Matt Komar's Review of "No Country for Old Men"
No Country for Old Men ****
Directed by Joel and Ethan Coen
Starring Josh Brolin, Tommy Lee Jones, and Javier Bardem
When I saw "No Country for Old Men" today, I left the theater perplexed. I was not only perplexed, but shocked. For the next twenty minutes I thought about this film. What does it mean? Why did they do that? Why does it end that way? I then decided that this film was the most original film I had seen in ages. It was shocking, but not in the way "A Clockwork Orange" was shocking. It was stunning , but not in the way "The Godfather" or "City of God" were stunning. No, this film packs it own kind of punch. The film opens up quietly. There are just some opening credits. Then the voice of Tommy Lee Jones, a sheriff in this film, talks about how the times are a-changin' and then it cuts to Javier Bardem, playing Anton Chigurh, getting taken away by a police officer. At the station, Chigurh strangles the officer with his handcuffs. But this isn't done like the way another villain would strangle someone. No. He smiles. And yes, there have been other villains who smile at death, but you know that he just doesn't give a damn. Around the same time, Llewelyn Moss (Josh Brolin) stumbles on a complete massacre. Dead bodies everywhere. Even the dog is shot dead. He finds some money and after being chased by some strange men in his truck, Llewelyn decides to tell his wife to scram up to her mother's house, and he will get his business done. Well, Llewelyn doesn't know that Anton Chigurh is out to get that money back and what ensues is a film all about fate. Chain reactions. It's existential, but not in the sense of "The Seventh Seal. It's violent, but not in the sense of "Pulp Fiction". If you're an "American Gangster" fan, then this film is not for you. It's nobody film but it's own. But how people will react to it makes this film a classic. Everything is this film will not be forgotten. You know that you never seen a bad ass like Chigurh. In one scene when he confronts Woody Harrelson, there's this tense moment where there is nothing but a test of wills. A phone rings. Woody get startled, and Chigurh just blasts him. You know you never seen a character like Llewelyn Moss, or sheriff Ed Tom Bell. You know you will never see a gutsy un-movie like ending like this film has. It's a film all on it own. I realized that this is a film classic. Not a modern film classic, but just classic. I did not expect to be floored by this film. And I was. There's no way in hell this movie's gonna win Best Picture. But I don't care if it wins or not. All I care is that this is a masterpiece and should be remembered for ages. There were no heroes. There was no music. There was no ending. There was, however, an unforgettable film.
(I use a four star scale review)