Have filmmakers Joel and Ethan Coen been getting too conventional?

Already this decade, they've made a classical western ("True Grit") and written three relatively irony-free scripts for other directors (including Angelina Jolie's "Unbroken" and Steven Spielberg's "Bridge of Spies").

Fortunately, for fans of the brothers' earlier work, their new period Hollywood farce, "Hail, Caesar!" (opening Feb. 5), looks like it could be a return to form -- full of absurd, satirical touches, with maybe just a little food for thought. If you're wondering why the writing-directing-producing-editing siblings are such a big deal, or how they got to where they are now, go back and watch these gems from their three-decades-plus career.