No Country For Old Men

No Country For Old Men / 2008 Paramount Vantage / 122 Minutes / /

No Country For Old Men is a movie that has been lauded numerous times all throughout the media, and has been given four Academy Awards, among its other wins (British Academy of Film Awards, Golden Globes). The Coen Brothers (Blood Simple, Fargo) adapted the film from a similarly-named Cormac McCarthy novel.  The film itself is set in 1980, although I don’t know exactly when that fact is described. Anton Chigurh (Javier Bardem) is one of the three main characters, brutalizing and killing individuals not at random, but to ensure that a satchel of money is retrieved. It is not that Javier Bardem’s character is psychotic, but is just extremely detached from reality.

Josh Brolin’s character, Llewelyn Moss, finds this satchel of money one night, and the vast majority of the film is concerned with eir trying to keep possession of it. When Moss is eventually killed and the money taken back by Chigurh, the other plot line – concerning Ed Bell (Tommy Lee Jones), the sheriff, intersects with the main line. Where Chigurh ultimately gets away, individuals should not be too mad at the film – it breaks individuals free of expecting everything to be a happy ending, and keeps individuals guessing until the last seconds of film. The film itself is solid enough to merit the purchase price, but there are three different featurettes that make this into a better buy. These featurettes, “Working With The Coens”, “The Making Of No Country For Old Men”, and “Diary of A Country Sheriff”, provide individuals with three different ways to properly contextualize the film.

The film is rated R for a reason – there is a decent amount of violence and blood through the movie, and Bardem’s character’s use of a cattle gun to kill individuals is a particularly brutal way to dispose of individuals. However, this movie is also rated R because of its intensity; individuals that are younger than a certain age will likely not be able to dissect the varied motives of each individual in the film. While there are some weaknesses – the stereotypical mother, entrenched in eir house and not wanting to leave despite massive levels of danger – these cliché moments are few and do not let individuals divorce themselves from the film.  Pick up this film if the prospect of a thriller, set in another era, interests you.

Rating: 7.0/10

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Author: James McQuiston

Ph.D. in Political Science, Kent State University. I have been the editor at NeuFutur / since I was 15. Looking for new staff members all the time; email me if you are interested. Thanks!

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