Review time: No Country for Old Men – the new Coen brothers film that just hit theatres recently. Its their first major release since Ladykillers in 2004. First of all, as a Coen brothers film, it is visually amazing. They might capture landscapes better than any other directors currently going. If you have the Coen brothers and a story that involves wide open spaces, you are half way to a very very good movie (see: Fargo).
The acting is insanely good. Josh Brolin, of Goonies and Grindhouse Planet Terror fame, is your protagonist, and in classic Coen brother’s fashion his character’s name is Llewelyn Moss. To try and keep the spoilers to a minimum, Llewelyn discovers some money in the desert, and Anton Ghigurh is after him. Javier Bardem plays Anton Ghigurh in one of the breakout performances of the year, as he plays one of the coolest villians of recent years. I didn’t remember him in anything before this movie, and IMDB confirmed that with the only thing I had seen on his filmography being Collateral with him playing a role I don’t remember from the movie. He was nominated for an Oscar for some movie titled Before Night Falls, but No Country is the movie that will introduce his talents to a mass audience. The film also features a very good performances from Tommy Lee Jones, as a small town sheriff, and Kelly MacDonald as Llewelyn’s wife. As well as amazing bit parts from Woody Harrelson and Stephen Root, who is one of the more underappreciated character actors out there and played Milton in Office Space if his name doesn’t ring a bell.
This movie features the signature Coen brothers uniqueness from their earlier works (Raising Arizona, Fargo, Big Labowski), and is probably the best film they have done since Fargo, if not their best work so far. I loved it. The only complaints I have heard from anyone where about the ending, which doesn’t really show you everything that happens so I can see what might confuse some people, but it does imply everything that went on and I understood everything that happened. This is easily one of the best movies of the year. It transitioned from drama to comedy to suspense to action seemlessly. If you liked any of the previous Coen brothers work, go see this movie, right now.