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No Country for Old Men

A 2008 movie starring Javier Bardem directed by Ethan Coen and Joel Coen

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'To this we've come'

  • Mar 16, 2008
Rating:
+5
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

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More No Country for Old Men reviews
review by . May 02, 2011
This movie is probably the Coens at the height of their moviemaking prowess, even though this isn't my favourite overall of their movies. That title still belongs to The Big Lebowski. However, I do think this is the best Coen drama, girded by exceptionally strong performances and a simple but enthralling premise. That guided by the Coen brothers' steady directing makes No Country For Old Men a definite must-see and a fitting entry into their collection. It's also very worthy of winning …
review by . March 26, 2008
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 …
review by . May 30, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
WHAT A GREAT ENDING
      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 …
review by . July 01, 2011
While it's very easy to trace comparisons between this film and prior Coen projects, such an exercise seems almost trivial when one considers that this story was adapted from one of Cormac McCarthy's most accessible novels. It's comforting to note that the Coens have found a story compatible with their usual trademarks: dialogue characterized by a regional vernacular, eccentrics who both voice and embody the story's themes and a measured pace interjected by bizarre scenes of intense …
Quick Tip by . February 21, 2011
This movie takes patience, and requires interpreting. If you're not interested in having to think through what the movie is trying to say, it will just seem like one damn thing after another.
Quick Tip by . December 28, 2010
"The Terminator" in Texas...    Somehow I have to make 50 characters here.
review by . July 11, 2009
posted in Movie Hype
Josh Brolin as Lewllon Moss
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 …
Quick Tip by . June 08, 2010
CRAZY but so incredibly good. Watched it in my criminology class.
review by . September 06, 2009
posted in Movie Hype
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 …
Quick Tip by . October 31, 2009
Poor Texas man runs off with drug money he finds at a crime scene only to have a bounty hunter on his tail and a sheriff in between. Great.
About the reviewer
Grady Harp ()
Ranked #97
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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Wiki

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 ...
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Tags

Movies, Drama Movies, Action Movies, Dramas, Coen Brothers, Coen Brothers Movies, Woody Harrelson Movies, Tommy Lee Jones Movies, Ethan Coen Movies, Josh Brolin Movies, Joel Coen Movies, Javier Bardem Movies

Details

Director: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen
Genre: Action, Drama, Adventure
Release Date: 2007, November 9, 2007
MPAA Rating: R
Screen Writer: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen
Runtime: 2hrs 2min
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