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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I have a plea out on the message boards for someone to please explain
this movie to me. I love movies and I am not one of those who insist on
only being hand fed obvious characters and plots. I enjoy movies that
make you think and use symbolism.
But I honestly did not understand this film. Im not saying its horrible but I will say I don't think it deserves the ratings it is getting. I personally rated it a 1 because I feel compelled to balance out the absurd over ratings it is getting.
What I saw was two men fighting over the same two million dollars. One who is somewhat good and obviously poor and the other who is this maniac psycho killer. Im not even sure its his money, how he knows about it or why he even wants it. None of that was clarified.
The good guy is running with the money the bad guy is chasing him the sheriff seems like he is supposed to be chasing them but doesn't really want to and would rather be some sort of hillbilly philosopher about the whole thing.
Then the good guy suddenly dies. The bad guy escapes death by the skin of his teeth AGAIN the money disappears and the sheriff retires but not becoming so philosophical that the whole movie just ends right there at his dinner table with him rambling on about some dreams he had.
Again I would love to figure out this movie.
I am a 40 year old movie buff Academy Award trivia expert I own over 700 movies I've been a member here for 6 years And I have a college degree.
Maybe I ate too many milk duds or something but it went right over my head.
If you are looking for a Donnie Darko, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind MUST SEE A SECOND OR THIRD TIME TO FULLY UNDERSTAND kind of movie then go for it!
If you think you are going to see a Titanic, The Green Mile or Silence Of the Lambs kind of movie where the plot unfolds at a normal pace and doesn't make you search for answers and meaning then don't go see this thing.
Again, not a bad movie. Great acting, cinematography, pace.... the works... just incredibly difficult to understand after the first half.
In fact the first half is very good, suspenseful.. second half does not fulfill. Leaves you hanging and wanting more.
OK Im done. Thanks for reading.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
If this doesn't end my year in the top two films of the year then we
are in for one hell of an awesome year of movies.
The new film from two of the best filmmakers working today No Country For Old Men shows the talents of the Coen Brothers on top form. After a couple of disappointments (Intolerable Cruelty had flashes of Coen genius but felt more of a Coen imitation than the real thing; Ladykillers had the odd funny moment but was the blandest film the brothers ever made, and there's just no excusing Marlon Wayans!) they knock this violent western drama out of the park.
More in the vein of their superb early mostly-serious efforts Blood Simple and Miller's Crossing (my personal favourite of the Coen back catalogue) No Country For Old Men is a slow-moving, character-driven masterpiece about uncompromising and uncompromised characters. It is very violent and bloody and not always for the squeamish.
Shot through with moments of humour these come, as in life, from real situations and observations so don't be fooled into thinking this will be the serious film with goofy-characters Coens of Fargo. No Country For Old Men is a tough, gritty story.
The unrelenting pace may take its time but you are gripped every moment. This is a thriller that genuinely thrills.
Javier Bardem gives the best performance of his career. And, yes, I have seen The Sea Inside and he in superb in that but here he is simply extraordinary. It is a portrayal of unrelenting evil, of true derangement, of a human being with no shreds of humanity that ranks at the very top of studied film psychopaths. And I say film not movie because this is not a clichéd character. This is not a character whose lunacy you enjoy over popcorn. This is one of the most frightening performances ever committed to celluloid. I felt truly nervous of what was going to happen every time he walked on screen.
Josh Brolin essentially carries the bulk of the movie and he is excellent in a role that challenges him. I have never seen him perform to this level and if Bardem didn't steal the film you'd be talking about Brolin all the way home. As it is this gives him a showcase for his talents that should see him get a lot more attention.
Tommy Lee Jones is used sparingly but to great effect. Sounding more like Michael Parks than ever before his scenes pepper the movie with a wearied view on a world he doesn't really like or understand to great effect.
I did find Stephen Root a little distracting as i have never seen him in a serious role before and he just looks amusing but he is in very little.
