No Country for Old Men - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

No Country for Old Men Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ May 6, 2008
Based and followed almost to a tee of the book the movie has some of the most unexplainable violence ive ever seen.
Super Reviewer
½ January 5, 2008
A phenomenal Western concerning discovered treasure and the troubles it brings for one individual (Josh Brolin), unbeknowest to him that a maniacal serial killer (Javier Bardem) won't rest until he has what's his. It has a beautiful take on the downward spiral humanity is in and the detachment many country folk feel from the current world advancing so fast in technology and forgetting their roots. Bardem is especially memorable as the villain, who is frightening all the way to the end. In my mind though, not worthy of the "Best Picture" honor it received at the Academy Awards that year (that belongs to "Into the Wild"), but still, a truly great film that has aged wonderfully.
Super Reviewer
½ November 22, 2007
A Texan welder stumbles across the aftermath of a drug deal gone wrong and helps himself to the $2 million in cash no-one is left alive to claim. Unfortunately he does not count on a single minded psychopathic killer with a tracking device...This film basically distills elements of all their best work and creates a cold and cynical statement on the state of man. Javier Bardem's character is the most chilling and amoral bastard you will ever see; on more than one occasion he reminded me of a terminator with bad hair, except more cold-blooded! The pursuit of the stolen money just leads to bloodshed and tragedy for all involved, many innocents dying for just being in the wrong place at the wrong time. The underlying theme is the randomness of life; good things DO NOT happen to good people and there is no karmic "masterplan". This means that the ending may leave some feeling a little cheated because things aren't tied up nicely into a complete and satisfying package as so many stories are conventionally presented. But the journey there is as gripping as anything you are going to see; it has the tension, brooding atmosphere and cynicism of Blood Simple, the pragmatic investigation by a dismayed lawman in a similar way to Fargo and the style and brutal violence of Miller's Crossing. The shoot out between Bardem and Brolin is one of the best I've ever seen, reminding me of Michael Mann meets Peckinpah with a dash of Assault On Precinct 13. It is a case of the journey being better than the destination, but any Coen brothers fan will not be disappointed; they are back to their best.
Super Reviewer
December 22, 2008
The most serious and critically lauded film to come out of the Coen brothers' oeuvre, it still has the haunted, vacant appeal of their earlier films. Based on the book by Cormac McCarthy, showing every slow, methodical, meaningful point so easily, and yet creating a distinguished, quiet air of thought. There is very little dialogue to this film, surprising since the Coens are most famous for chatty characters that rely their own quirky sensibilities. This is not to say that the Coens haven't used silence to show fear, dishonor, or even hatred at many points (most notably in "Barton Fink" and "Miller's Crossing") but instead of stifling and uncomfortable silences they're reflective at many junctures. Set in the desert and plains of Texas, there are many panoramic shots of the outlying surroundings of these places that oftentimes show the aloneness of the lead character, Llewelyn Moss, and his disconnect from help while he hides and fights against his predator. Moss is the prey in this cat and mouse chase, and what is so fundamentally interesting about his plight is that he oftentimes outwits the man who is following him. That person is Anton Chigurh, a contract killer who hunts down Moss, trapping him time and again and yet failing often. Though Anton is obviously going to win out against the irresponsible and slow Moss, Moss doesn't give up and ends up holding his own. Anton in turn is one of the most interesting and full bodied villains to be onscreen in some time. Though he operates on the same level as any other killer, the serial killer mentality of having rules and patterns towards his kills presents itself to the viewer in various ways, the most memorable being a coin toss to choose life or death. This is a multi-layered and large scale game of wits, and though not the traditional good versus bad narrative it does present unorthodox views of morality. Though Sheriff Bell does track Anton as well, he cannot chase down someone so malicious and without a sense of right and wrong. This is not an indication that evil has won, because the sheriff simply can't keep up thanks in part to his old age. Even Anton is not a clear villain because though he does kill indiscriminately he sometimes gives the option of redemption, and lets fate dictate many of his actions. He kills when he needs to, and oftentimes doesn't even want to thanks to his own code of cleanliness, reliance, and self-preservation. This film will blow you away with the complexity of the narrative and how interesting and poignant the plights of the characters truly are.
Super Reviewer
November 17, 2012
"No Country for Old Men" is as much a riddle as any other Coen movie, something that appears very sleight from a plot perspective but nonetheless is filled to the brim with some sort of hidden meaning. If you (understandably) don't like this on-the-edge-of-pretention style, you can still find enough to enjoy due to powerful performances and some insane tension/violence.
Super Reviewer
January 23, 2008
What a great movie with a fantastic stand out performance from Javier Bardem as the twisted and strange hit man.
Super Reviewer
½ August 13, 2012
Most thrillers maybe entertaining but 'No Country For Old Men' invites its audiences right into the story, creating an incredibly tense, clever piece topped with black humour on the side.

