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ncfomReviewer: Eternality Tan

Directors: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen

Stars: Javier Bardem, Tommy Lee Jones, Josh Brolin

Released: 18th January 2008 (UK)

Directed and written for the screen by the immensely gifted Oscar-winning filmmakers Joel & Ethan Coen (Blood Simple; Fargo) and based on the Cormac McCarthy novel of the same name, this motion picture is made to win awards in mind.

For their latest masterpiece, the Coens make the decision to stay with their tried-and-tested route, using conservative storytelling and filming techniques that serve the plot well although it lacks the scope and inventiveness of Anderson’s direction in There Will Be Blood.  

The thing I love about the Coens is their ability to crank up the suspense to immensely unbearable levels with absolutely minimal use of sound or music.  The material here presents them with many opportunities to perfect their blend of silent suspense.
There are three main characters played by Josh Brolin, Spanish actor Javier Bardem and the evergreen Tommy Lee Jones.  All give sterling performances with the standout being Bardem whose character, Anton Chigurh, is perhaps the most frightening ever, since Anthony Hopkins’ cannibalistic Hannibal Lecter in Silence of the Lambs.  

Armed with a high-pressure gas canister as a murderous weapon and wearing a mop-like hairstyle, Chigurh is a villain who does not know the meaning of mercy.  You wouldn’t want to run into him in a crowded shopping mall, let alone in a dark alley at night. 

No Country For Old Men can be said to be a modern Western, an update for the next generation of movie-goers.  The unexpected ending may be a sore point for some, but it will be highly appreciated by discerning viewers who demand something more thought-provoking than what current movies can offer.

 There’s no doubt that No Country For Old Men is one of the top ten films of 2007.