Genres: Crime, Drama,

Rated: R

Country: USA

Year: 2007

Runtime: 122 minutes

Studio: Paramount

Review done by: Serial McKiller
Online since: February 20th, 2006
Hosted by:  Yahoo!
Starring: Tommy Lee Jones, Javier Bardem, Josh Brolin, Woody Harrelson,
Kelly Macdonald, Garret Dillahunt

Directors: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen

Synopsis: Violence and mayhem ensue after a hunter stumbles upon some
dead bodies, a stash of heroin and more than $2 million in cash near the Rio


You may not know, but I'm an avid Ain't it cool news reader. I mean I'll go
there back and fourth throughout the day for updates on films and TV and
what not. A while back one of their writer's had his review for the Coen
Brother's new film "No Country for Old Men". In the review he called the film a
disappointment and said that anyone whom did like it should be prepared to
debate the Coen's genius. Now with that said I did in fact love the film and
having had an extra day and a half to sit and think more about it before
writing this, I like it even more. But I agree that you will be debating here
because this film is far from being something for everyone. "No Country for
Old Men" is based on Cormac McCarthey's thrilling, award winning novel about
a discovery that sets off a violent and bloody chain reaction in 1980's Texas.
Josh Brolin, who's my nomination for actor of the year plays Llyewelyn Moss,
a local troublemaker who lives in a trailer with his wife Carla Jean played by
Kelly MacDonald. One afternoon after he was done hunting he stumbles upon
what looks like a drug deal gone very wrong in the middle of the Texan

A circle of bullet riddled jeeps and trucks, with a load of heroin and dozens of
dead bodies of automatic gun wielding men and even pit bulls sits far from in
the distance. Further away from that scene Moss finds another man dead
under a tree and laying next to him is a case of two million dollars. After he
takes the money it becomes evident that the people missing it know he has it
and soon we meet Anton of the most cold blooded and
memorable villains in recent movie history played perfectly by Spanish actor
Javier Bardem. Chigurh cruises around to different cities searching for the
money with a silenced shotgun and an oxygen tank containing a metal rod
that retracts and extends when fired. It's primary use is for quickly killing
cows in slaughter houses. This lets you in to certain level of thought as far as
what Chigurh thinks of humans I believe. At the same time we also see
Tommy Lee Jones' character of sheriff Ed Tom Bell.

He's been sheriff of that county for many of years. He's old and is
disillusioned by the new and vastly more violent world he sees us in. He feels
useless and obsolete in it and sees almost nothing to do about it. The thing
is that the Coen's have crafted a film from a book that they've managed to
follow very closely, as well as putting in their level of quirk in the characters
that makes them a bit funnier or a bit sadder or a bit more frightening. I love
their work and I love it even more in thrillers. Their debut film "Blood Simple"
remains an all-time favorite of mine as well as their classic "Fargo" and the
little known noir piece "The Who Wasn't There". And as time passes it feels
like "No Country..." is right up there too. What separates it from being an
every person sort of film is that it's very self satisfying to it's fans. For
example, if you love the Coen's or if you loved the book, then this will be
right up your ally. This isn't for the mainstream or even the art house crowd
really. I watched it with my girlfriend and a large audience and all seemed (by
appearances at least) to have very differing tastes and I'm pretty sure didn't
share my same enthusiasm for it.

More on that theory later. The characters are vivid and quite tragic. There are
no heroes, only victims and killers. Bardem is down right scary. Scarier than
many masked murderers or living dead. He's cold and menacing in his
strangeness. A three minute conversation with a gas clerk that ends in the
flipping of a coin that decides everything...or possibly nothing is just the tip
of this guy's ice berg. It's enough to drive some nuts, but a damn good piece
of character work. Somewhat like William Friedkin's "Bug". Where some
savage and horrific things were shown, but it was the conversations and
ideas conveyed that was more terrifying. Moss is a good ol' boy who's in way
over his head, but thinks he's tougher than he might really be and Brolin
plays him perfectly. Between this, 'Planet Terror' and 'American Gangster', I'd
say he's had a damn good year. And Tommy Lee Jones is perfectly casted as
the sheriff. His character is tired and a true world-wherry soul who's hero
days have long since left him and all that's left is the question of whether or
not he made a difference.

Anyways back to that theory I had. The thing is the whole film is very down
beat; and I mean very. It's bleak, unpleasant and slow. If that's your cake
then you'll love it and if not then pass 'No Country...' on by. Perfectly
understandable. It's ending plays into that the most and in that puts it at it's
most daring for me. To put an audience through so many tragedy and
sorrow just to finish not with the bang they were expecting, but with a
contemplative whimper. A fleeting thought about the world that's advancing
in the right and wrong ways. A philosophy instead of a bang, bang, bang. For
me that speaks far louder and stays with me far longer. 'No Country for Old
Men' for me at least was a taunt and damn exciting thriller, with superb
acting and directing by the Coens. It's one of the best and deepest films of
the year and one thats still having me thinking about it from the smallest
siliques to the shocking and often thrilling jumps delivered by the films action
scenes. It's just my cake guys....much like David Fincher's "Zodiac" and David
Lynch's "INLAND EMPIRE"...damn good cake.

Overall: 10/10
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