Roger Deakins' cinematography is breathtaking as usual and the Coens' script is superbly crafted. There are moments, almost asides from the main plot, that would be superfluous in most scripts and excised in most studio films but which work perfectly in the overall context of the movie as only the Coens can achieve. One scene featuring Bardem in a gas station is up there with the best scenes i have ever seen on film.
I have not gone into the plot here because I saw this film having not read Cormac McCarthy novel and knowing little other than the basic log-line - a man out hunting comes upon a scene of dead bodies, guns, drugs and money on the Mexican border and comes to the attention of both those behind the scene and a local world-wearied sheriff - and i think that's the way to see this film.
Go in knowing as little as you can but knowing at least this: this is a serious, violent, slow-paced character piece from the Coens. This is not a Fargo. If you are squeamish don't see it. If you have a short-attention span don't see it. If you only love the Coens for their fantastic comedies like O Brother and Big Lebowski and the comedy/thriller Fargo don't see it. But if you want to see an intelligent, superbly acted, powerful, beautiful cinematic treat that will remind you of the true power of cinema see it, see it, see it. It's a masterpiece. Bravo Ethan and Joel.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
"No Country for Old Men" is for the kind of film fan who remarks, "Gee,
wasn't that murder a clever mise-en-scene?" and who asks, "What kind of
lens do you think they used in that strangulation shot?" The skeleton
of "No Country for Old Men" is a cheap, 78-minute, gun-monster-chase B
movie. Javier Bardem plays Anton Chigurh, the monster. He is
Frankenstein; he is Max Cady from "Cape Fear;" he is from your
childhood nightmares. He may be death personified.
One of many completely implausible scenes: an arresting officer, defying any logic, turns his back on Chigurh. Chigurh, displaying the supple sinuosity of a Cirque du Soleil contortionist, or an orangutan, slips out of his handcuffs. This is done out of camera view, because for Bardem it would be impossible; thus the scene's implausibility. Chigurh then, in real time, strangles the young police officer to death on camera. This is an extended sequence. This is the payoff for "No Country for Old Men": watching one human being kill other human beings, in scene after scene after scene, using various weapons, including a captive bolt pistol usually used on livestock. Guess Chigurh couldn't get hold of a Texas chainsaw. This is a slasher flick for the pretentious.
Early on, there are well-done, if standard, chase scenes. A man outruns a car: not believable, but fun to watch. A pit bull chases this fleeing man down a whitewater river. The man reloads his gun at the very last moment (of course) and shoots the pit bull dead just as it is about to sink its teeth into the man. Later, in a hotel, a beeping transponder informs the killer where his prey hides. Your pulse may race and you may think that this is all leading up to something interesting. You will be disappointed.
Tommy Lee Jones, whose ear lobes appear to be metastasizing as he ages, wanders aimlessly through the film as Sheriff Ed Tom Bell, delivering cornpone, homespun, cowboy poet ruminations that are more or less opaque in meaning. No doubt the film's fans are even now feverishly compiling a companion volume that decodes Bell's dreams and conveys their depth.
Woody Harrelson, late the bartender of the TV sitcom "Cheers," shows up for a completely pointless half-hour role that yanks the viewer right out of the movie. "What is Woody Harrelson doing here?" Some years back, some bored English majors decided that conventional narrative structure was not intellectual enuf, and decided to play games with narrative. "No Country for Old Men" plays these sorts of games. The viewer is invited to invest time getting to know characters who are eliminated from the plot in ways that convey no meaning and are not moving. The narrative flow is truncated and yet the movie keeps going; viewers ask themselves why the movie is continuing -- sometimes out loud, even in a movie theater -- this is supposed to be a deep, intellectual experience. It is not. It is merely annoying.
Other than bratty English major head games, pretty much the entire substance of "No Country for Old Men" is a series of murders and tortures committed by Chigurh, who may symbolize your high school's worst bully a bully so terrifying exactly because he targeted English majors. His victims are often courteous; their likability makes watching them be humiliated and then murdered an uncomfortable, and, given the film's structure, ultimately pointless exercise. Not only are the Coen Brothers torturing their characters, they also torment their ticket-buying audiences.
