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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worthy winner of Best Film at the 2008 Academy Awards
With over 100 reviews already posted it's unlikely that another will make a useful difference, but this is a film worthy of all of the great accolades it has received, not the least being its winning Best Film at the Academy Awards (Oscars). It's a pooling together of several genres or labels: horror, drama, character-driven, violent thriller, black comedy, period piece,...
Published on 2 Aug 2008 by OEJ

versus
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I am not a fan of the coens, and I have never read the book.
The film is two thirds a great movie, sadly the last act is nonsense. I appreciate what the Coens were going for but I think the last act lets it down. Basically it all spins out of a drug deal gone south, Josh Brolins characters stumbles across the carnage while out hunting and takes the cash. That is what appears to be the main plot and is what the film seems to...
Published on 1 Nov 2009 by genejoke


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worthy winner of Best Film at the 2008 Academy Awards, 2 Aug 2008
By 
OEJ - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: No Country For Old Men [DVD] (DVD)
With over 100 reviews already posted it's unlikely that another will make a useful difference, but this is a film worthy of all of the great accolades it has received, not the least being its winning Best Film at the Academy Awards (Oscars). It's a pooling together of several genres or labels: horror, drama, character-driven, violent thriller, black comedy, period piece, Western and probably a few more. But the finished product isn't really any of those things; it's a Coen Brothers film, and that's its most reliable identity.

The cinematography depicting a hot, barren western Texas in 1980 is artfully done, such that the landscape and region become another key character in the screenplay. The casting is just perfect, with the Canary-Islands born Javier Bardem (only seen before as nightclub owner/Cruise's paymaster 'Felix' in the movie COLLATERAL) the most enigmatic of all as the memorably sinister pathological assassin Anton Chigurh. Josh Brolin was also exactly the right man for the role as Llewellyn Moss, the down-on-his-luck welder who chances upon $2 million cash in the desert amid the two-day-old corpses of a drug deal gone bad and who then goes on the run while he tries to plan his next moves. And who could be better for the role of a West Texan Sheriff than Tommy Lee Jones, who was born in the area himself. Not so local is the actress who plays Moss' wife - Kelly Macdonald - who despite her very convincing Texas drawl is of course Scottish, and it's amusing to hear her talk in her 'normal' accent during the DVD extras. The set directors do a fantastic job at creating the backdrop, mood and style of the period - 1980 - and I cannot remember a false scene that gave anything away. The violence is never gratuitous but it is shocking, and although the majority of it is represented by various rifles and shotguns - and a slaughterhouse bolt-gun - the most gripping and realistic scene of violence was right at the beginning when the handcuffed Anton Chigurh strangles a deputy sheriff from behind. Of all the many superb set-pieces this one lingers most clearly in my mind. But what brings everything together is the drama evoked by the leading characters, the tension of the pursuit and the uncertainty of what will happen next. Very little about this film is predictable, and even the ending, which has drawn some criticism and controversy, was at least in keeping with all that had gone before in catching the viewer off-guard. Overall I thought the film was riveting, beautiful on the eye with an edgy and uncompromising script. I haven't read the book by Cormac McCarthy but I imagine that this is a film that is not only faithful to it but also, for once, does it justice. The violence and overall story concept must have made it only just escape an 18 certificate, but in every way this was a masterpiece of production, direction and acting. For me it is a rare pleasure to enjoy a 21st century film as much as I did.

At the 80th Annual Academy Awards in 2008:-

Javier Bardem won Best Supporting Actor

Joel Coen & Ethan Coen won Best Writing (Adapted Screenplay)

Joel Coen & Ethan Coen won Best Director(s)

Joel Coen, Ethan Coen & Scott Rudin won Best Film
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113 of 130 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Diefies moral reading, 31 Dec 2008
By 
Damon K. J. Mitchell (Slovakia) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: No Country For Old Men [DVD] (DVD)
I think (though I don't want to speak for anybody else) that the main reason some people don't like this movie is because it defies traditional moral and movie logic - there really is no moral compass here. What happens to every character is almost totally random, good deeds often results in terrible consequences and and bad deeds can go ahead unhindered - in this sense it is much truer to life, but it makes disturbing cinema where we are so conditioned to see heroes be pushed to their limits but ultimately triumph and evil doers be punished by those who suffered most at their hands. Themes of chance and determination/fate and the crossing over of unavoidable lines of force or action are the themes of this film it seems - made most vivid in the coin toss scene with the shop assistant.

The abrupt ending threw me for a loop the first time as well - annoyed me and frustrated me.... but hell it also made me think about what I'd seen and that's something not many movies do - sending you off with a friendly cinematic, cathartic pat on the back. And the more I thought about it the more it seemed right, to tie everything up neatly at the end would undermine the very idea of movie itself.

