I was a little younger when I first saw this movie, and I did not fully appreciate it to the extent I do now. I was watching it expecting a satisfying formulaic action movie, and of course, if you watch No Country For Old Men expecting that, you are going to walk out pissed.
In a way though I am glad I had the original experience with the film because now I can look back on how my emotions were so expertly towed with without my being as aware of the manipulation as I would be now. This is far too “deep” a movie to break down in a quick review.
There are literally entire blogs devoted to analyzing the layers of meaning in this film—that said, it really also works as just a pulse pounding thriller up until a certain point in the movie that will just crush your soul.
Anyway, the plot? Anton Chigurh (Javier Bardem) is on the case of tracking down some stolen money from a drug deal gone bad. The money wound up in the hands of a random cowpoke who ambled on through played by Josh Brolin. Tommy Lee Jones plays the local sheriff who is trying to make sense of the mayhem and murder that follows, but who always winds up a few steps behind.
This is a beautiful film to watch just for the direction, style, and cinematography. The Coens are masters of South Western landscapes. In a way this movie reminds me of Blood Simple, but with a much bigger budget, and minus the comedic touches. Bardem is an absolute presence as Chigurh, and creates an iconic character. There’s also strong supporting performances from Woody Harrelson, Kelly McDonald,Wilford Brimley and a handful of others. Like most Coen brothers movies, this becomes much better with repeated viewings.