Chigurh's nice victims are often poor, rural, Southern, whites, the kind of people often not featured as positive, lead characters in Hollywood entertainments. They are often villains witness films like "Deliverance." Here they are murder victims. Chigurh is associated with Mexicans, part of a rising "dismal tide," as one Anglo character puts it. No matter how you feel about immigration, you may find this association of Mexicans with a rising tide of evil to be offensive.
The film's boosters insist that the movie offers three deep and shocking lessons: life doesn't always follow a neat narrative structure; evil often triumphs; and the old days were more peaceful and, nowadays, things are getting really bad. In truth, everyone walking in to the theater already knows the first two "lessons." No one needs the Coen brothers to inform him that life doesn't always follow a neat narrative structure, or that evil often triumphs. We expect filmmakers, and all artists, to offer us a more substantial thesis. As for the third "lesson," that the old days were more peaceful and things are getting really bad today -- have the Coens, or Cormac McCarthy, heard of Attila the Hun, or any number of other less-than-peaceful and courteous personages from our common human past? One might well be dubious about "No Country"'s "lessons." Visit internet discussion boards devoted to this movie, and you will find fans asking, not "What is fate?" or "What is the role of a good man in a bad world?" but questions like, "If Hannibal Lector and Anton Chigurh were locked in a room, who would come out alive?" Given such reflections, one is safe in concluding that the appeal of this film is its emphasis on graphic violence, rather than on any more advanced intellectual or artistic merit.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
. . . by the most overrated filmmakers ever.
"No Country for Old Men" shares with other wildly overrated movies, like "Pulp Fiction" or "Collateral," a ludicrous setting in which criminals engage in wild shootouts and murder sprees lasting for days and days without any noticeable effort on the part of law enforcement to put a stop to it. NCFOM takes place in an alternate universe where an insane madman can travel across Texas murdering several people a day without the slightest hint of the FBI, DEA, U.S. Marshals, Texas Rangers, or any other authorities lifting a finger to stop him. The only cop who seems to be on his trail is an aging small town sheriff played by Tommy Lee Jones who doesn't actually try to catch him but just passing amiably through life making philosophical reflections on evil.
This movie has no interesting or sympathetic characters. Our supposed "hero" only gets in trouble because he commits an unbelievably stupid and selfish act -- stealing $2 million in cash from a drug deal gone wrong in which several people have already been murdered. Does he think no one will come after him? Then he compounds his idiocy by returning to the scene of the crime. Why should we care what happens to him after this beginning? He has what appears to be a very nice, likable girlfriend, whose life (along with his own) he endangers -- for what? Some blood/drug money that if the drug dealers don't kill him for taking, the cops will bust him for spending. Stupid. Besides which, the character has no backstory, no interesting qualities. He is a cipher.
The character of "Chigurh," over which all the critics are having such orgasms, might as well be an extraterrestrial, he bears so little relationship to actual human life. He appears to be in his late thirties -- killing people at a rate of two or three a day, as he does in this film, he must have murdered close to 10,000 in his adult life, without ever being apprehended. This man is almost on a par with Stalin, Hitler, Mao, and Pol Pot, except instead of killing people en masse as they did (using subordinates, secret police, and soldiers to do the dirty work), he appears to do every killing himself, many of them with some kind of oxygen tank (how clever, and how convenient it must be to lug around an oxygen tank to kill people with instead of, say, a handgun). And there is no FBI team on his tail, no worldwide manhunt to catch the biggest serial killer of all time. It's funny how many "professional assassins" there are in movies like this (and "Pulp Fiction" and "Collateral") and how few there seem to be in real life.
