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What does "as good a film as the Coen brothers...have ever made" mean? Does it mean that the film is their best? what is the underlying structure?

marked as duplicate by Janus Bahs Jacquet, James Waldby - jwpat7, TimLymington, FumbleFingers, choster Jan 5 '14 at 16:50

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  • @Janus: As it happens, the context of OP's example is No Country for Old Men is as good a film as.... But unless I'm much mistaken, your "original" answer doesn't explain why it would be incorrect to have Psycho there (because that's not a Coen movie), whereas that would be okay if it were as good a film as any the Coens have ever made. And to my ear at least, there's nothing wrong with including that any, regardless of whether we're talking about the Coens' NCFOM or Hitchcock's Psycho. – FumbleFingers Jan 4 '14 at 22:54

Saying it's as good a film as they've ever made doesn't mean it's necessarily their best, only that it's among their best films.


The underlying structure of the sentence is as follows:

  • The Coen brothers have made many films.

  • Some of them have been great, some not so great.

  • Among the great ones [you could insert here, say, "Raising Arizona"] has to be one.

  • I agree that “Raising Arizona” is a good example, although Roger Ebert instead used “Fargo” for a comparison: «“No Country for Old Men” is as good a film as the Coen brothers, Joel and Ethan, have ever made, and they made “Fargo.”» – James Waldby - jwpat7 Jan 4 '14 at 18:25

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