CELEBRATED filmmakers the Coen brothers have been drawn back to the Wild West for their first movie in partnership with Netflix.

The Ballad of Buster Scruggs has been billed as an anthology of six stories that each deal with a different aspect of life in the Old West. But more than that – the episodic structure of the film really suits Ethan Coen and Joel Coen’s style – so between all the tales they manage to incorporate all the signatures of their career.

From comedy to tragedy and from high tension to surreal and soul searching moments, it is all there in six distinct chapters with no weak links.

It ranges from the title story, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, which is a highly stylised, action-orientated and hilarious tale of a cheerful singing cowboy who also happens to be a fearsome gunslinger to Meal Ticket which explores the dark side of human nature.

In Meal Ticket a man with no arms or legs recites great works to fund a mercenary travelling showman...until audiences become indifferent to his talents. The stark way it looks at the harsh realities of the world will stay with you.

All Gold Canyon about a grizzled but resilient prospector speaks to the Coens’ love of underdogs while Near Algodones is a perfect vehicle for James Franco who plays a bank robber whose underhanded ways lead him on a strange adventure.

With its cracking dialogue – and almost entirely set in a stagecoach – The Mortal Remains where five people with different backgrounds and beliefs talk about the nature of morals and love could be a piece of theatre. But with its many twists and fascinating characters that you wish you could spend more time with, the highlight is The Gal Who Got Rattled about a young woman who is faced with a dilemma when her brother dies while travelling with a wagon train.

Along with a star-studded cast featuring the likes of Liam Neeson and Brendan Gleeson, you can also expect other Coen signatures so each chapter is beautifully shot and bristling with energy with an immaculate eye for detail.

RATING: 8.5/10