Drive-Away Dolls Review

Featuring: Margaret Qualley, Geraldine Viswanathan, Beanie Feldstein, Colman Domingo, Pedro Pascal, Matt Damon

Genre: Action, Comedy, Thriller

Director: Ethan Coen

In Cinemas: 15th March 2024


Written by Ethan Coen and Tricia Cooke, this comedy caper follows Jamie, an uninhibited free spirit bemoaning yet another breakup with a girlfriend, and her demure friend Marian who desperately needs to loosen up. In search of a fresh start, the two embark on an impromptu road trip to Tallahassee, but things quickly go awry when they cross paths with a group of inept criminals along the way.


“Drive-Away Dolls,” directed by Ethan Coen, presents itself as a chaotic mess right from the start. The opening sequence is a jumbled mishmash of scenes that leave the audience utterly bewildered, as nothing is adequately explained or connected. It’s as if Coen himself lost the plot halfway through filming and decided to just roll with it. Throughout the film, there’s a glaring resemblance to “Pulp Fiction,” especially with the inclusion of a mysterious suitcase that serves as a plot device. However, unlike Tarantino’s masterpiece, “Drive-Away Dolls” lacks the depth, wit, and coherence to pull off such a narrative device effectively. One of the most cringe-worthy aspects of the film is its relentless and unfunny jokes about dildos. It’s as if Coen believes that repeatedly referencing sexual toys will somehow elevate the film’s comedic value, but instead, it comes across as juvenile and desperate for laughs. The editing of the film feels amateurish at best, with transitions that scream “look at me” rather than serving the story. It’s as if a college graduate just discovered Adobe Audition and went wild with gimmicky effects that add nothing to the viewing experience. While there’s nothing inherently wrong with exploring lesbian culture on screen, “Drive-Away Dolls” takes it to an extreme without any semblance of narrative cohesion. The film seems more interested in gratuitous depictions of gay sex than in telling a compelling story. It’s almost as if Coen is using lesbianism as a shock tactic without any regard for its actual representation.


Throughout the film, there’s a lingering feeling of déjà vu, as if we’ve seen these characters and scenarios before in the films of Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino. However, “Drive-Away Dolls” lacks the style, substance, and finesse of those filmmakers, coming off as a cheap imitation rather than a homage. One redeeming aspect of the film is its positive representation of female empowerment. However, this theme feels superficial and tokenistic, overshadowed by the film’s other shortcomings. The inclusion of random celebrity cameos, such as Miley Cyrus appearing out of nowhere with cringe-inducing lines, only serves to highlight the film’s lack of direction and coherence. Bizarre and nonsensical elements, such as a cock-shaped door and a talking skull amidst silhouettes of women bending backwards, only add to the film’s confusion and lack of focus. Open conversations about intimate body parts and steamy encounters dominate the dialogue, reducing the characters to mere vessels for sexual innuendo. In the end, “Drive-Away Dolls” feels like a missed opportunity from a filmmaker who should know better. Ethan Coen’s reputation precedes him, but it seems he’s become complacent, content to churn out half-baked films that rely on shock value rather than substance. It’s a disappointing addition to his filmography and a forgettable experience for audiences.

Overall: 2.5/10

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