Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBBB.
USA, 2007. Paramount Vantage, Miramax, Scott Rudin Productions, Mike Zoss Productions. Screenplay by Joel Coen, Ethan Coen, based on the novel by Cormac McCarthy. Cinematography by Roger Deakins. Produced by Ethan Coen, Joel Coen. Music by Carter Burwell. Production Design by Jess Gonchor. Costume Design by Mary Zophres. Film Editing by Ethan Coen, Joel Coen. Academy Awards 2007. American Film Institute 2007. Boston Film Critics Awards 2007. Cannes Film Festival 2007. Golden Globe Awards 2007. Las Vegas Film Critics Awards 2007. National Board of Review Awards 2007. National Society of Film Critics Awards 2007. New York Film Critics Awards 2007. Online Film Critics Awards 2007. Phoenix Film Critics Awards 2007. Toronto International Film Festival 2007. Washington Film Critics Awards 2007.
Every once in a long while, the brothers Coen put aside their desire to make us watch their take on one of their favourite old movies and instead create something vibrant and original. For the first time since Fargo (though I really did enjoy The Man Who Wasn’t There) they accomplish this task, creating a moody, intense western that is probably their best film after the aforementioned snowbound classic. Josh Brolin (superb), is a Texas welder on a hunting excursion in the desert who comes across a group of dead bodies, abandoned drugs and a bag full of money. Across the state, a demon in human form (Javier Bardem) is on a trail towards the cash and will stop at nothing to get it. Brolin gets his sweet wife (Kelly Macdonald) to go hide out with her mother before setting himself on a course in the hopes of outwitting Bardem, but the stakes get crazier as the journey becomes more and more twisted. Riveting from start to finish, this is a perfectly polished film that grabs hold of you and never lets you go, even when the final third goes in some pretty unexpected places. Tommy Lee Jones shines as the sheriff who has seen too much and is starting to be affected by his job, while Tess Harper makes a brief appearance as his wife. Somehow Brolin makes the average qualities of his character entirely compelling, while Bardem’s villain is probably the scariest bad guy the screen has seen in decades. Adapted, most skillfully, from the novel by Cormac McCarthy (All The Pretty Horses).