No Country for Old Men is a 2007 Coen brothers film taken from the Cormac McCarthy novel of the same name.
7 out of 10 stars. I would’ve given this 10 stars, but Javier Bardem as the killer is really miscast. And the pageboy haircut he wears throughout the film is really awful. He’d stick out like a sore thumb anywhere he went. That’s the exact opposite of a real hit man.
On a deserted road in Texas a deputy sheriff picks up a man by the side of the road who looks suspicious. He has what appears to be an oxygen tank with him. The deputy takes him to the office and doesn’t put him in a jail cell. That’s his fatal mistake. Within minutes he’s dead, strangled by the man who is a Mexican hit man named Anton Chigurh.
Meanwhile in the mountains Llewellyn Moss is hunting pronghorns (similar to deer) when he come across a drug deal gone really bad. There are multiple pickups, a lot of dead Mexicans, a pickup truck full of cocaine or heroine, and a dying Mexican begging for water. Llewellyn leaves as quickly as he can, backing out and eliminating his tracks, but he comes across the last dying man from the shootout who has a a bag full of cash, $2 million. So he takes the cash and hides it under his trailer at the trailer park. Hours later, he gets a change of heart and takes a gallon of water to the dying man who is already dead by now. He’s interrupted by several trucks who chase him into the river with guns and dogs. He barely gets away and is shot several times. And unlike when he was there during the day, he didn’t have a chance to erase his tracks or drive away in his pickup.
Llewellyn tells his wife Carla Jean to pack and puts her on a bus to her mother’s place in Odessa, Texas.
Meanwhile Chigurh his hired by two Texan men to hunt down Llewellyn. He’s taken to the scene and takes the VIN plate from Llewellyn’s pickup. He kills both men then he begins tracking Llewellyn leaving a trail of dead people everywhere he goes.
Sheriff Ed Tom Bell is brought in to investigate the murder of the deputy. He immediately begins finding bodies of the people that Chigurh murders on his way to Llewellyn. The tell tale sign that Chigurh has been somewhere is the lock of the door shot out by a cattle gun. Apparently in the beef industry, cattle are killed by a gun that shoots pressurized steam into the cow’s brain killing it instantly and preserving the meat which is one of the most barbaric things I’ve ever heard of. It looks like an oxygen tank.
Chigurh eventually tracks down Llewellyn through a receiver hidden in the cash and almost kills him. When Llewellyn finds the receiver and destroys it Chigurh resorts to calling the people on Llewellyn’s phone bill, trying to find his wife and any friends or family. That leads him to Odessa.
Carson Wells is hired to find Llewellyn by the same Texan men that hired Chigurh. Chigurh finds Wells and kills him. Then Chigurh finds Llewellyn at a second motel and they shoot each other. Llewellyn sneaks away to a Mexican clinic across the border to recuperate. Chigurh blows up a car as a diversion then steals what he needs from a pharmacy and tends to his own wounds. (I’m sure there’s a message in there about how Americans are soft.)
Wells had found Llewellyn in that Mexican clinic before Chigurh killed him, so now Chigurh has Wells’ phone and Llewellyn calls it to give himself up to Wells. Chigurh tells him he’s going to kill his wife unless he surrenders to him, but of course he will kill him. Llewellyn makes a run for his wife to warn her.
Meanwhile Sheriff Ed Tom has come to the same motel that Chigurh and Llewellyn were last seen in. Carla Jean calls him and tells him where she’s supposed to meet Llewellyn hoping the sheriff can save him from whoever is trying to kill him. The sheriff gets to Llewellyn too late. Chigurh has already killed Llewellyn and taken the cash.
Chigurh made a promise to Llewellyn that he would kill Carla Jean and her mother if Llewellyn didn’t surrender. Since he didn’t surrender, Chigurh kills Carla Jean and her mother.
The sheriff retires.
7 out of 10 stars. There are several scenes that are rather abrupt, a signature of the Coen brothers who made the film. In this one, however, they’re not clever or interesting, just awkward. Tommy Lee Jones, Kelly MacDonald, and James Brolin were well cast. Javier Bardem was not.