The plot of this movie is so unbelievably trite, clichéd, and hackneyed that it is simply boring. Of course, a trite story can still make a great movie if it is well done. But the Coen brothers are far above actually putting in the effort to make their story work effectively on a nuts and bolts level. For instance, why bother to show the ultimate confrontation between the hero and villain? Why would the audience care about that? On some level, the Coen brothers must be laughing at all the sycophantic critics falling all over themselves to heap orgasmic praise on this joke of a movie. This film, and its ecstatic critical reception, represents the ultimate elevation of style over substance -- the appearance of meaning over actual meaning, quirkiness and moodiness for its own sake rather than in the service of a genuinely engaging story and characters.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
No Country for Old Men is as exceptional a mix of two creative talents-
the Coen brothers, Joel and Ethan Coen, and author Cormac McCarthy
(recent winner of the Pulitzer for The Road, his own masterpiece) as
one could imagine, as they converge on a story that in lessor hands
would be just a B movie. The story concerns an average Joe out hunting
one day in Texas who comes across a bunch of dead bodies, heroin, and a
satchel with 2 million in cash. He takes it, but without knowing that a
true embodiment of a psychopath (Javier Bardem) is on his trail, and as
he evades him it becomes more and more clear the fatalism that lies in
store, as a weathered sheriff (Tommy Lee Jones) is also on the trail
with perpetulally sad eyes looking on from his stolid demeanor.
More than this, it's also about as good a morality play as one could ask for, because it plays and tools and makes very serious questions about what is moral, or what isn't, or what is so ambiguous that it's all up to the toss of a coin or a chance ride out of town. There are a few interpretations to Bardem's character Anton that could be taken, but one thing is certain- he's less a symbol than a real presence, a "ghost" as Jones's sheriff calls him that can come around at the drop of a pin, usually in the dark, and strike the utmost fear (or confusion if you're a clerk) in the hearts of men and women. You'll never look at a coin toss the same way again. Or an air-gun. Or fixing a bullet wound in a leg. Or a hunt at a motel. Or even the aftermath of a car crash.
But at the same time it's the purest time of cinema, recalling Hitchcock and Leone and Welles's Touch of Evil and the best of noir and westerns. There are so many exceptional shots and lighting, so much depth to the perception of the characters through the mis-en-scene, so much tension, that through this it's all up to the actors to make or break the near-perfection that is the McCarthy source. Bardem embodies Anton like no other could- you can't look at his eyes, often steel-cold and horrifically professional (to what professional who can say), which occasional tear- and it's obviously worthy of an Oscar. And Josh Brolin and Tommy Lee Jones are also fantastic; we see Brolin often in the midst of an action scene, a moment of 'save-your-life' going on, and one can finally see an actor of his caliber completely breaking out in a role that doesn't require him to ever totally "emote". Jones, on the other hand, gives a compassionate turn in a film that's about the struggles of desperate men in a land without law and order. He's gone through so much that it comes out completely in his voice and eyes, sorrowful but holding back, and he reaches a level of connection with the character that makes the Fugitive look like simpleton TV. Kelly McDonald, who plays Lleland's wife, is also excellent when called upon, especially in a crucial scene later in the film.
It's gut-wrenching, bleak, violent, super-tense (I clenched many a knuckle during some scenes), surprisingly funny in a darkly comic manner not seen by the Coens in many years, and artistically fashioned to a beat that is meditative (watch the opening moments with Jones's voice-over), simple, and doomed. It's beautiful and terribly tragic, for McCarthy fans it finally strikes at what is truest to his material- even if you haven't read the book itself the Road will give an indication of the mood and atmosphere at hand- and at the moment I can't think of any other film that would be the best pick of the year- maybe one of the best films I've ever seen.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Well, I say spoilers but with no plot, a loose story line, random
characters, no resolution to story line, saying this review contains
spoilers is a compliment I don't want to give this movie.
When I went to see this movie I did not know, believe it or not, it was a Coen Brothers film. However after the first scene and the visual of the boot marks all over the floor and I guessed that it was. It left me with the same feeling of the blood stains from the wood chipper in the snow from Fargo.