Be prepared to think about it a bit.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I am not a fan of the coens, and I have never read the book., 1 Nov 2009
This review is from: No Country For Old Men [Blu-ray] [2007] (Blu-ray)
The film is two thirds a great movie, sadly the last act is nonsense. I appreciate what the Coens were going for but I think the last act lets it down. Basically it all spins out of a drug deal gone south, Josh Brolins characters stumbles across the carnage while out hunting and takes the cash. That is what appears to be the main plot and is what the film seems to centre on, well that and the mob hitman tracking down Josh brolin. It sounds like a fairly straight forward action movie, and I almost think it would have worked better if they had kept it like that. But I suppose related to the title we see a fair amount of Tommy Lee Jones' sheriff trying to figure out what has gone on, and trying to help it all get resolved without too much bloodshed. Javier Bardem is very imposing as the hitman, in fact all the performances are very good. Sadly by not showing the climax to the story and then spending the last act dragging out the last little bit of plot and showing Tommy Lee jones moping about the senselessness of it all leaves the veiwer feeling cheated. A shame that and a few other minor niggles lessen what could have been a masterpeice.
The film looks good anyway and on blu ray even more so but i wouldn't say it is an essential blu ray purchase.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars No messing about here, 4 Aug 2013
By 
Jakeisthecoolest "Jake" - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
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This review is from: No Country For Old Men [DVD] (DVD)
This modern classic is a particularly dark Cohn brothers film and equally brutal. However, it is immensely mesmerising to watch. If you are looking for Raisin Arizona laughs, walk on by, if you're ready for something darker, more Fargo-esque, then knock your socks off.
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4.0 out of 5 stars No Country For Old Men, 24 Jan 2009
By 
Spider Monkey (UK) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: No Country For Old Men [DVD] (DVD)
I want to start by saying `No Country For Old Men' has one of the most menacing bad guys of the many films that I have seen. He is mostly eerily silent and when he does talk it is quietly and controlled, he is ruthless, unrelenting and with an almost psychopathic element to his nature. This alone would make for compelling viewing before you add in the storyline of the film. From the word go this film has a dark and brooding atmosphere to it and the tension is palpable and only builds as it progresses. Following one man who stumbles across a case full of money, another trying to track him down and the sheriff who is trying to protect and serve, provides the hunter and hunted plot that keeps you fully engrossed. This has amazing performances from all involved, Brolin, Lee-Jones and Bardem are all riveting to watch and this is probably Tommy Lee-Jones' best performance to date. You get the added bonus of Woody Harrelson in a minor role and yet he still manages to deliver another top job as he always does. At just under two hours this film isn't excessively long and I found myself intrigued and on edge the whole time. The ending kind of fizzled out after ratcheting up the tension (hence the four stars) but overall this makes for satisfying viewing. This is one of those films on Amazon that seems to be either loved or hated and it has to be said that it's not your Hollywood, all action blockbuster, but it's all the better for that. If you like well acted, slow burning, beautifully directed and tension filled films, then this is the place to go. Well worth a viewing.

Feel free to check out my blog which can be found on my profile page.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Ambitious and flawed, 27 Feb 2009
This review is from: No Country For Old Men [DVD] (DVD)
As another reviewer says: "I'm not sure that this is quite the masterpiece that some are declaring". I agree. I also don't think it works that well at a philosophical level or as an existentialist thriller, what it aims to be.

The apocalyptic source material clashes with the Cohens' stylish gallery of misfits and martians on earth. And clashes with what is left of the Cohens humor in this truly gruesome narration.
The "good" guy (who's really a misfit and a thief), while wounded, has to pay some kid good money for a clean shirt and a half bottle of beer. In the end, the monster Chigurh, also wounded, gets a clean shirt, and apparently sincere and heart-felt sympathy from a couple of teens. A good deed is what will damn Brolin's character. The unstoppable and unrelenting Golem Chigurh is never slowed down by a conscience.

But, in the end, actions and consequences, causes and effects, good or evil deeds, chance and fate, don't really lead to anything.
As if all the anarchy, violence and chaos that fuel McCarthy's tale finally preveiled on the Cohens' vision and their idea of the world. Why characters acted that way, what it all means, why the bad guy gets away in the end, it's not explained to the viewer. Possibly because the film-makers themselves don't have any answer. The intelligent, clever, stylish and often self-indulgent brothers are crushed by their attempt at a philosophical tale as the random victims are swept away by the bad guy.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A deserved Oscar winner, gripping, 30 May 2009
This review is from: No Country For Old Men [DVD] (DVD)
Very compelling thriller with plenty of style and lots of dark bits. To me the Coen bros. are looking like the modern American version of Powel and Pressburger, so distinctive is their style, and so consistently entertaining are their movies. They are always provocative in their way, but never at the expense of entertainment. I can never make my mind up which I like best, the sharp, memorable screenplays or the dazzlingly visual scenes, I just think they are a perfect team.

