‘No Country For Old Men’ keeps you on the edge of your seat
I love a good thriller.
Not necessarily a horror movie. While I find entertainment in those from time to time, I’d rather watch a genuine thriller — give me some chills, make me think and leave me questioning things at the end.
2007’s “No County For Old Men” checks all the boxes. The film is set in 1980, which scores points with me right out of the gate. I am big fan of everything 1980s — from music to movies, it’s simply the best decade.
Anyway, it’s 1980 and hitman Anton Chigurh (Javier Bardem) is arrested in Texas. In custody, strangles a deputy sheriff, kills an unsuspecting driver in a sorta-car jacking and the film is off and running. Chigurh is relentless. He kills many over the course of the film. Some of the murders serve a purpose and some are just people who happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.
One of the people in the wrong place at the wrong time is Llewelyn Moss (Josh Brolin). He stumbles across a satchel full of money from a drug deal gone bad. Moss finds the money under a tree among an ugly crime scene filled with dead bodies — and a dead dog! Foolishly, he takes the satchel and becomes the target of Chigurh. A game of cat and mouse quickly begins. It seems that Chigurh always has the upper hand as the two match wits.
Along the way, Terrell County Sheriff Ed Tom Bell (Tommy Lee Jones) begins investigating the numerous deaths and case. Bell is an old school sheriff and struggles with the amount of death and destruction taking place in his backyard.
“No Country For Old Men” comes from the mind of Joel and Ethan Coen, the creative duo behind the masterpiece “Fargo.” While “No Country For Old Men” isn’t on “Fargo” level, it’s a great drama from start to finish. It doesn’t have the wit of “Fargo,” but it’s well worth your time.
As evils as he is, Chigurh makes the engine go. Everyone else is along for the ride. We can’t help but root for Moss, in spite of his inability to plan or think things through.
Jones is masterful in his portrayal of Sheriff Bell. Time has passed him by, but he keeps trying to catch Chigurh, to no avail.
This isn’t your typical shoot-em-up thriller. Chigurh kills many of his victims using a captive bolt pistol. It’s less messy, but still disturbing. Don’t worry, if you like blood and gore, there’s plenty. “No Country For Old Men” is not for the squeamish. There is a scene where one of the characters performs self-surgery to a gunshot wound. The dead bodies pile up as the film rolls on.
Woody Harrelson has a small, but important role as Carson Wells, a retired Army Colonel hired to look for the missing money.
Bardem, who starts and finishes the film with a really bad haircut, delivers a command performance. He captured an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor. He’s been in quite a few films since “No Country For Old Men,” but nothing that I recognized.
“No Country For Old Men” is rated R for blood, gore, violence and adult language. It is available on Hulu, HBO Max, Fubu, Amazon Prime, Showtime, YouTube and Xfinity OnDemand.
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Chris Morelli is a staff writer at The Express.