Cormac McCarthy's novel NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN has been successfully transformed into a film in the skilled hands of Ethan and Joel Coen. The story is intact, the characters are given the dialog so uniquely McCarthy's invention, and the horror of the message of the book - that we have come to a point in time when crime, especially random murder, surrounds our lives - is, if anything, even more pungent than on the pages of the book. It is an amazing, and a highly disturbing movie, and while this viewer is one of the few who does not believe it deserved the Oscar for Best Picture, there is little doubt that it is a brilliant piece of cinema.
The story is fairly simple: on the raw plains of Texas a slaughter of men and dogs engaged in a drug deal is discovered by a simple guy Llewelyn Moss (Josh Brolin). Moss observes the mayhem, sees the drugs, finds the 2 million dollar payoff money, takes the money, and embarks on an escape, leaving his wife Carla (Kelly Macdonald) to escape the pursuit of a mad killer Chigurh (Javier Bardem) who in turn is being pursued by the local sheriff (Tommy Lee Jones) and a hired hitman (Woody Harrelson). The satchel of money contains a tracking device and Chigurh has the instrument necessary to follow the trail the device leads. The remainder of the film is the pursuit both in Texas and in Mexico, accompanied by countless brutal murders of all sorts by the crazed Chigurh, until a surprise ending.
But the toughest part of this violent film is more in the discussion of shared philosophies between the sheriff and his old cronies: they reflect on the sad state of universal crime that is so different and more malevolent than in the 'old days'. The conversations, in the superb dialog of these old men, bring our attention to some realities we would rather not confront, and those realities are even more disturbing than the repeated images of bloated bodies and senseless murders that fill the screen. Jones, Brolin, and Bardem are indeed superb in their roles, but the small cameos of the townsfolk of Texas are little gems of acting and direction. This is a difficult film to watch because of all of the violence, but the message is one we must heed. We may be allowing the creation of 'no country for any men'. Grady Harp, March 08
Wow. Great movie. I saw this movie at the Rialto in Raleigh, NC, which is worth a trip in itself as an old school "movie palace". The lobby is about the size of my kitchen at home, just enough room for a concession stand, then double doors open directly into the big theatre with a concrete floor sloping down to the big screen on a real stage. Stepping through those double doors is a 50-year step backwards, but the place looks like it has been recently renovated as the floor is clean, the seats are … more
NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN I don't know about you but I have always been a huge fan of the Coen Brothers Joel and Ethan, I have liked every film the two have put together. This is no exception and is just another classic in a long list of classics, both theatrically and on DVD this is a brilliant film. I can honestly say that a lot of the time I do not agree with the winners or even the nominees chosen by the Academy for the Oscar but they got it right … more
Sheriff Ed Tom Bell is a good sheriff. He can put together a crime scene and get in touch with who he needs to. Never gets hurt and does a good job keeping the peace. One day though an ugly and violent crime is enough to put him out to pasture. It was enough to make him realize how just like all those disgusting crimes across the country he only read about in newspapers, has finally come home to West Texas. Towards the end of his tenure as Sheriff, an old friend of … more
I was sheriff of this county when I was twenty-five years old. Hard to believe. My grandfather was a lawman; father too. Me and him was sheriffs at the same time; him up in Plano and me out here. I think he's pretty proud of that. I know I was. Some of the old time sheriffs never even wore a gun. A lotta folks find that hard to believe. Jim Scarborough'd never carry one; that's the younger Jim. Gaston Boykins wouldn't wear one up in Camanche County. I always liked to hear about the oldtimers. Never … more
The story opens in the desolate west Texas countryside, as Llewelyn Moss (Josh Brolin) stumbles upon a drug deal gone bad and makes off with a suitcase full of money. He figures he'll be followed and he's right; Anton Chigurh (Javier Bardem), a ruthless and patient killer, is after him. Chigurh is, in turn, being tracked by the local sheriff (Tommy Lee Jones), a good ol' country boy who's amazed at how violent criminals have become lately. I'd heard this was a bloody guy-movie … more
(to the tune of El Paso by Marty Robbins) Close by the West Texas town of El Paso There was a drug deal that went very wrong Llewellyn, he fled with a bag full of money Came back to the scene, but he took far too long Blacker than night was the heart of the Chigurh Wicked and evil and killing for fun He soon went after Llewellyn's new treasure Armed with a captive bolt cow stunning … more
I honestly thought this movie was going to be alot different that what it was....poor guy couldn't catch a break :) I was a bit disappointment by the movie. I didn't except it to end the way it did and just got a bad feeling through the whole movie that it probably wasn't worth all he had to go through. I've also seen better acting from Tommy Lee Jones, really in my opinion the worst I've seen.
Grady Harp is a champion of Representational Art in the roles of curator, lecturer, panelist, writer of art essays, poetry, critical reviews of literature, art and music, and as a gallerist. He has presented … more
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The Coen brothers make their finest thriller sinceFargowith a restrained adaptation of Cormac McCarthy's novel. Not that there aren't moments of intense violence, butNo Country for Old Menis their quietest, most existential film yet. In this modern-day Western, Llewelyn Moss (Josh Brolin) is a Vietnam vet who could use a break. One morning while hunting antelope, he spies several trucks surrounded by dead bodies (both human and canine). In examining the site, he finds a case filled with $2 million. Moss takes it with him, tells his wife (Kelly Macdonald) he's going away for awhile, and hits the road until he can determine his next move. On the way from El Paso to Mexico, he discovers he's being followed by ex-special ops agent Chigurh (an eerily calm Javier Bardem). Chigurh's weapon of choice is a cattle gun, and he uses it on everyone who gets in his way--or loses a coin toss (as far as he's concerned, bad luck is grounds for death). Just as Sheriff Bell (Tommy Lee Jones), a World War II vet, is on Moss's trail, Chigurh's former colleague, Wells (Woody Harrelson), is on his. For most of the movie, Moss remains one step ahead of his nemesis. Both men are clever and resourceful--except Moss has a conscience, Chigurh does not (he is, as McCarthy puts it, "a prophet of destruction"). At times, the film plays like an old horror movie, with Chigurh as its lumbering Frankenstein monster. Like the taciturn terminator,No Country for Old ...