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"No Country for Old Men"

Directed by The Coen Brothers.
Written by The Coen Brothers.  Based on the novel by Cormac McCarthy.
Starring Josh Brolin, Javier Bardem, Tommy Lee Jones and Woody Harrelson.
Release Year:  2007
Review Date:  11/12/07


On essentially every level that a film can be great, The Coen Brothers' new flick "No Country for Old Men" delivers the goods.  It's a great-looking film that is patient, mature, bloody, occasionally funny and above all a great lesson for former Vietnam vets who hunt that if you take somebody else's cash, you can bet it's going to be tough to get away scot-free!

Josh Brolin is Llewelyn Moss, a welder who did two tours in Vietnam and is now making his living somewhere in Texas and living in a trailer park.  It's 1980, and while out hunting, he stumbles upon a case full of cash, about ten dead guys and a truck-full of drugs that came over from Mexico...and, in taking the money, he sets off a chain of events that include a psychopath (Javier Bardem, and damn, I hope he gets nominated for this part) who carries around a silenced shotgun, a sheriff (Tommy Lee Jones) who always seems to be three steps behind, a former army lieutenant (Woody Harrelson) who seems to be working with shady people, and a boatload of Mexicans who want their drug money.

I loved "No Country for Old Men."  I loved how quiet it was.  I loved the beautiful scenery.  I loved the Bardem character, who is frightening mainly for his silly bowl haircut (and the fact that he keeps killing people).  Jones has played this kind of soak up the scenery, chew on the fat character before, but in "No Country for Old Men", he IS the old man...and, not many people play this better.  I loved all of the aww-shucks locals that the sheriff and the psychopath run into throughout the movie.  And, if you've seen other Coen Brothers flicks before, this one feels just as weird-yet-lively as any of the other great movies they have made.  And, I thought the ending was fantastic.

Worth every penny.  Check this one out soon!

Rating:  Opening Weekend


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Bellview Rating System:

"Opening Weekend":  This is the highest rating a movie can receive.  Reserved for movies that exhibit the highest level of acting, plot, character development, setting...or Salma Hayek.  Not necessarily in that order. 

"$X.XX Show":  This price changes each year due to the inflation of movie prices; currently, it is the $9.50 Show.  While not technically perfect, this is a movie that will still entertain you at a very high level.  "Undercover Brother" falls into this category; it's no "Casablanca", but you'll have a great time watching.  The $9.50 Show won't win any Oscars, but you'll be quoting lines from the thing for ages (see "Office Space"). 

"Matinee":  An average movie that merits no more than a $6.50 viewing at your local theater.  Seeing it for less than $9.50 will make you feel a lot better about yourself.  A movie like "Blue Crush" fits this category; you leave the theater saying "That wasn't too, did you see that Lakers game last night?" 

"Rental":  This rating indicates a movie that you see in the previews and say to your friend, "I'll be sure to miss that one."  Mostly forgettable, you couldn't lose too much by going to Hollywood Video and paying $3 to watch it with your sig other, but you would only do that if the video store was out of copies of "Ronin."  If you can, see this movie for free.  This is what your TV Guide would give "one and a half stars." 

"Hard Vice":  This rating is the bottom of the barrel.  A movie that only six other human beings have witnessed, this is the worst movie I have ever seen.  A Shannon Tweed "thriller," it is so bad as to be funny during almost every one of its 84 minutes, and includes the worst ending ever put into a movie.  Marginally worse than "Cabin Boy", "The Avengers" or "Leonard, Part 6", this rating means that you should avoid this movie at all costs, or no costs, EVEN IF YOU CAN SEE IT FOR FREE!  (Warning:  strong profanity will be used in all reviews of "Hard Vice"-rated movies.)

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The "fine print":
All material by Justin Elliot Bell for SMR/Bellview/ except where noted
1999-2009 Justin Elliot Bell This site was last updated 01/08/09