Not the same imagery, mind you, but the same sense of feeling. A sense of something violent and chaotic happened looked at from an obtuse albeit familiar image with contrasting colors of something that shouldn't be there.
Next the dialog came about and I knew for sure.
This movie is just plain misguided. When directors start to be identified by their techniques they are losing the plot and forgetting what film making is all about. To tell a story and to express ideas, not to showcase their quirks and be identified by them.
They should be in the background and not center stage.
The Coens, granted in my opinion only, took a step towards the over indulgent David Lynch and a giant leap away from becoming great directors based on their earlier works. The genius of Raising Arizona or Joel's The Hudsucker Proxy is a distant rock of film work casting a giant shadow on this current piece.
So many are saying that Javier Bardem's morbid and "deep" character is the real gem of the movie and brings originality to a type of role never seen before. Hell, take a look at another Tommy lee film, Batman where he played Two Face. The quirky and annoying Anton Chigurh is simply Two Face in an adult movie and like any bad guy, should not have gotten away.
Then there are the random characters being introduced in the movie for no apparent reason. I mean, just what was Woody Harrelson's character in the movie for? Seriously, without dipping into film school hogwash about stereotypes and archetypes of moral choices and bit characters to drive a moral choice. Or the old guy in the wheel chair towards the end?
By that time I was just rolling my eyes and getting more confused and upset that I was actually trying to make sense of this non-sequitur story line.
Then it hit me.
There was no point. There was no reason for this movie at all. It is just one long Coen self back patting cinematic journey and a movie to praise their own, self recognized, film making skills. What Blazing Saddles was to westerns this movie is to their previous works. It is quite ironic, and knowing the Coens deliberate, that it ends with Tommy Lee speaking of dreams. You know that feeling, the sense when you first wake up from a weird dream but in your half asleep mind set the fact that a pink dog was playing Tchaikovsky on the piano while sipping a martini and explaining why hot dogs come in 10 packs while buns come in 8 somehow can relate to your entire life plan and future goals.
As you regain your senses and become fully awake you realize that it was only a dream and sometimes a cake is just a cake.
Directors should not take center stage and simply let their films speak for them. This movie only speaks about the directors. Those that say this film is genius are still half asleep. When they wake up they also will admit they were stupefied by the Coens and didn't dare to question their "talent".
Well, I am begging you to indeed question it and see this movie for what it really is: Self indulgent nonsense.
Bottom line is that No country for Old Men (even the title is ridiculous and misleading) is a film one can easily skip. When someone comes out and tells you about this film and how great it is, watch them start talking about the Coens and their amazing talent. For if any other director made this heap of trash you would be renting this directly off the shelves as it would never have made the big screen.
Days after seeing it, I am still haunted by No Country for Old Men.
There is just something so effectual and uncompromising about it, that
mere words will only begin to skim the surface of the cinematic
excellence on display.
At its most simplistic, the film is a game of cat and mouse. The mouse here is Llewelyn Moss (Josh Brolin), a hunter who stumbles upon two million in cash after a drug deal gone wrong, and takes it thinking nothing of it. He tries to cover his tracks, but ends up letting the group looking for the money, figure out his identity. The cat is Anton Chigurh (Javier Bardem), a hit-man hired to find Moss and the money. But Chigurh is unconventional at best; he also happens to be bordering on mentally insane. And another man, a law man this time, Sheriff Bell (Tommy Lee Jones), is on the trail of both men as they criss-cross around Texas.
Right up until its dénouement, the film is simply brilliant. Taut and thrilling, it blows right through the majority of its two hour runtime with ease. Even during moments of slowing down, the film stays right on track and never feels like it has run its course. It engages even when it appears that nothing is happening. The Coen Brothers truly crafted what appears at first glance to be a masterpiece, even if it is their first real shot at something that is not indelibly and inarguably their own. Even without reading Cormac McCarthy's novel, I know that the Coens have done it justice, even with their bitterly twisted and dark sense of humour scattered throughout the film.
