No Country for Old Men (2007)– 5/5 stars

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No Country for Old Men is a shining example of a film with endless promise, with execution that delivers, dramatic tension, and philosophical resolves – my god, I can’t recommend this movie more. Every aspect of this film–the cinematography, sound, acting, the list continues–is a standout in the industry and worthy of the accolades it has received. It was directed by the Coen brothers and starred Javier Bardem, Tommy Lee Jones, and Josh Brolin. No Country for Old Men was released on November 9th, 2007.

There is a broad appeal to audiences.

The central theme can be interpreted as one of fate and the unpredictable nature of your own. Protagonist Llewelyn (Brolin) is so easily identifiable that it makes the plot feels personal. A riveting performance from Javier Bardem; playing a character who could be perceived as symbolizing death, has every moment with him on-screen as genuinely terrifying–I greatly respect the man’s ability in his craft. The dialogue presented is no small feat, these actors are interpreting deep philosophical notions and to feel so transparent is phenomenal. This film’s entire cast delivers–all are truly on par with one another and it makes it that much more compelling to watch.

The camera seemed to have a voice of its own. Long meditative pan shots linger over grand desert landscapes of Texas adding to the solitary experience – the camera is like an extension of your own thought process. Lighting is intuitive showing exactly what the directors want–the entire film felt controlled. The diversity of color throughout is impeccable, there is such variety from scene to scene it would be a treat to watch the movie even without sound.

The sound! The minimalist approach to the sound was completely immersive into the world that was created. The film invents thoughtful moments with few noises or distractions in a way that greatly compliments the meditative camera works. At times I felt like I was on top of a mountain after a day’s hike, peaceful, calm, and a mere observer of the happenings beneath me.

There are just awesome moments happening in this film, when compared to contemporaries in the genre, it is rare to find another movie that handles its themes as delicately as No Country for Old Men. Many times I was lost in my seat pondering the unpredictable nature of life and comparing my decisions and actions to that of my ancestors. I don’t have an answer: Do things happen for a reason? Or do we always have a choice? Both cases are so greatly made in this film and the beauty lies in the non-answer of ambiguity in the conclusion.

No Country for Old Men is rich and dense, any scene can be pondered or analyzed. The work put in is clear and entirely pays off, No Country for Old Men is without a doubt one of the best films of 2007 and is simply an awe-inspiring view.

 

Written by ZACH MORRISSEY

 

What the Other Guys Thought…

AUSTIN– 5/5 stars

This is a perfect film. The pacing, the visuals, the depth, the acting–all outstanding. The Coen Bros. have crafted one of the best movies of the decade.