Hammerman Ikon

Hammerman Ikon Film Guide

No Country for Old Men
Director: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
Cast: Tommy Lee Jones, Josh Brolin, Javier Bardem, Woody Harrelson, Kelly Macdonald, Garret Dillahunt, Tess Harper, Stephen Root, Barry Corbin

In 1980, a Texas man discovers a satchel full of cash at the site of a drug deal shootout, and decides to keep it. When a coldblooded hitman in search of the money leaves a trail of bodies in his wake, a disillusioned sheriff tries to make sense of it all. After Intolerable Cruelty and The Ladykillers, two disappointing comedies they didn't script themselves, the Coen brothers continue by adapting Cormac McCarthy's 2005 novel for their most earnest and celebrated work. Is this a commentary on senseless violence or just self-important entertainment? The sheriff is convinced that the country is going to hell in a handbasket, but the bloodshed on screen is mostly the work of one unhinged individual. Nevertheless, this is a great-looking and well-acted film, which builds its tension slowly, but the three underwhelming anti-climaxes in the final 30 minutes left me disappointed. Javier Bardem plays the hitman as a completely emotionless and expressionless psychopath, and I'm slightly baffled by the praise and Oscar he received for his performance. The Coens won Academy Awards for writing, directing, and producing.