In rural Texas, welder and hunter Llewelyn Moss (Josh Brolin) discovers the remains of several drug runners who have all killed each other in an exchange gone violently wrong. Rather than report the discovery to the police, Moss decides to simply take the two million dollars present for himself. This puts the psychopathic killer, Anton Chigurh (Javier Bardem), on his trail as he dispassionately murders nearly every rival, bystander and even employer in his pursuit of his quarry and the money. As Moss desperately attempts to keep one step ahead, the blood from this hunt begins to flow behind him with relentlessly growing intensity as Chigurh closes in. Meanwhile, the laconic Sheriff Ed Tom Bell (Tommy Lee Jones) blithely oversees the investigation even as he struggles to face the sheer enormity of the crimes he is attempting to thwart.Written by
Kenneth Chisholm (email@example.com)
When the exchange takes place between Chigurh and the gas station owner, there are cans of Copenhagen and Skoal Bandits on the counter. Shoal didn't release their Bandits until 1983. See more »
Ed Tom Bell:
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 carried one; that's the younger Jim. Gaston Boykins wouldn't wear one up in Comanche County. I always liked to hear about ...
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Expect the Unexpected as the Coen's deliver a pneumatic jolt to the head
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.
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