But all of that comes to a standstill as the film concludes. The last twenty or so minutes feel like hours as the film wraps itself up, and it almost feels like these scenes belong to another movie entirely (one that borders on being pretentious and monotonous). I realize now that McCarthy's novel probably ends the same way, but it does not help provide closure to the fact that the movie is so break-neck paced right up until this happens. Its brilliance is shattered by what looks to be a series of tattered events thrown together to provide closure for all of the characters, alive or dead, and for its audience. It speaks volumes to the film's title, but it just does not feel satisfying compared to the rest of what we saw. Even with its enigmatic devices at play, I still cannot come to terms with how the film closes. It does haunt, and in a way, it may prove to be a significantly stronger ending as time rolls on. But as it stands now, it just feels weak.
What is also a bit of a surprise, and only seems to appear as the film concludes, is the music. It is not so obvious at first, but the majority of the film is audibly shown with just the sounds the characters make and no background music to speak of. This element is brilliantly used, as it helps intensify every situation and makes the film downright terrifying in some cases. It just helps truly make the film come together, and only helps establish the quick pacing even more so. It was definitely a surprise, and one that will probably help the lasting impact of the film become even stronger.
The lush and bloodsoaked visuals also help to define the film. Despite the film taking place mainly in deserted areas, or the desert itself, the camera manages to capture just the right essence of what the writing and acting is conveying. The isolation and the terror almost become characters themselves through these visuals, and are sure to be recognized as the award season rolls in.
The film's acting is also very well done. Brolin anchors the film and even when it is just the audience reacting to his attempts at saving his life, he manages to deliver the best performance of his career. He breathes life into Moss, and truly brings a sense of pathos to the character. We feel for him and his greedy mistake, and as he develops into a man unwilling to go down without a fight, he only manages to up the ante for himself countlessly. Jones, as the law man stuck on the fringe of every event, also does very well for himself. Most of his work is simply delivering dialogue, but it is delivered in such a fashionable sense that you feel like he is speaking to the bigger picture of things, and not just himself. I would have liked a bit more development in his character, but what little there is helps his performance greatly.
Supporting turns from Woody Harrelson and Kelly Macdonald are also done well, but are overshadowed by the main cast by both Brolin and Jones.
And even more of an overcast is Bardem as the ruthless Chigurh. He absolutely nails this character down to his very bones. If anyone is merely toying with the idea of seeing the film, it should be specifically for Bardem. His performance is calculating and plagued with petrifying silence. When he chooses to talk, his words sound like they are being given by the essence of evil. This is a man with a plan, but it is one that only belongs to him. His enigmatic presence is developed throughout the film, and never once does it feel particularly appropriate to understand where this menace comes from. Watching him on screen is a jolt to the heart, and will go down as one of the best performances of the decade. His terrible hair only helps to make his character that more scary and formidable.
No Country for Old Men is one of the best pictures of the year, even if it is flawed. Its brilliance and lasting impact with leave you haunted.
There's very little "good" in No Country for Old Men beyond the
mesmerizing acting and viciously dark screenplay. Instead, the unholy
trinity of temptation, cynicism and pure, dark, evil take center stage
in this modern western directed by brothers Joel and Ethan Coen.
Based on the 2003 novel by Cormac McCarthy, the movie unfolds in the dusty Texas borderlands as hunter Llewelyn Moss (Josh Brolin) stumbles upon the remnants of a desert drug deal gone bad, complete with a case containing two million dollars. Succumbing to temptation, Moss makes off with the money setting in motion a chain of events that leaves a trail of blood spattered carnage across the State as he is pursued by the ruthless, coin tossing hit man Anton Chigurh (Javier Bardem) among whose killing weapons of choice is a pneumatic air gun.
Bearing little in common with pretty much any previous Coen film with the possible exception of Blood Simple, No Country for Old Men is a dark, bleak, ode to the baser elements of the human soul, and a spit in the eye to the noble ones as well.
