No Country for Old Men
NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN (15)
D: Joel Coen & Ethan Coen
Paramount Vantage/Miramax (Scott Rudin, Joel Coen & Ethan Coen)
W: Joel Coen & Ethan Coen [based on the novel by Cormac McCarthy]
DP: Roger Deakins
Ed: Roderick Jaynes
Mus: Carter Burwell
PD: Jess Gonchor
Josh Brolin (Llewelyn Moss), Tommy Lee Jones (Sheriff Ed Tom Bell), Javier Bardem (Anton Chigurh), Woody Harrelson (Carson Wells), Kelly MacDonald (Carla Jean Moss)
As perfect a page-to-screen adaptation as you can possibly get, doubtlessly helped by Cormac McCarthy's format when he penned the novel, which is more like a screenplay than a traditional novel.
Set in early 1980's Texas, a redneck discovers the aftermath of a drug deal gone wrong while on a hunt. Instead of reporting the occurrence to the police, he takes a case containing $2 million for himself and makes himself a target for a psychopathic assassin who has no problem gunning down anyone who stands in his way in order to reclaim the bounty, all while a veteran local sheriff investigates the trail of crime left in the wake.
This nail-biting thriller is helped with excellent acting from its ensemble cast, especially in the chilling performance from Javier Bardem (a thoroughly deserved winner of the Best Supporting Actor Oscar) and though the director duo do a marvellous job in building the tension throughout the running time, they go completely against the grain in the film's final act, a trick which will more than likely divide audiences, particularly the ambiguous final moments, which will either be deemed intelligent, pretentious, or merely cryptic writing (one of the depending factors is whether or not you've read Cormac McCarthy's source novel, which also follows the same path and ends the same way). The overall point of the movie is that the world is a violent place, and always has been.
Though the film saw the Coen Brothers claim Oscar victory (for Film, Director & Screenplay), it is just a little short of their best work, but wouldn't be an unwelcoming introduction for those not familiar with their movies. It pretty much depends on whether or not you care for the abrupt conclusion.