8.1/10
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No Country for Old Men (2007)

Trailer
2:32 | Trailer
Violence and mayhem ensue after a hunter stumbles upon a drug deal gone wrong and more than two million dollars in cash near the Rio Grande.

Directors:

Ethan Coen, Joel Coen

Writers:

Joel Coen (screenplay), Ethan Coen (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Popularity
278 ( 23)
Top Rated Movies #157 | Won 4 Oscars. Another 160 wins & 139 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Tommy Lee Jones ... Ed Tom Bell
Javier Bardem ... Anton Chigurh
Josh Brolin ... Llewelyn Moss
Woody Harrelson ... Carson Wells
Kelly Macdonald ... Carla Jean Moss
Garret Dillahunt ... Wendell
Tess Harper ... Loretta Bell
Barry Corbin ... Ellis
Stephen Root ... Man who hires Wells
Rodger Boyce ... El Paso Sheriff
Beth Grant ... Carla Jean's Mother
Ana Reeder ... Poolside Woman
Kit Gwin ... Sheriff Bell's Secretary
Zach Hopkins Zach Hopkins ... Strangled Deputy
Chip Love Chip Love ... Man in Ford
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Storyline

In rural Texas, welder and hunter Llewelyn Moss (Josh Brolin) discovers the remains of several drug runners who have all killed each other in an exchange gone violently wrong. Rather than report the discovery to the police, Moss decides to simply take the two million dollars present for himself. This puts the psychopathic killer, Anton Chigurh (Javier Bardem), on his trail as he dispassionately murders nearly every rival, bystander and even employer in his pursuit of his quarry and the money. As Moss desperately attempts to keep one step ahead, the blood from this hunt begins to flow behind him with relentlessly growing intensity as Chigurh closes in. Meanwhile, the laconic Sheriff Ed Tom Bell (Tommy Lee Jones) blithely oversees the investigation even as he struggles to face the sheer enormity of the crimes he is attempting to thwart. Written by Kenneth Chisholm (kchishol@rogers.com)

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

There Are No Clean Getaways See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong graphic violence and some language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Until the release of The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (2018), this was the Coen brothers movie with the longest runtime (two hours and two minutes), as well as the only Coen brothers movie to exceed two hours in length. See more »

Goofs

Although day trading started in 1971, NASD created the Small-Order Execution System around 1985 to enable people to become day traders in the sense that we know it now, but it's unlikely the term would be used in 1980 by Carson Wells as it would today. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Ed Tom Bell: I was sheriff of this county when I was twenty-five years old. Hard to believe. My grandfather was a lawman; father too. Me and him was sheriffs at the same time; him up in Plano and me out here. I think he's pretty proud of that. I know I was. Some of the old time sheriffs never even wore a gun. A lotta folks find that hard to believe. Jim Scarborough'd never carried one; that's the younger Jim. Gaston Boykins wouldn't wear one up in Comanche County. I always liked to hear about ...
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Connections

Featured in WatchMojo: Top 20 Greatest Movies of All Time (2020) See more »

Soundtracks

Puño de tierra
Written by Michael Eloy Sánchez
Performed by Angel H. Alvarado Jr., David A. Gomez, Milton Hernandez and John Mancha
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User Reviews

 
Welcome to NihilismLand

No Country for Old Men won four Academy Awards in 2007, including Best Picture and Best Director(s). Despite the critical acclaim, the Coen Brother's adaptation of Cormac McCarthy's novel was probably a bit of a head-scratcher to many people.

The film's narrative begins in familiar fashion, introducing you to the main characters and setting up the plot using recognized, established filmic devices. Llewelyn Moss stumbles upon a suitcase filled with cash and wants to keep it for himself. Anton Chigurh is the sociopath who will stop at nothing to get the cash back. Ed Bell is the Sheriff tasked with bringing Chigurh to justice and, it is presumed, keeping Moss and his wife, Carla Jean, from danger. In addition, there's a corporate backer, a hired gun, and a Mexican gang who are also after the cash (i.e., the McGuffin). So much for the usual narrative elements.

When the film continues far beyond the point that the expected narrative structure breaks down, viewers are left to grasp at what the film is actually about. What, if anything, is this film trying to say?

I propose that the film is, among other things, a meditation on the impotence of human and divine systems of justice in light of unflinching, unrelenting, random, radical evil. There are a number of elements in the film that indicate such a meditation, but one need not look much further than the meditations of Sheriff Bell, whose words begin and end the film. Consider:

"There was this boy I sent to the 'lectric chair at Huntsville Hill here a while back. My arrest and my testimony. He killt a fourteen-year-old girl. Papers said it was a crime of passion but he told me there wasn't any passion to it. Told me that he'd been planning to kill somebody for about as long as he could remember. Said that if they turned him out he'd do it again. Said he knew he was going to hell. 'Be there in about fifteen minutes'. I don't know what to make of that. I sure don't. The crime you see now, it's hard to even take its measure."

With these words, the film's "story line" unfolds, with Sheriff Bell trying, and failing, to be effective.

At the end of the film, the retired Sheriff Bell describes a dream to his wife:

"It was like {my father and I} was both back in older times and I was on horseback going' through the mountains of a night. Going' through this pass in the mountains. It was cold and there was snow on the ground and he rode past me and kept on going'. Never said nothing' going' by. He just rode on past... and he had his blanket wrapped around him and his head down and when he rode past I seen he was carryin' fire in a horn the way people used to do and I could see the horn from the light inside of it. 'Bout the color of the moon. And in the dream I knew that he was going' on ahead and he was fixin' to make a fire somewhere out there in all that dark and all that cold, and I knew that whenever I got there he would be there. And then I woke up."

The film is nihilistic in both structure and content. If you would like to force a less despairing ending, Bell's dream could be interpreted as a ray of hope: a light shines in the darkness! On the other hand, it is a dream that he wakes up from.

I don't know what to make of that. I sure don't. But that doesn't mean I can't try.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site

Country:

USA | Mexico

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

21 November 2007 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

No Country for Old Men See more »

Filming Locations:

Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$25,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,202,000, 11 November 2007

Gross USA:

$74,283,625

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$171,627,166
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

SDDS | Dolby Digital | DTS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
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