A mentally unstable veteran works as a nighttime taxi driver in New York City, where the perceived decadence and sleaze fuels his urge for violent action by attempting to liberate a presidential campaign worker and an underage prostitute.
Robert De Niro,
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 directors Joel Coen and Ethan Coen approached Javier Bardem about playing Chigurh, he said, "I don't drive, I speak bad English and I hate violence." The Coens responded, "That's why we called you." Bardem said he took the role because his dream was to be in a Coen Brothers film. See more »
The sheriff mentions that his father was a "sheriff" up in Plano. This is an error for two reasons:
1) Plano is not the county seat in either of the two counties where it is located - The sheriff's office is always located in the county seat of a county and Plano isn't one.
2) Until the mid-1980s Plano was a tiny city in the distant Dallas suburbs. While it is medium-sized city now (270k population), in the 1980 setting of the film, the population in Plano should have been roughly 20,000 people and was very peaceful. It's possible that someone who wasn't familiar with the Dallas Metro area might not have even heard of Plano. Being a "sheriff" there then would have minor role if that role even existed. 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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I decided to read Cormac McCarthys book before watching this movie adaptation, having been a big fan of his more recent novel The Road. I loved the book and ended up uncertain if I wanted to watch the movie as I it was hard to imagine the Coen brothers being able to do it justice. Overall though, I was impressed with their treatment of the story, both in following the text closely and in terms of playing out the author's intentions rather than undermining or erasing them.
Having said that, there are some real differences between the two which to me meant the film didn't quite deliver on the story in the way the book did. Most of these differences probably came from a need to keep the running time down, but personally I would have been happy for the movie to be an hour longer and to follow more of the subplots of the book. The most important of those differences for me:
â¢ In the book Carla Jean calls the coin toss incorrectly and Chigurh shoots her. They have pretty much the same conversation in both versions, but in the Coens version she refuses to call the toss forcing Chigurh to see it is he, not the coin, deciding her fate.
â¢ The book explains why we meet Chigurh in jail, saying he permitted himself to be captured "to see if I could extricate myself by an act of will". Later Chigurh describes this as a vain, foolish act. These facts are not in the movie.
â¢ The first hotel confrontation between Moss and Chigurh is altered in the movie; rather than punching out the lock and wounding Moss, Chigurh takes a key from the murdered receptionist and enters Moss' room, where a hiding Moss takes him captive at gunpoint, so they have a chance to see and know each other. Then Moss runs and the shootout begins.
â¢ In the book Chigurh delivers the recovered cash to a man he's never met before, and a conversation ensues. In the film it is fairly unclear who Chigurh works for, which makes his character hard to understand.
â¢ Where the film last sees Moss alive heading off to have a beer with a lady who calls to him from poolside at her hotel, the book has a whole subplot between him and a young female hitchhiker, to whom he gives money and advice. He actually dies because he puts down his gun when the Mexicans following him take her hostage. This was a big part of the development of the Moss character in the book, with it being clear that Moss was loyal to his wife and would not take advantage of the teenager even when propositioned, and afterwards the hanging question of what his wife would think when he was found dead in a motel with a teenage runaway.
Anyway, book versus film aside, this movie features some truly brilliant performances, and is an astounding achievement in storytelling and filmmaking. Wonderful!
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