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  No Country for Old Men

Starring: Josh Brolin, Javier Barden, Tommy Lee Jones, Kelly Macdonald

Directed by: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen

Produced by: Scott Rudin, Joel Coen, Ethan Coen

Written by: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen

Distributor: Paramount Vantage, Miramax Films

 
     In my five years as a critic, I have learned that the best films seek deep into oneís conscience, witling away at oneís senses long after one has seen them. It is, in part, my job to come to terms with this: to try to explain the unexplainable, to put said filmsí accomplishments into words. With No Country for Old Men, I am unable to do this. Not since 2003ís Lost in Translation has a motion picture left me so speechless, so eager to cling onto the way that it made me feel rather than to dissect it into wordy pieces. In fact, I canít really say what it is about this film that allows me to respond to it in the way that I do. Sure, I could narrow my admiration for its many accomplishments down to a few surface descriptors: Javier Bardem gives a miraculous performance as Anton Chigurh, quite possibly the most chilling film villain since Hannibal Lecter; the Coen Brothers return to form in the directorís chair, scrapping a musical score and relying on long, masterfully-constructed takes to create atmosphere instead; and cinematographer Roger Deakins gives the whole picture an eerie, dimly-lit vibe that allows it to slowly work its way into the viewerís mind. But even after realizing what I admire most about No Country for Old Men, I still canít put my finger on what exactly allows it to come together in the stunningly affecting way that it does. Maybe itís source-author Cormac McCarthyís command of the American Southwestern setting. Perhaps itís the Coen Brotherís adaptation of McCarthyís challenging language. It could even be Josh Brolinís quietly commanding presence in the lead role of hunted-down-hunter Llewelyn Moss. Even if Iím not sure of the reason, I do know that No Country for Old Men is a masterpiece. Iíve already seen it twice and all I want to do is see it again.

-Danny Baldwin, Bucket Reviews

Review Published on: 12.21.2008

Screened on: 11.19.2007 at the Edwards Mira Mesa 18 in Mira Mesa, CA and on 12.6.2007 at the Krikorian Vista Village Metroplex 15 in Vista, CA.

 

No Country for Old Men is rated R and runs 122 minutes.


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