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Rev: No Country for Old Men

05.22.2007

NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN
Directed by: Joel and Ethan Coen
Starring: Tommy Lee Jones, Javier Bardem, Josh Brolin

PLOT: The critically acclaimed Coen brother duo direct a film about a cowboy played by Brolin, who accidentally stumbles upon a crime scene, thus discovering a load of heroin and 2 million dollars in cash.  By claiming the money, he sets off a ruthless killer played by Bardem, who goes on a cross-country killing spree to hunt down his blood money.

CRITIQUE: In this latest suspense crime drama, the Coens take us on a graphic and brutally violent killing spree to exemplify how evil is unleashed when a southerner is crossed. Bardem is magnificent as the merciless, psycho killer who will stop at nothing to recover his money. Although his harsh appearance and voice can single handedly scare the wits out of anyone, his dialogue is often wry and humor spiked which is entertaining and frightful. Brolinís impressive performance opposite Bardem, is a showcase for his range of acting previously unapparent to me.

Despite a great cast and good script however, the movie is a little drawn out and slow at times. Although the action scenes are thrilling and startling, I think the film can move at a faster, more action packed pace. The plotline is successful in building suspense but as the story unfolds, it also becomes confusing and too bloody violent. The cinematography successfully exemplifies the bleak tone of the film with its use of muted colors and meager landscapes in remote areas of Texas. The filmís grimm appearance is an indication of human life and the struggle for survival. The lack of a major soundtrack or overpowering music heightens the sense of fear at the right moments creating a shocking and surprising impact with very loud gun fire.

I find myself dissatisfied with the ending of this violent rollercoaster plot but also understand its intention. The filmís underlying principles and themes question human rights and wrongs, while dealing with temptation and honor. It would be unfair to call this twisted film unentertaining and despite the callous brutality and violence, I would have preferred to see more action to keep the film moving at a consistent pace. Regardless, NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN is a highly acclaimed Coen flick, which deserves to be viewed if only for its visual creativity and bizarre plot. -- 6/10

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Source: JoBlo.com

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