Home > Film Reviews > No Country for Old Men, Film Review

No Country for Old Men, Film Review

No Country for Old Men is a gripping ‘cat and mouse’ film that is well worth watching for it’s violence, suspense and most notably, the excellent character of Anton Chigurh, the unstoppable sociopathic assassin central to the plot (played brilliantly by the mop-topped Javier Bardem).

Javier Barden is brilliant in No country for Old Men and alone makes the film worth seeing

The Leon Brothers stay true to the original Cormac McCarthy novel of the same name, but focus on their usual themes of time and place, moral choices, immoral certainties, human nature and fate.  The film is also notable for its minimal use of dialogue, relying mostly on imagery and editing to create the film’s dramatic tension and feeling of danger.

The storyline’s main character Llewelyn Moss, a retired monosyllabic Vietnam Vet played by the excellent Josh Brolin, stumbles upon the aftermath of a botched Mexican drug deal and makes off with a suitcase holding two million dollars in drug money.

The rest of the film involves the deadly assassin Anton who chases Llewelyn for the money and the indiscriminate death and destruction he leaves in his wake – amongst his armory includes a captive bolt pistol, his signature weapon, which he also uses to break into places by blowing out lock cylinders.

All this destruction exasperates the ageing Sheriff Ed Tom Bell (Tommy Lee Jones) who is growing weary of the changing times and in not being able to make a difference (hence the title of the film No Country for Old Men).

It’s an engaging, captivating film due to the suspense and the clever ways the characters chase/manage-to-avoid one another. The script is lean but well written (and funny in places too – especially between Javier Bardem and a shop keeper who doesn’t realise how close he comes to being killed). There’s a great cast and the acting is flawless, and of course the directing is fantastic and amongst the Coen Brother’s best.

The only quibbles I have though are with the storyline – one of the main characters doesn’t get the send-off he deserves, and Woody Harrelson’s character is overall a bit pointless (I guess though that this is a case of the ‘unstoppable evil’ winning over what you think is the good guy in the film).

The other thing which many film viewers may find disappointing, considering how good the rest of the film is, is the ending which trails off and doesn’t feature a neat round up of all the surviving characters (though it could be said this ending is very much in keeping with the whole feel of the film and the characters it contains).

All in all a brilliant film and one you should definitely see if you get the chance.

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