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No Country for Old Men
Review written on: November 11th, 2007

No Country for Old Men Review

I have to give it to the Coens. You can always bet that they will pull out all of the stops for every one of their films. No matter how crazy or out there the situation is, they will take it ten steps further. In this latest endeavor, they naturally go where all the fans expect them to go: towards the unexpected and bizarre.

While hunting in the Texas desert, Llewelyn Moss (Josh Brolin) finds the remains of men who apparently were caught up in a drug running scheme when most of them were killed. But, they left behind something that was a little more valuable to him – a satchel stuffed with $2 million in cold, hard cash. Llewelyn thinks it’s his lucky day, and brings the dough to his home in a trailer court, and to his unsuspecting wife, Carla Jean (Kelly Macdonald).

Little does he know that he’s being trailed by someone who has a bit of a mean streak and who wants what is his: Anton Chigurh (Javier Bardem). Despite sporting a Prince Valiant hairstyle and having more than a passing fascination with coin tosses, he turns out to be the most calculating, cold, vicious psychopath that any the characters could come in contact with. Absolutely no remorse and no regret resides within this man.

On the case from the side of the law is Sheriff Ed Tom Bell (Tommy Lee Jones) who is trying not only to get to both men before the inevitable happens, but also faces the possibility that he doesn’t have the stamina or will to keep up with his job. Woody Harrelson also costars as someone who also has something to gain in finding this money and whereabouts of Moss and Anton.

The ending is unexpected, but if you?ve see the Coens? other work, they positively delivered the goods. This movie has it all: drama, action, a little bit of irony, comedy, and high levels of tension, anticipation, and emotion. The performances were, for the most part, right on-point. Brolin and Jones have such strong personalities that carried over very well in their respective roles. Considering that Macdonald’s best-known performance was in her native Scots accent in Trainspotting , her drawl was pretty convincing. Her performance, however, wasn’t too taxing and didn’t really take too much effort. A for effort, though. Javier Bardem’s portrayal reinforces him as, as Brolin quips in a pivotal scene, “the ultimate badass.” I was waiting for the showdown between the two, and do you get it!

This film has a lot of detail that you need to keep up with. So when my mind started to dally a little bit, it was an exercise to figure out just what would come up next. Trust me, they keep you guessing. This is absolutely worthy of not only your viewership, but some future award nominations. Dip into your wallet or purse and go see this movie!

 

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