When his mobster boss starts a gang war over his ill-advised protection of his girlfriend’s no-good brother, a canny consigliere with ever-increasing gambling debts confesses to his involvement with said same woman, and goes over to work for his rival. However, just whose interests his manipulative actions are designed to serve is not immediately clear, with friends and foes played off against each other with consummate ease. Labyrinthine plotting, uniformly excellent performances, and exquisite productions values combine to seductive effect, in the Coens’ plot-heavy yet alluringly atmospheric gangster picture. Iain Stott

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