With a structural trademark hinging upon breaking the conventional norms of predictability, No Country is a movie that will unsettle you at successive turns - in the way deaths are dealt out; by its palpable tension that can almost be cut with a knife, and its periodic deviations from the narrative norm the latter likely the only Coen brothers "quirk" for which their movies are renown.
Switching back and forth between the game of cat and mouse being played out by Moss and Chigurh and the investigation of unfolding events by cynical aging Texas Sheriff Ed Bell (Tommy Lee Jones), the Coens weave a web of dangled threads that one can't help but expect will be neatly tied together at story's end, only to tie them up in ways that buck the storytelling norm and manage to be both unsatisfying and true to their nature at the same time.
Unforgettable among this tableau is Bardem's Chigurh. The Spanish actor who has also appeared in Love in the Time of Cholera and Goya's Ghosts evokes the most amazing presence of a ruthless killer with his own twisted adherence to a bizarre code of ethics that nothing short of witnessing his performance can do it justice.
Sadly, however, justice is one of the few items in abundance in this movie. And yet, as unhappy as I am that the Coen's screenplay defiantly refuses to cater to the audience's inherent desire for satisfaction, I grudgingly have to admire them for opting for the unpredictable.
Consider the movie akin to one big coin toss will it be heads or tales? Call it - you've been calling it your entire life.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
My vote of awful may be a little exaggerated, but I can tell you when
this film ended, the audience literally groaned. The story is about
some guy who we don't know happening upon a drug deal that went
horribly wrong then finding $2 million in cash and taking it.
This guy who we find out is called Lewellen (I don't know how to spell it sorry), suddenly grows a conscience and decide to help a dying drug dealer by bringing back water, almost getting himself killed in the process. I honestly as I watched, did not understand why he went back, it was only after we left that my wife explained that he went to take that water to that poor drug dealer.
Next we meet our bad guy, a man who has been arrested, escapes and can continue to kill literally dozens of people, even having shoot outs in hotels and main streets, without anyone either caring or phoning the police. This sort of thing must be perfectly normal in Texas, because at one point you have one guy firing a shotgun on the street and no one could care less, let alone phone the police.
There's the Sheriff, who's "trying" to help the "good guy", but couldn't really care. I mean wtf was he doing all day apart from lazing about reading the paper. Apart from anything else he's got a psycho running lose and like 10 dead Mexicans as well as two dead police officers. You'd think he'd be quite busy, but he's really not.
Anyway our bad guy is hunting the thief for the money, and then in steps Woody Harrelson who you assume is going to save the day, but gets shot within five minutes. Honestly even after he was shot I thought he was faking it and would come back and help our "hero", I honestly couldn't believe it. Then they have both hero and wife murdered off camera, and again you honestly cannot believe that it happened.
The worst thing of all though is the ending, you keep thinking that the bad guy will get caught, but no he gets away, after killing like 1 million people, and the film closes with our Sheriff who's done jack anyway talking about some dreams he had. I was literally astounded by this film, it started off well, but just when you were waiting for something to happen, like a showdown between psycho and thief, nothing happened. If you want to waste your money go watch this, otherwise pick something else.
If you like films that literally take your breath away, then this goes
to the top of the list.
As stated elsewhere, Javier Bardem is so spectacularly evil and menacing that, if I were Mrs Bardem, I'd be worried about him coming home at night. The man exuded controlled evil, and I found myself not breathing when he came onto screen, yet couldn't take my eyes from him - a truly mesmerising presence.
Tommy Lee Jones turns in a belter of a performance, and mention should also be made of Kelly MacDonald who nails a faultless Texan accent alongside a multi-layered performance (despite the paucity of her screen time).
Beautifully shot, as you would expect, and with some (welcome) moments of humour amongst the gore, this is a very very fine film. Miss it at your peril, because when those little golden men are being handed out next year in LA, I predict a lot of them will be going to this film. A belter.
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