Ranking the Coen Brothers' Best Heroines

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Better even than the whip-smart dialogue or bleak mist of impending doom that drapes the world created in any Coen Brothers movie are the characters that inhabit it. With a release date newly slapped on their upcoming comedy Hail, Caesar , my mind is glued to Joel and Ethan, a pair that has proved among the best of today's creative forces at drawing characters that feel at once whimsically literary and bitterly humane — it's no mean feat to make both qualities work in tandem.

Just about all of the Coens’ players, both lead and supporting, are integral to the establishment of their nigh unparalleled cinematic splendor, but a few reign supreme above the lot. As such, we’re taking a look at some of the strongest, most colorful, and all around best female characters to show up in the directing duo’s filmography.

Though the Coens’ male heroes might hold fast to the spotlight, we’d be remiss to forget about the glory of the various terrific heroines crafted by the brothers and carried out by some of their strongest collaborating performers. The Coens have written women who are independent, ambitious, vigilant, and more often than not hilarious… even (or especially) when up to their necks in foul play, which is no rare occurrence in this line of films. Take a look at this ranking of the best heroines the Coen Brothers movies have to offer.

Image: Universal Studios

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