Coen brothers deliver suspense, drama in "No Country For Old Men

By Tatiana Craine

I shuffled down the icy sidewalk alongside Grand Avenue on a frigid night with an entourage of friends around me on the deadened street. I was quivering in my yarn-knit boots. Imagine it’s the 1980s; I’m innocently hunting antelope in western Texas. I missed my target and start to head home when I stumble upon what looks like a drug deal gone horribly wrong. Dead bodies strewn everywhere, shot up, bloated and infested with flies. They even shot the dog. There’s a truck bed filled with illicit goods. I leave it; someone else can deal with that. Curious, I follow the tracks made by what seemed like the last-man-standing and discover a brief case filled with two million dollars. Yes, please – I’ll take that to go. But did I know what a can of worms that would open? No – actually, maybe. Now I have a serial killer with expert aim and no sympathy for his victims following my trail all around town and trying to kill me with an air-powered cattle gun. Truth be told, I’m no antelope hunter. This is Llewelyn Moss’s nightmare, and the relief of waking up from this bad dream doesn’t seem to be in sight.

“No Country for Old Men,” based off Cormac McCarthy’s bestseller, is the latest film from Minneapolis natives Joel and Ethan Coen. There are A-list stars aplenty in this film that thrusts audiences through 1980s Texas and into Mexico on the chase for drug money and blood. Josh Brolin plays Llewelyn Moss, a coarse man pitched into a situation that is grossly beyond his control. Tommy Lee Jones is the sheriff in Llewelyn’s town, attempting to solve the drug deal case and trying to keep Llewelyn out of harm’s way. However tough and competent these men are, their supremacy pales in comparison to the unsympathetic desperado hunting Llewelyn and his ill-gotten money. He is the only explanation I can give for the fear struck into my quaking heart as I walked back home.

With a single off-handed glance, Javier Bardem packs the same tremendous punch his character’s cattle-gun does. Other critics have deemed him amongst the likes of villains Lord Voldemort and Darth Vader, but I disagree. He kills without the slightest hint of passion or care, seemingly beyond all forms of human emotion. Bardem’s role is in a villainous league of its own, absolutely deserving of his Golden Globe win.

Not fast paced but languid and unhurried, “No Country for Old Men” is not for the faint of heart; however, the film is not off-limits to those of more feminine inclinations. I won’t lie – the love story count in this film is a whopping zero, but seeing arguably some of the best performances of the year is definitely worth the price of a theater ticket.