In No Country for Old Men, the Coen brothers return with a new crime movie that follows the tale of Llewellyn Moss’ discovery of a large sum of money at the scene of a drug deal along the Mexican-U.S. border gone violently wrong.
The cast makes this movie a masterpiece, despite the fact that it includes only one household name. Tommy Lee Jones is spot on as an old sheriff who is facing a new world filled with people so demented it shocks him to be a part of it. Josh Brolin stars as Llewellyn, and does a great job of portraying a man who uses his skill and wit over huge guns and big muscles.
The true star turn of the movie though comes from Javier Bardem, a contract killer who is hired to track down Llewellyn and the money. His role as Anton Chigurh is one of the most effectively chilling performances ever to be put to film. Despite having the boldest hair this side of 1976, Chigurh is a cold killing machine who is willing to do whatever it takes to get to his target. His weapons are highly unconventional and include a silenced .50 caliber sniper rifle and a compressed air tank attached to a cattle pistol, which is usually used to knock cows unconscious for slaughter, so imagine what it does to humans.
The Coen brothers do a great job directing and adapting Cormac McCarthy’s novel. It is at times a great suspense movie and alternately a pretty good comedy. There are enough laughs in the movie to help take your mind off the fact that a brutal killer is constantly closing in on the intrepid hero.
This movie is definitely on par with the directors’ former works, which says a lot considering that they include “The Big Lebowski” and “Fargo” Anyone who enjoyed those movies will love this trip to the border, and so will most anyone who doesn’t mind pulling for both the good guy and the bad guy at the same time.