No Country for Old Men (2007)
Reviewed on 2008 March 15
Very dark movie, a complete 180 from things like Raising Arizona for the Coens. There is nothing whimsical or funny here, only the occasional wry observation on human nature. This is darker than Blood Simple, and the bad guy in this is one of the scariest men I’ve seen in a long time.
Anton Chigurh (Javier Bardem) is a thug with a truly nasty weapon (wait till you see this thing) and nasty countenance; his emotionally flat face and odd hair make him look vaguely like a psycho Ken doll. He has a score of enough cocaine to launch a banana republic and a valise stuffed with money, waiting for him in the middle of East Nowhere, Texas.
Of course, these things never go as planned. The fly in Chigurh’s ointment is Llewelyn Moss (Josh Brolin), a good ol’ boy who stumbles across the money and decides to help himself. Chigurh lets us know very early in the movie that he doesn’t play well with others or share, so we know this ain’t gonna be pretty. For the rest of the 122 minutes, we get to enjoy the cat-and-mouse chase between the men.
There’s been a lot of talk about the ending, so I’ll go there first. I’ll admit it made me turn to Mr. Shukti and say “huh?”, but as I thought about it, it fit the film, in plot and tone. There was no bad acting — Kelly Macdonald, a Scot, played Llewelyn’s wife with a great Texas accent — but this was Javier Bardem’s party. Sometimes when I looked at Chigurh I wondered if he even had a pulse.
Four chocolate morsels.