244. No Country for Old Men (US 2007)

Directors: Joel/Ethan Cohen

Starring: Josh Brolin, Tommy Lee Jones, Javier Bardem, Kelly MacDonald, Woody Harrelson

Cinematography: Roger Deakins

Original Music: Cater Burwell

Screenplay: The Cohens

Novel: Cormac McCarthy

In one line: Man finds the proceeds of drug deal and is tracked down by a seemingly unstoppable enforcer

Llewelyn Moss (Brolin) lives in a trailer with his wife Carla Jean (MacDonald). whilst out hunting pronghorn (no idea, mate) in the Rio Grande he comes across the aftermath of a gun battle. Moss relieves the corpses of the proceeds of their drug deal go wrong and plans to escape his dreary life. Moss sees that one of the men is still just about alive and returns to the scene later on to bring him some water.

This is his big mistake. He is pursued by Texan sheriff Tom Bell (Lee Jones), some Mexican gangsters and gang enforcer Chigurh (Bardem).

the death toll mounts as Moss and his wife are ruthlessly and systematically hunted down by the conscienceless Chigurh.

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No Country For Old Men a Cohen film for film fans who don't like the Cohens' 'quirky' comedy films or sitting in a cinema with bunch of twats (usually Blue Square League college lecturers) forcing the laughter to show their 'quirky', sexually unfulfilled colleagues that they've spotted an esoteric reference or a 'killer' piece of irony.

No Country borrows very heavily from Charley Varrick. The stolen, stolen money, the unstoppable enforcer (Bardem plays a less charming version of Joe Don Baker's 'Molly') and the inevitability of capture are all ideas explored in Don Siegel's more spirited (I think) picture.

How much the film would stand up to repeated viewings is anyone's guess. A few hours after leaving the cinema, I had a strange sense that the film wasn't as good as I'd first thought and I know a lot of people were a little perplexed by an ending which just sort of 'peters' out.

Bardem's legendary impression of The Wombats Sing Ken Dodd had them rolling in the aisles at The 'Pivvy' Lodge Lane.

If you've ever seen Charley Varrick, you'll know that it has one of the most .convoluted, ridiculous but satisfying endings  in American cinema history.

No Country is a dour, brooding film with good performances all round (especially Bardem and MacDonald), fantastic cinematography and the best sound editing since Robocop.

7/10