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There was one movie that I was dying to see in 2007 - No Country For Old Men. There has been a great buzz surrounding this film, critics have been hailing No Country as a masterpiece, a classic and a film to be challenged. Things only got better as it was nominated for 8 academy awards, and took home four, including best picture and best director.
I was a little apprehensive at believing all of the praise, I didn't want to set my expectations too high, but I almost couldn?t help it when I viewed the trailer and clips over the internet and on television. I have been a fan of the Coen brothers since Fargo, and by the looks of it, they were back in their element, and had directed the greatest film of their careers.
I will admit, I watched No Country on the big screen, alone. I had no one to go with and was not going to miss the opportunity to see this in the theater. Right from the get-go the movie is intense, the character Anton Chigurh played by Javier Bardem is arrested and brought into the county jail for processing. However his stay is quite short as he manages to escape by strangling the officer with his handcuffs, and stealing the police cruiser. Chigurh begins his path of destruction with the help of his trusty oxygen tank and stun gun attachment.
Meanwhile Llewelyn Moss (Josh Brolin), a middle-class welder is out hunting antelope when he stumbles upon what appears to be a drug deal gone wrong. 3 vehicles, many dead bodies, and a truck bed filled with heroin. After a few minutes of inspection, and after collecting a few guns for his collection, Moss finds one dead man farther away from the others. With that man is a black satchel. Inside that satchel is 2 million dollars, cash, in 10 thousand dollar bricks. Moss can only wonder what to do, but at that point, who would leave that money? It?s a big, life-altering decision, which it seems that Moss did not put that much thought into.
Later that night, Moss returns to help out a man who was left alive, but finds that the man had eventually succumb to his injuries. But now Llewelyn has a problem, two men driving a truck have come to the scene, and have spotted his brown ford truck. They slash the tires, and eventually spot Llewelyn running for cover. While avoiding gunshots, Moss manages to get away, but not without a few wounds. Now, fearing for his life, and his wife?s, he derives a plan. Send his wife to her mothers, and flee with the money, hoping to lose the trail of whoever is chasing him.
Anton Chigurh is now on the look out for the satchel that contains the 2 million, and is leaving a bloody mess behind him to get to it. Llewelyn soon discovers that Chigurh has found him, and has been to the hotel room he is staying at, not to mention his trailer home.
Sherriff Tom Bell (Tommy Lee Jones) is caught up in the search for mass murderer Anton Chigurh, and discovers that a man he knows, Llewelyn Moss, is the pursued. Also joining the hunt for Chigurh and Moss is Carson Wells, a Texas ranger who?s mission is to locate either one of the men, or the money.
Llewelyn Moss eventually runs into trouble as Chigurh closes in, and Moss also discovers how the mad-man has been tracking him. Now more than ever, staying one step ahead is more important than anything, as Llewelyn experiences one too many close calls. Carson Wells finally tracks down Moss at a hospital, where he warns him that Anton Chigurh is not going to stop, and that to continue running is foolish. With greed being the number one motive, Llewelyn ultimately makes the choice to keep running with the 2 million dollars. With solid performances, and some of the most intense scenes in recent movie history, No Country has, for me, been one of the most thrilling and memorable movie experiences. Bloody, gruesome and bold, this film is over the top, but balanced. I am hard-pressed to find flaws, No Country is almost a perfect movie. My expectations were fulfilled, and surpassed, my mind could not stop spinning after the credits rolled.
With an ending that seems almost abrupt, but suiting and effective, No Country For Old Men becomes the definitive film about the consequences of greed. The smallest thing can bring your world crashing down, all it takes is one misguided choice.