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No Country for Old Men
DVD disk
03.25.2008 By: Quigles
No Country for Old Men order
Director:
Ethan Coen, Joel Coen

Actors:
Josh Brolin
Javier Bardem
Tommy Lee Jones

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
A retired welder finds himself being hunted down by a seemingly unstoppable force after he happens upon 2 million dollars in cash.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
Complain about the ending all you want, NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN is a masterpiece, and though some may find themselves frustrated by the supposedly anticlimactic finale, I found myself blown away by its contemplative and elegiac nature. Repeat viewings have only strengthened this love for the movie, allowing me time to discover additional symbolism and subtle yet clever visual touches.

With NO COUNTRY, the Coen brothers have crafted a movie that's technical prowess is outweighed only by its sheer unrelenting entertainment value, which possibly aided in many audience members' disappointment in regards to its 3rd act. Whereas the first two thirds of the film present a number of thrilling sequences that are damn near heart stopping (scenes like the river chase and the hotel shootout equate to some of my all-time favorite movie moments), they exist solely to present a tale that reinforces the film's message. This understandably divided moviegoers, as the scenes proceeding seemed to primarily build up the cat-and-mouse chase between Llewelyn Moss (Josh Brolin) and Anton Chigurh (Javier Bardem). In reality though, Sheriff Bell (Tommy Lee Jones) is the only character in the film that truly matters. He's who the film's about, not Moss or Chigurh.

As much as I'd rather not repeat what's already been said about the film's technical merits, I really must give credit to the all-around amazing contributions from every member of the film's production. It's so rare that I'm able to sit through a movie and not pick out details, however minor they may be, that I'd change were I sitting in the director's chair. With NO COUNTRY, the only thing I spotted was some mediocre-looking CGI deer in an early sequence, and even then the issue appeared to be unavoidable.

So, with that, please allow me to sum up the impressive qualities of the production all at once: the Coen's unsurprisingly excellent direction is hugely stylish without being overbearing, their dialogue mesmerizing in its subtlety and effectiveness, the actors are phenomenal across the board (Josh Brolin is a terrific "protagonist" of sorts, and Javier Bardem presents himself as one of the most memorable and terrifying villains in cinematic history), the cinematography is gorgeous, the sound design is chilling, and the sequences of gore are shocking as all hell but never gratuitously so. I just can't praise this movie enough. It's flawless.
THE EXTRAS
This is a very unsatisfying DVD overall. It's fortunate that the visual/audio transfer quality is so high, because the special features are not.

The Making of No Country for Old Men (24:29): A somewhat interesting look into the making of the film. Basically what you've come to expect from these types of standard featurettes.

Working with The Coens (8:07): A rather uninformative session of people praising the Coen brothers.

Diary of a Country Sheriff (6:48): A brief look at the character who represents the film's true essence.

There are also some Previews.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
Twenty years down the line, people will look back at NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN as a classic—a breathtaking work of art and entertainment. While it's only natural that people would be put off by its closing act, the ending is what raises the movie from the ranks of a somewhat conventional thriller (though an undoubtedly kickass one) to a full-fledged masterpiece. And that's how people will come to remember it. I'd even be willing to bet on that... just so long as it doesn't involve flipping any coins.
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