A haunting piece of drama

PUBLISHED: 10:53 17 January 2008 | UPDATED: 11:28 01 July 2010

THE Coen Brothers are back with a welcome return to form with this deliciously edgy noirish neo-western.


Cert 18

THE Coen Brothers are back with a welcome return to form with this deliciously edgy noirish neo-western.

In vintage Coen-stlye a grizzly chain of events is set in motion when a wily hunter named Llewelyn Moss (Josh Brolin) stumbles upon a big bag of money in the midst of the bloody aftermath of a gun battle between rival drug cartels while out hunting. Seizing the opportunity to improve his fortunes Llewelyn takes the money but is smart enough to realise there may be ramifications.

Those ramifications come in the form of a brutal, emotionless killer named Anton Chigurh (Javier Bardem) who sets out to track down Llewelyn, kill him and keep the cash for himself.

It's not long before ageing Sheriff Ed Bell (Tommy Lee Jones) uncovers the crime scene and follows the bloody trail Llewelyn and his pursuer have left across the county. The performances from all three leads are flawless. Brolin is superb as the brooding, self-assured Llewelyn and Bardem's Anton is genuinely terrifying as he slowly but surely tracks down his prey.

The film carries all the hallmarks that the Coen's have displayed since their debut film Blood Simple - jolting juxtapositions of the comic and the terrifying, ordinary people with extraordinary talents and a pervading sense of dread so thick it's almost suffocating.

Ingeniously plotted and delivered with the assured touch of a duo in complete control of their craft No Country for Old Men is a truly haunting and uncompromising piece of cinema.

No Country for Old Men opens in cinemas on Friday.

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