43.) Blood Simple., 1984, dir. by Joel Coen — 8/10
The Coen Brothers’ first film was this fantastic little story of an affair, a vengeful husband, and a conniving private eye. It all comes together in a way that only the Coens could have written. In their near 30 years of filmmaking since, I think they’ve yet to top the sheer brilliance of this film’s final 60 seconds. M. Emmet Walsh steals the movie, but a great early performance by Frances McDormand is what keeps us invested. Pay attention for the brilliant use of the “Raimi crawl,” the term given to the weird, fast-moving, low-angle shot from Sam Raimi’s Evil Dead series that was actually invented by, you guessed it, the Coen Brothers, who have long been great friends with Raimi and Bruce Campbell. Also, despite what this (otherwise fantastic) poster shows, the film’s title is properly spelled with the period at the end. That’s how it appears on screen.