The film follows, in essence, a bag full of two million dollars after it is taken by a Vietnam veteran, played by Josh Brolin in what must surely rank as his greatest role. He is tracked down by Anton Chigurh, a psychotic hired killer across Texas as the chain reaction escalates.

Adapted from a Cormac McCarthy novel, fast becoming a Coen favourite, the brother directors take on a classic crime style story but add their own fantastical style.

Javier Bardem is almost perfect in the film, playing opposite the brilliant Brolin, whilst Tommy Lee Jones strange part in the story is carefully and gently crafted by an excellent performance from Jones.

But every component of the film is mastered to a particular thriller style, in a very Coen way. The normalities of any Coen piece are there, with the memorable storyline, complicated twists and turns and well above average cinematography. However the enticing poetic nature of the film is what makes it stand above the rest and pull you ever deeper into the character's lives, both normal and abnormal.

And what to say of the action sequences themselves? Superb, as well as never losing sight of the basic plot and using wonderful characterisation.

The plot itself is complicated and the end of the film, whilst panned by some, is actually devilishly clever and a fantastic ending. Its supposed ambiguity may frustrate some, although when you watch for a second time the majority of the ambiguity washes away.

The Coen's brother collection of films make it hard to point definitely to just one as their unchallenged masterpiece, but in the ranks of their greatest films, as well as some of the finest cinema to come out of America in years, 'No Country For Old Men' ranks at the top.
Super Reviewer
November 16, 2007
Before the review, a little thing to note: patience and careful attention to detail are a must when watching this in order to fully appreciate how great this film is. Multiple viewings are also reccomended. Do not watch this film when distractions are inevitable (like you're expecting a call, etc).

After stumbling onto the scene of a drug deal gone terribly wrong, a welder goes on the run with a stash of money, and finds himself pursued by the various parties interested in getting it back, as well as an aging sheriff trying to make sense of the situation, and bring it to a close in his own way.

This film is perfect. The brilliance of the Coen Brothers never, and I mean NEVER ceases to amaze me. For a relatively simple plot, there are a lot of layers and complexities...definitely a great thing. Every little thing plays an important part...sparse music use, terrific panoramic landscape shots of desolate places, subtle messages/symbolism hidden in dialogue, and amazing little touches such as the hotel scenes are only a few of the great things that make No Country...such a great film.

For all the detractors, the ending does not suck, it is not as anticlimatic and dull as it seems, and it is a perfect way to end the film.

Considering that this is by far the Coens' most violent and serious work, it still manages to have a feeling of beauty and poetry, albeit on the haunted level. Even though it is quite serious, there is a fair amount of humor to it, even if it is rather dry and generally of the (quirky) gallows variety.

The performances are beyond outstanding. Javier Bardem deserved the Oscar he won for his chilling portrayal of the creepiest film villain of of all time. Josh Brolin, Tommy Lee Jones, and Kelly Macdonald all turn in spectacular performances as well, and the film really couldn't have been cast any better.

