There are some amazing performances in this film. Dorothy Hamill is the Angel of Death, Tommy Lee is the rational man, and Josh Brolin thinks he can outsmart death. When the Coens go dark, they go pitch black.
A staggering exercise in design. The Coens have a peerless sense of how to plot and execute blocks of cinema-space and cinema-time, and though this movie is a sort of adrenal action movie (not unlike, weirdly, the Terminator movies), it breathes. In fact, it is stridently pared down. The use of locations is phenomenal. Sounds and image are expertly calibrated. Formally impeccable, but w/ the aura of a happening.
Wow! What a mesmerizing film. A minimalist streak can be seen throughout No Country For Old Men, from the lack of dialogue to the largely absent musical soundtrack. The lack of music helps establish a suspenseful, contemplative atmosphere. One of the best films of the 2000s.
While not the biggest fan of the Coen brothers (especially not the decade between Fargo and this gem), I am a rather dedicated fan of McCarthy, and this bleak, sparse filmmaking projects his austere prose quite well. The performances are stellar, the violence is brutal and scary but restrained, and the atmosphere is hot and dusty with no music or frills. While not McCarthy's best work, certainly some of the Coens'.
Entirely adequate film, well acted and well made. I found it almost entirely forgettable, despite the fine performances from Tommy Lee Jones and Javier Bardem. It just felt to me like a particularly easy piece of Bleak Chic, delivering the shock news that -- gasp!-- there's EVIL in the world.
I mean really, was I really supposed to give a damn about that Llewellyn guy?