The Coen brothers’ new epic, “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs,” is an anthology film, a collection of short segments combined under a framing device to make a feature-length whole.
Sometimes called omnibus films, these efforts often feature, as in 1945’s classic “Dead of Night,” a variety of directors. “Buster” does things differently.
Brothers Joel and Ethan Coen wrote and directed all six segments, so this film plays like a dinner eaten at a small plates restaurant. Inevitably, some of the dishes are going to be tastier than others, lingering in the memory after the lesser ones fade.
With credits like “True Grit” and “No Country for Old Men,” the Coens are clearly...