSadly, the film finally finds its feet in the final 15 minutes and establishes a rhythm that could have helped move this sluggish picture along. 2.5/5
-- (

external linkThough the film's not exactly laugh-out-loud funny, the majority of the jokes are (at least) amusing - more than one can say for most contemporary comedies. And while the movie remains eminently watchable throughout, the film never becomes much more thanthat; there's nothing terribly memorable or noteworthy going on here. 3/4
--David Nusair (Reel Film Reviews)

external linkTOM Hanks is terrific giving his first flat-out comic performance in years as a wildly eccentric criminal mastermind in "The Ladykillers," the Coen brothers' loose and uneven remake of the 1955 British classic.
--LOU LUMENICK (New York Post)

external linkThe Coen brothers’ newest is an odd amalgam of tics and stutters that plays like something of a greatest-hits reel but never seems to jell into a real comedy. 2.5/5
-- (Austin Chronicle)

external linkA brilliant cartoon-like comedy. 8/10
--Chuck Schwartz (The Cranky Critic)

external link"The Ladykillers" is a silly, silly movie that will leave many befuddled, but I found the dysfunctional interaction between the five ridiculously colorful outlaws increasingly hilarious through the film. 3/4
--Kevin N. Laforest (Montreal Film Journal)

external linkA mirthful and twisted meditation on crime that’s reminiscent in theme to the Coen’s Fargo and Blood Simple. 82/100
--Brian Webster (Apollo Guide)

 Directed by
Ethan Coen
Fargo, Raising Arizona, The Man Who Wasn't There
Joel Coen
Fargo, The Big Lebowski, O Brother, Where Art Thou?
 Written by
Joel Coen
Crimewave, Fargo, The Big Lebowski
William Rose
Guess Who, The Ladykillers, Guess Who's Coming to Dinner
Tom Hanks
Saving Private Ryan, Forrest Gump, The Green Mile
Marlon Wayans
Requiem for a Dream, Scary Movie, Scary Movie 2
J.K. Simmons
Spider-Man, Spider-Man 2, The Cider House Rules
Stephen Root
Finding Nemo, Office Space, Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story
Irma P. Hall
Collateral, Patch Adams, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil
Tzi Ma
Rush Hour, Dante's Peak, The Quiet American
Ryan Hurst
Saving Private Ryan, We Were Soldiers, Remember the Titans
 Music By
Carter Burwell
Fargo, Being John Malkovich, The Big Lebowski

external linkA very disappointing entry, what is essentially an R-rated kids’ movie. C
--Lee Tistaert (Lee's Movie Info)

external linkThis movie was irreverent, bizarre, and just outright funny. You immediately get the sense of what kind of comedy this is when you see the town sheriff’s re-election poster. 8/10
--Mark Chua (

external linkIt is an intelligent Hollywood film with an exceedingly clever independent mindframe that refuses to alienate any potential viewer. It is difficult to imagine anyone going to see The Ladykillers and not have a great time in the process. 3.5/4
--Dustin Putman (The Movie Insider)

external linkObviously, the Coen brothers could be blamed for all of this, and yet some movies aren't really anybody's fault. Some movies just don't need to get made -- but the only way to find out is to make them.
--Mick LaSalle (San Francisco Chronicle)

external linkThe trouble with "The Ladykillers" is that most of the gags are repeated from old time sources, and they're repeated over and over again.
--Jeffrey M. Anderson (San Francisco Examiner)

Tom Hanks in The Ladykillers Wallpaper 1
©2004 Touchstone Pictures

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 Recommended Movies
Movie Title Agree Disagree
Intolerable Cruelty (2003)
Drowning Mona (2000)
O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000)
Small Time Crooks (2000)
Barton Fink (1991)
Welcome to Collinwood (2002)
Throw Momma from the Train (1987)
Big Deal (1958)

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