This film rightfully deserved all of the awards it won, and it will forever go down as being one of the greatest achievements by The Two-Headed Director.
Super Reviewer
October 2, 2012
It's hard to imagine how the film would turn out without it's three main stars. (Josh Brolin, Tommy Lee Jones & Javier Bardem) No Country for Old Men is a compelling story with subtle and little dialogue that is captivating. The story may be hard to grasp but it's the performances by the main stars that dazzle and leave you in amazement. 4/5
Super Reviewer
August 2, 2009
Sleek and self-assured, one of the best Coen films on the list. Full review later.
Super Reviewer
March 3, 2012
Slow moving at times, the film works best when the camera is on Bardem. Granted the amount of suspense in the plot makes the film a fun ride, even if you feel a bit empty at the end.
Super Reviewer
June 12, 2010
Ever since their dark debut "Blood Simple" in 1984, Joel & Ethan Coen have commanded an audience's attention. They followed that up with the wacky and kinetic comedy "Raising Arizona" in 1987, proving early on, that they were comfortable in any genre. That hasn't changed over the years but what it does do, is leave you with feelings of anticipation whenever they deliver another film. You just never know what light or dark delights they are going to deliver. This film is the darkest delight they have delivered so far.
While hunting in the Texas desert, a young mid-west cowboy (Josh Brolin) comes across a botched drug deal and decides to snatch a satchel of cash. Unknowingly, there are bigger things at work here and his foolish decision attracts the attention of a relentless hitman (Javier Bardem) who has been sent to recover the money. As bodies begin to pile in their wake, a local Sheriff (Tommy Lee Jones) has the duty of hunting them down.
To foreshorten the opening lines of this film and give an insight from the disillusioned protagonist Sheriff Ed Tom Bell, we are told "... the crime you see now, it's hard to even take its measure. It's not that I'm afraid of it. I always knew you had to be willing to die to even do this job. But, I don't want to push my chips forward and go out and meet something I don't understand. A man would have to put his soul at hazard. He'd have to say, "O.K., I'll be part of this world."" Sheriff Bell is at a loss to explain human behaviour and the evil actions of people that he has pursued throughout his career in law enforcement. He is the weary heart and soul of this movie and a character that Tommy Lee Jones can do in his sleep. He serves as one part of three characters whose lives explosively intersect. The others include; Llewelyn Moss (Josh Brolin) a foolish young man who doesn't quite grasp the enormity of his actions, which in turn, attract the attention of very disturbed and dangerous killer Anton Chigurh (Javier Bardem) - who makes decisions on the flip of a coin and wields a hydrolic cattle gun as a weapon. Cleverly, the Coens have them sharing very little (if any) screen time and Jones' Sherrif always two steps behind the aftermath of destructive events.
As always, the Coens are at the top of their game and have a good grasp on this adaptation of Cormac McCarthy's novel. They capture his recurrent themes; isolation, the passing of time and changing epoch's. In "The Road" McCarthy explored a post-apocalyptic change. In this, it's the end of the western way of life and despite life-experienced characters, a lack of understanding in the reasons for it's happening. Throughout their films they have delivered consistent moments of suspense. Here though, they outdo themselves with regular scenes of unbearable tension (done without the use of music). The actors are all up to the task and despite Lee Jones and the Oscar winning Bardem receiving most of the plaudits, Brolin also delivers an absolutely solid, low-key performance. No Coen brothers review would be complete without mentioning the sublime talents of their regular cinematographer Roger Deakins. Yet again, his stark and beautiful camerawork compliments the barren landscapes that these characters roam. As always, his and the Coens' vision complete one another. One of the brothers' finest films and thoroughly deserving of its best picture and director(s) Oscar awards.
If you're aware of the Coen brothers' canon (and most filmgoers are) then combine "Fargo" and "Blood Simple" and this is what you get... only better. A very gripping and powerful neo-western.
Super Reviewer
½ April 2, 2012
It's very hard to describe such a wonderfully structured film in so little time, but No Country for Old Men manages to capture every ounce of your focus in this McCarthy adaptation, the Coen brothers construe a spectacle from the novel which leads to a ridiculously crazy ending that can be hard to follow for some, me included, I found the death of (no names) quite insignificant after all they had been through. I also found that the film killed off many character without the blink of an eye, some may see that as a negative aspect, but personally, I found it quite noble, and showed that the Coen's were a little further than pleasing the crowd. The plot, characterization and general script was solid and provided us with 2 hours of an in-depth, complex and all round Texan action for the audience to enjoy.
Super Reviewer
March 30, 2012
Wendell: It's a mess, ain't it, Sheriff? 
Ed Tom Bell: If it ain't, it'll do till the mess gets here. 

