- Actors: Tommy Lee Jones, Javier Bardem, Josh Brolin, Woody Harrelson, Kelly Macdonald
- Directors: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen
- Writers: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen, Cormac McCarthy
- Producers: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen, David Diliberto
- Format: NTSC
- Language: English, French
- Subtitles: English, French
- Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
- Number of discs: 1
- MPAA Rating:
- Studio: eOne Films Distribution
- Release Date: March 11 2008
- Run Time: 122 minutes
- Average Customer Review: 65 customer reviews
- ASIN: B00126EYMG
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #786 in Movies & TV Shows (See Top 100 in Movies & TV Shows)
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No Country for Old Men (Bilingual)
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No Country for Old Men
The Coen brothers make their finest thriller since Fargo with a restrained adaptation of Cormac McCarthy's novel. Not that there aren't moments of intense violence, but No Country for Old Men is their quietest, most existential film yet. In this modern-day Western, Llewelyn Moss (Josh Brolin) is a Vietnam vet who could use a break. One morning while hunting antelope, he spies several trucks surrounded by dead bodies (both human and canine). In examining the site, he finds a case filled with $2 million. Moss takes it with him, tells his wife (Kelly Macdonald) he's going away for awhile, and hits the road until he can determine his next move. On the way from El Paso to Mexico, he discovers he's being followed by ex-special ops agent Chigurh (an eerily calm Javier Bardem). Chigurh's weapon of choice is a cattle gun, and he uses it on everyone who gets in his way--or loses a coin toss (as far as he's concerned, bad luck is grounds for death). Just as Sheriff Bell (Tommy Lee Jones), a World War II vet, is on Moss's trail, Chigurh's former colleague, Wells (Woody Harrelson), is on his. For most of the movie, Moss remains one step ahead of his nemesis. Both men are clever and resourceful--except Moss has a conscience, Chigurh does not (he is, as McCarthy puts it, "a prophet of destruction"). At times, the film plays like an old horror movie, with Chigurh as its lumbering Frankenstein monster. Like the taciturn terminator, No Country for Old Men doesn't move quickly, but the tension never dissipates. This minimalist masterwork represents Joel and Ethan Coen and their entire cast, particularly Brolin and Jones, at the peak of their powers. --Kathleen C. Fennessy--This text refers to the Blu-ray edition. See all Product description
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Top Customer Reviews
What a feast! A violent modern western on the surface; a dark and bitter existential meditation underneath; actors working their socks off; solid direction and camera work; a minimalistic soundtrack that is as un-Hollywoodian as they get; all of this works together and keeps one impressed non-stop.
The layered structure of the film is quite ambitious, but thankfully, the directors do not spell things out for the viewer. If anything, certain things were made less obvious than they are in the book, and that enhanced the overall impact. For example, it takes the full length of the film, including the paradoxical ending, to bring the viewer to the realisation that the protagonist of the story is Sheriff Bell - the least likely of the three candidates for that role. This realisation has quite an impact by itself, but it also takes care of the loose ends of the surface plot - not by tying them up in any logical way but by rendering them irrelevant, which is so much better. The film is about the sheriff, and as far as he is concerned, there are no loose ends left: he lost on all counts; the bad guy won. The book is rather more direct about matters like who got the money in the end, and after the film this certainly felt like a weakness: what is the point of trying not to disappoint the readers who do not get the point, if you know what I mean... To be fair, the book is not always direct, but the film is even less so. For instance, McCarthy pointedly avoided describing the deaths of Moss and his wife in gory detail (in sharp contrast to the overall style of the book); the death of the former is even narrated by a third party rather than directly by the author. The film goes further, merely implying both these deaths.
The tense scene where Chigurh and the sheriff appear to be standing at the opposite sides of a motel room door is not to be found in the book. There are several ways of interpreting what happened there, and each of the possibilities enriches the story in its own way. My guess is that the two characters are not actually present there at the same time and that when Chigurh calmly observes the flicker of light through the punched-out hole in the lock, this is in fact just an image in Sheriff Bell's mind - a visual manifestation of his fear, which we are given a chance to see as yet another hint at the fact that the sheriff is, after all, the main character of the story. Of course, this cannot be literally the image in his mind because the sheriff does not know what Chigurh looks like - but the viewer does...
A few more words about that infamous ending. I always like it when a film ends at an unexpected point, but here this old trick achieves so much more than delivering a parting surprise. Yes, the final sequence comes from the book verbatim, but unlike the book, the film is wide open at that point because of some small changes to the plot, so what the viewer gets is an anticlimax by the action genre standards and a knockout artistically. A character describing his dream is a staple of arthouse cinema, and here we get not one but two dreams, told to us by the downbeat Tommy Lee Jones, alone in the frame, in such a thick Texan accent that I had to rewind and switch on the subtitles. Everything falls into place, except for the things that, as it dawns on us, do not matter. And can there be a better punch line than "And then I woke up", followed immediately by the credits?
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