In the social wasteland that is the end of the 2010s, empathy seems to be on its way out. Daniel Scheinert, one half of the directing duo that made 2016’s similarly scatological tale of understanding, Swiss Army Man, returned in 2019 (along with collaborator Billy Chew) to ask: What if you could take a tasteless, dumb joke seriously? It’s the question at the heart of The Death of Dick Long, a crime comedy that plays a little like if the Coen Brothers had made The Hangover. Scheinert and Chew, who are both from Alabama, tell a tense tale of deception that both laughs at its characters’ predicament (take a look at that title again) as well as empathizes with their plight. Part of a handful of recent films that distributor A24 had no idea what to do with, Dick Long is bold in its refusal to pick a lane. Its blend of humor, suspense, and heart is what makes it one of the most original films this year, and that’s no horse pucky.