"There Are No Clean Getaways"

I must have been a fucking moron. When I first viewed this movie a few years back, I thought it was overrated. But not only did I think it was overrated; I also thought it was boring and in the end not that good. Like I said, I must have been a fucking moron. Not only is this movie not bad, it may be the Coen's best film. I don't know that it's my favorite from them, but goddamn it is one hell of a film. 

While out hunting Llewelyn stumbles upon a bunch of dead bodies, a lot of drugs, and a lot of cash. He winds up with the cash, which a psychopath wants back. He is chased all around Texas by the guy. Now when I say psychopath, this character may be one of the better examples ever put on film. Anton Chigurh is one of the best written villains I have ever seen. Everything from his terrible haircut to his air gun is so well thought out. It's just a creepy and all around terrifying character. 

As a huge fan of just about everything the Coen's have ever done, I decided to check this one out again. And thank God I did. It's got everything that makes the Coen's so great. My favorite thing about it though is how the violence is used. Sometimes they show us the kills and other times they don't. With movies like this, you expect the chase to lead up to a standoff in which one man wins. Well, the Coen's aren't going to simplify things like that. In fact, the selling point for many movies isn't even shown in No Country For Old Men. You've gotta fucking love it.

The acting across the board is spectacular. Javier Bardem does a terrific job in a menacing, almost lifeless role. Josh Brolin is at his best. Tommy Lee Jones is Tommy Lee Jones, and Woody Harrelson is just as good as you'd expect in a limited time on screen. The actors all do an extremely good job at playing their characters perfectly, and since the characters are written so well, the combination ends up being about as perfect as you could ask for.

Deserves every bit of praise it got upon it's release, and every award it won. When it comes to watching movies that come as close to perfection as possible anymore, the Coen's are the way to go. There is no way to beat the feeling of watching a Coen brothers film. You know that feeling you have after watching one of the best movies you've ever seen. Yeah I feel like that right now. Just like I did after Lebowski, and Fargo, and O, Brother Where Art Thou, and Barton Fink, and Miller's Crossing. Filmmakers just don't come any better.
Super Reviewer
April 6, 2009
This is the Coen brother's masterpiece. "No Country for Old Men" is an extremely arresting and gripping shock-thriller that's surprisingly paired with art-house symbolism that rightfully makes this movie an extremely well-rounded and thoughtful movie.

On all levels, "No Country for Old Men" is outstanding. Cinematography is rightfully picture-perfect and marvelous. The cast all across the board are phenomenally superb. Javier Bardem -- easily surpasses the complexities and interest than Heath Ledger's Joker. YES I said it. And wow, the screenplay is extremely simplistic but richly innovative. And who could blame the direction? It's apparently obvious that there are disciplined and deft hands and minds that directed this masterpiece.

"No Country for Old Men" plays out much like a R-rated silent movie; viewers are expected to observe the settings and expect to make predictions on what the character's are thinking at the moment and seeing them played out afterwards. It's an incredibly immersive approach that truly sucks viewers in, whereas 95% of other movies nowadays must explain the character's actions through obviously blatant dialogue that is purposely placed there ONLY to fill in the audience's questions. It's truly unique and captivating to have such involvement with a film. For this alone, "No Country for Old Men" is a must watch.

