Two million dollars. You find that lying around and you’re going to want to keep it. But with bad guys on the hunt, how far would you go to keep hold of it? No Country For Old Men asks this question, and the end result may not be quite what you’d expect.
In 1980’s Texas, Llewelyn Moss (Josh Brolin) stumbles across a bag of cash, two million. He finds it after finding a bunch of dead men who had battled over drugs and money. An unfortunate incident, but not for Llewelyn who now has a prospect of riches to look forward to. Unfortunately for him, a hitman, Anton Chigurh (Javier Bardem) is on his trail. A chase begins with three players in the game. Old sheriff, Ed Tom Bell (Tommy Lee Jones) is trying to grasp the situation and solve it with no deaths, Llewelyn uses his smarts to get away, and Chigurh hunts with his psychotic nature. We see all three sides making for a thrilling chase.
The film works thanks to the amazing cast. Chigurh is one of the best villains in the history of cinema, with a brutish captive bolt pistol blowing away the people he chooses, and his unpredictable perfectionist personality is chilling, especially with that gruff voice. Llewelyn having the smarts to get away from him makes for captivating cinema and the sheriff trying to grasp it all brings some deep meaning to the proceedings. With ever moment having that concern of if Llewelyn will fail, all builds up to a shocking and unpredictable finale, one which some ended up hating.
The standard movie conventions fly out the window towards the end as the film adjusts the focus to the sheriff. We see things wrap up, but not in the way of the normal movie. Big action scenes for key characters are avoided, and the meaningful conversations and actions make up the end. I found it a big jarring shock at first, but I grew to appreciate the direction it went in. Not everything is perfect in the real world, so why should it be in film? We see the flaws of the characters rather than the flaws of the film, and it makes No Country For Old Men a film to linger in the mind for years to come.