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No Country for Old Men - suspense DVD / drama DVD / Academy Award-winning DVD review
NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN Rated R by the Motion Picture Association of America rating: 4 stars
Actors: Tommy Lee Jones, Josh Brolin, Javier Bardem, Woody Harrelson, Tess Harper
Director: Ethan and Joel Coen   Studio: Miramax
DVD release: 11 March 2008   Runtime: 122 min.
Format: Color, Dolby, DVD-Video, Widescreen, NTSC
DVD features: Audio tracks (English, 5.1 Dolby Surround), Subtitles (English, Spanish, French), Working with the scenes, The Making Of No Country For Old Men, Diary Of A Country Sheriff

There is no denying that the Coen brothers are an acquired taste. For some, their movies are too idiosyncratic and viewers just can't attach themselves to the characters. For others, the Coens are personal favorites as writer/directors; their work is above typical Hollywood fare, thus giving them inspiration to find more depth and meaning. Personally, it all depends on the movie. In this case, No Country for Old Men falls in the range somewhere in between as the film has its strong moments and weak points.

Based on Cormac McCarthy's novel of the same name, No Country for Old Men tells the intertwining storylines of hunter Llewelyn Moss (Josh Brolin), aging Sherriff Ed Tom Bell (Tommy Lee Jones) and Academy Award winner Javier Bardem as the murdering machine known as one Anton Chigurh. The long and short of it is this: While hunting, Llewelyn stumbles across the aftermath of a drug deal gone bad and not only finds two million dollars but one of the drug dealers still barely alive. It's when Llewelyn goes back to the scene that it all hits the fan, forcing Llewelyn to go on the run and, ultimately, setting Chigurh on his path to track down the cash (it's the carnage Chigurh leaves in his wake that gets Sheriff Bell into the mix).

Josh Brolin turns in a strong performance (I think he really emerged this year with his turn in this film and American Gangster), and the cinematography is almost dream-like at points. But. Every time the tension gets ratcheted up, a subsequent scene is overly long or wordy - real momentum killers. As for the senseless violence and egregious body count, the apologists of the film will tell you that is the whole point of the flick: that random violence is pointless. If that is indeed the intention of the film, then so be it, but combine that with the open ending and it could leave a bit of a bad taste in the mouths of both the average filmgoer and cinephile alike. The best advice is to watch it and make your own conclusions.
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reviewed by Bobby Blades
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