No Country for Old Men: It is so delightful to see the Coen brothers back in their elite form. In the same vein as Fargo and The Big Lebowski, Ethan and Joel Coen have once again tapped into a faction of people that will be memorable for years to come. No Country is adapted from the novel of the same name that was penned by Cormac McCarthy. We have seen this type of story told before. Basically, a man finds drug money that he shouldn’t have – keeps it – and is then chased by a mad killer who is also after the money. What separates this movie from the normal slaw are the unique and well-developed characters that are dropped into the saga. In particular, Anton Chigurh (played masterfully by Javier Bardem) as the menacing killer is so compelling to watch – only the Coen brothers could give us such a distinctive character. Josh Brolin plays Llewelyn, the (un)lucky guy who finds the money. Brolin plays the part perfectly, allowing the viewers to get involved in the film even further as his character is hunted down. The trinity is rounded out with the sheriff, played by Tommy Lee Jones, who is trying to make sense of all the mess happening around town. The film is shot beautifully with brilliant detail that adds to the intensity of the story. “Intense” being the key word as the characters get into some absurdly difficult situations. I sat in the theater with my heart racing and my palms sweating. I loved how the movie was so smartly written – I found each move the characters made to be well calculated. The only aspect of the film that I was not enamored by was the ending, which is what keeps this movie from a perfect score. That aside, the Coen’s have given us a magnificent motion picture……one of the best of the year.
* * * & ½ or Grade: A-
If this movie had parents they would be: Fargo & A Simple Plan
With a running time of 121 minutes
This film is rated R