This is a sizzling thriller, hard hitting, fairly disturbing in patches, thought provoking and most of all, entertaining. Bardem leaves his impression on you as a very disturbed and dangerous man, and there is fab support from Brolin and Lee Jones. Brolin was the best I've seen him and must get bigger roles from now on, and Lee Jones just put on a very world weary look and sauntered through an easy role for him. It was Bardem who deservedly took the Oscar though for a memorable piece of cinematic acting, he reminded me of a young Boris Karloff, just letting his eyes and his brooding presence do all the work. It was an unsettling film thanks to this great performance and the ever brilliant film making of the Coens. Don't ask me why some/many people dislike this film, I cannot see what's not to like or admire about it - it is a powerfully made big hitting thriller that has you glued all the way.
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65 of 80 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I loved it, BUT its not for everyone, 21 April 2008
This review is from: No Country For Old Men [DVD] (DVD)
This Oscar winning film is based on an unusual 2005 novel by American author Cormac McCarthy and is very faithful to the book. Beautifully brought to life with stunning cinematography, inventive direction, some great set pieces and, for the most part, realistic acting. I say for the most part because the main villain, played by Javier Bardem (who also won an Oscar) is like a malevolent phantom; a creature of pure evil, more like the Devil than a person. His nightmarish performance is the best part of the movie - every time he is on screen he chills and fascinates in equal measure.

The film is a modern day Western, set in 1980 on the US / Mexico border with a plot so simple it's not worth mentioning. The action is viewed from the perspectives of the three main characters; the psycho Bardem, a world-weary (and philosophising) Sheriff played by Tommy Lee Jones, and a man who gets himself into a heap of trouble, played by Josh Brolin. Although told at a slow pace, the first 2 thirds are very compelling, mostly due to the well-worked set-pieces and the ever-menacing presence of Bardem. The movie does however become ever more strange with a somewhat modernist attention to detail on small things, while the big events get glossed over. By the final third, it has become so interiorised that the action is threatening to cease at any moment. And in fact that's what it does. The film ends when you least expect it to. This has infuriated and baffled many, but, in restrospect, I feel it finishes at just the right time. It's in keeping with the real themes of the movie, which are not spelled out, (and it wouldn't be right for me to spell them out either).

If I had to compare this film to other Coen Bros films; the first two thirds are like Blood Simple and Fargo whereas the final third is more like Barton Fink (i.e a bad dream!). Not everybody's cup of tea, for sure, but like I said, I loved it.
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17 of 21 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Who, what, where, when, why?, 17 Nov 2008
This review is from: No Country For Old Men [DVD] (DVD)
I watched this film 'cold', without looking at trailers and reading reviews or 'the book'. So her is my lasting impression.

The characters were excellent and the story moved through action sequences and general dialogue without a pre-set pattern so, in short, the viewer could be shocked at any moment. This was used to great effect in many scenes, to the benefit of the storyline, until the 'end' of the film.

However, after watching almost everything there was to see, then getting ready for some sort of finale to answer a whole list of questions and discover the, 'who', 'what', 'where', 'when', 'why' of the whole film, we are suddenly greeted with the 'end credits'.

My wife and I (Not Mr Meldrew) could not believe it as, until that point, the film had been excellent. In the end, even if the 'book' which some other reviewers mention, ends in that fashion, perhaps there should have been the option to have an alternate ending on the DVD at least.

Purists may well disagreee, and I am really sorry to say this but, as a cinematic experience, many people will feel let down.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A film that makes you reflect on where humanity is headed., 4 Dec 2013
By 
David H J Ashdown (Wales) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: No Country For Old Men [DVD] (DVD)
An interesting film that's unlike any other sort of normal western/crime/thriller movie as it invites you to ponder on where we're headed as a species and the increasing sense of hopelessness for the fate of civilization. Good people are being hurt bad people seem to be invincible and the "Old Men" can't control the anarchy taking hold of hitherto civilised communities. An abrupt ending gives you the impression that there is a sense of resignation that's going to be difficult to alleviate. Worth watching because of its inherent message.
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No Country For Old Men [Blu-ray] [2007]
No Country For Old Men [Blu-ray] [2007] by Ethan Coen (Blu-ray - 2008)
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