This may be the first movie by Joel and Ethan Coen to take place in the wild west, but it still feels like a greatest hits collection. It consists of six stories, beginning with a cartoonish musical comedy that recalls Raising Arizona (1987) and O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000) in its highfalutin dialogue, show-offy camera setups, and stick-figure characterizations. From there, the stories get progressively more somber and the reflections on mortality increasingly serious; the film ends up in the ruminative register of Fargo (1996) and No Country for Old Men (2007). My favorite episodes fall in the middle: the third episode (the strangest and most ambiguous) stars Liam Neeson as the tour manager of a quadriplegic stage performer, while the fourth is a relaxed soliloquy for Tom Waits, playing a lonely gold prospector. As with the Coens’ oeuvre on the whole, the various stories are unified by an impressive sense of craft and a lamentable sense of smugness. With James Franco, Zoe Kazan, and Brendan Gleeson.