Man, when the action racks up, its brimming with rich and dark tension that's extremely nerve-racking. It exudes tension. You're gonna be sitting there at the edge of your seat, frozen and waiting for the character's next move, all in the dark shadows of silence. This is something to behold: There's no music to be heard throughout the entire experience but yet the pacing is absolutely perfect. You're there at the scene of the crime. You won't look at thrillers the same way again. Easily one of the best scenes in cinema history is the gas station scene.

As you can probably tell, "No Country for Old Men" is a dark, silent, and mesmerizing movie. "There are no clean getaways". After watching this movie, that's for sure -- I ain't gonna see movies the same way again. "No Country for Old Men" is a masterpiece.
Super Reviewer
March 2, 2012
This one has everything. Another Coen Bros. masterpiece. Great performances, great script, beautiful cinematography.
Directors Cat
Super Reviewer
½ November 2, 2011
A beautifully adapted screenplay that is well deserving of its oscars. The villian of No Country For Old Men played by Brodem is one of the most terrifying i've ever seen in a film. Superbly acted and gripping , No Country For Old Men will make you laugh, thrill, smile and with all this fear it.
Super Reviewer
October 22, 2011
Javier Bardem's role as Anton stole the show. This was one of those movies I would love to watch again. Everything in it was incredibly well done from start to finish, you have to see it to truly appreciate how good it is. Incredibly strong acting, the story I felt had its hiccups, although it didn't detract from the overall product. Sit down with a bowl of popcorn and enjoy the ride this movie will take you on.
Super Reviewer
½ October 2, 2011
Nothing I like better than a film that makes you forget you are watching a film. Here is one of those's that good.
Super Reviewer
March 3, 2011
No Country For Old Men is the Coens best movie ever, and is my 7th favorite film ever. Llewelyn Moss (Josh Brolin) discover a drug deal gone bad, and finds $2 Million dollars in a suitcase. After this he is hunted down by hitman Anton Chigurh (Javier Bardem), and is tring to be found by older sheridd Ed Bell (Tommy Lee Jones). Soon Llewelyn is brought into a world he didn't deserve to go. This movie has such a deep and ingenius plot, the moments where we are scared, where we are confused, and then when all is revealed, and this movie is much more than a regular man, a sheriff, and a psychopath, its about life, discovery, and death, and the movie is a non stop genius and deep meaning about everything in life, and this story is by far the Coens most deep thriller and most incredible storyline, and I love those kind of films where you must watch it twice to get the full meaning. Every scene is just consistent, genius, and never gets boring for me. The settings and feel of te movie is so beautiful and devine I was having a hard time looking at the beauty. The cinematography was amazng and helped the movie alot, it was truly a great way to keep the film going and im probably one of the few people who ntices great cinematography in film. The cast is too incredible for words, and most importantly was Javier Bardem. Josh Brolin plays possibly his best role and I like how he played his character well and great, i truly felt that he was one tough badass and very smart. Tommy Lee Jones played a very great part and his speech at the end is a true reminder of what the great point of this film is. Javier Bardem plays one of the best roles in the history of filmmaking, his acting was genius, you never knew what this guy would do, if he would let you live, or make you die, he played such a ingenious role. The ending to this film always puzzles people, and this is what I learned from many viewings, that Llewlyn is Man, Sheriff Tom Bell is a Prospector, and Anton Chigurh is Death. Lllewlyn is the one tring to escape death, and in the end must face death for his life, the prospector tries to understand the world and what it all means, and Death is the one you try to escape, the one who will stop at nothing to kill you. It is three very great meanings that the author has tried to get across to us, and the Coen brothers have realized that perfectly into creating one of the greatest film adaptions of all time, and it truly was incredible. This movie had a bigger meaning than most people understand, and I hope if you see the movie again you will see many other parts that relate to what i just said, and I that the Coen brothers appreciate the praise this film got, because although people find it too violent and slow, I find it incredible and to this day my 6th favorite film of all time, the Coens have created masterpieces before, but this is by far the greatest.
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