“No Country for Old Men” – a movie review

If Tommy Lee Jones is in a movie, I am a fan.

No Country for Old Menis a film adaptation of the novel of the same name by Cormac McCarthy. Written and directed by Joel and Ethan Coen, the film features Tommy Lee Jones, Josh Brolin, and Javier Bardem (just have to love Bardem’s haircut for the movie). No Country for Old Mendraws heavily on the themes of chance and fate. It tells the story of a drug deal gone very wrong and the ensuing cat-and-mouse drama as three men crisscross each other’s paths in the desert landscape of 1980 West Texas – a man who found money in a drug deal gone bad he happened to come across and took, the man who is being paid to get that money back into bad hands, and the sheriff who is trying to protect the man who found the money in the first place (By the way just looking at the film made me feel good that there is one place I do not live – West Texas).

The reality is that the sheriff finds that he is getting too old to fight evil, hence the title, No Country for Old Men. Evil is clever, relentless, and in its own way principled. The man paid to get the money back into the bad hands of those doing the deal does one thing – get the money back, whatever it takes. What he promises he will do, he does, and no amount of pain or gore will keep him from doing what he says he will do. The sheriff is always trying to catch up and finds that evil outruns him.

Cinderella Man it is not. At the end the good man fatigues and retires. There is no sweet ending. The battle simply goes on.

At first my impression of the movie is that it is slow. A morning later I want to see it again and really listen to the dialogue. It is a movie that focuses more on a character study than stimulating plot line as three men coming from very different places end up getting to know one another if only from a distance.

For Christians who love resolution this won’t be your movie. But perhaps us Christians need to sing more than praise songs and learn to sing the laments and mournings of the psalms as well.

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