“No Country for Old Men” is an adrenaline-packed Western that holds nothing back, especially when it comes to violence and blood. The Coen brothers’ screenplay creates a game of cat and mouse between a man who stumbles upon $2 million, a sheriff, and a hitman who kills without sympathy or remorse. Javier Bardem is pure intensity and makes one of the most terrifying villains ever. In addition to being big and scary, his emotionless use of a captive bolt pistol on anybody (particularly innocent people) that stand in his way makes him unpredictable and heartless. It isn’t often that an Oscar is given for a villainous role, but Bardem absolutely deserved it. He is joined by Josh Brolin, Tommy Lee Jones, Woody Harrelson, and Kelly Macdonald, who all turn in memorable performances. While 2007 wasn’t a very strong Oscar class, the quality of acting in this film definitely made it my number one for the year. It is deserving of its Oscar wins for Best Picture, Director, and Screenplay, even if it likely wouldn’t have won in more competitive years. The script creates an atmospheric look at 1980’s Texas and, while it moves slow at times, it tells an interesting story. Everything is awesome about this film… except for its anticlimactic ending. I know that many critics have defended it saying “But you have to read into the symbolism of his dreams” or “They ended it the same way as the novel,” but if everybody walks out of the theater with disappointment, can it really be the right ending? I’d definitely recommend “No Country for Old Men” as long as you aren’t expecting anything lighthearted or calm.
[Pictured: Don't mess with this guy]