No Country for Old Men is a very bad movie that is chockful of basic structural errors of storytelling & film-making, and common sense. But, hold on a minute. What I just said might be all wrong! An outmoded way of thinking. A viewpoint that simply does not have enough "intelligence" to appreciate the deep brilliant art that *is* "No Country".
It seems that these days if you make a movie that has no story, no point, and no ending --- that that is automatically a *masterpiece* that is worthy of universal critical and consumer acclaim, and a Best Picture Oscar. That in a nutshell, is *exactly* what No Country for Old Men is.
Now that "No Country" has paved the way for such "brilliant innovations", I can't wait to see what other "innovations" await films to come in the future. Maybe next in addition to masterpiece movies requiring there to be no story, no point, and no ending, they will also eventually further innovate by doing away with other things like actors and dialogue. Maybe mankind will eventually *evolve* to such a point of perfect enlightenment that films consisting entirely of slideshows of some kindergarten students' fingerpainting artwork will eventually be the recipient of Best Picture Oscar awards and universal acclaim.
"No Country" has taken a lot of flack for having a "controversial ending" --- but that is inaccurate phrasing. "No Country " has *no ending* at all. For it to have a "controversial ending" carries the prerequisite that it first *has* an ending. It doesn't! "No Country" is just a bunch of random scenes of a repressed homosexual, turned psychopath, who goes around shooting people with a weapon powered by a giant tank of compressed air. This random formula is even further randomized by not *bothering* to show many of his kills on-screen. Including the death of the main character, who is suddenly, inexplicably, shown as a corpse in the middle of the movie. Even though the movie had previously spent gratuitous amounts of screen-time showing him prepare for, evade, and engage in firefights with the psychopath. Yet no *zero* time is devoted to showing how he died. The randomness of showing trivial moments like the main character staring thoughtfully at a wall, and buying tent-poles from a camping store, are crafted with meticulous detail and given tons of screen-time. But the film's utter genius shines through *most of all* by not spending one second showing him die or struggle to survive in his final moments before he died. Just a random fade-in, and he's suddenly a corpse! The sheer *brilliance* of such artistic unconventional storytelling has never been seen in any film or book *ever* made before in the *history* of mankind. I wonder why? Why did it take until the year 2007 for man to finally reach this high watermark of storytelling utopia? Ah heck, I need to stop wondering, and be content to wallow in the fact that since I "don't get it", I'm simply an idiot.
The main character is an extremely banal hick so I had no emotional reaction whatsoever to him at any point in the movie, or to him magically fading-in as a corpse, but I'm sure the lack of any reason to care one iota about the main character is yet another of this film's amazing innovations. Layers upon layers, my friend! In several other cases, the movie makes it totally unclear if the psychopath killed his victim or not, because after trapping the victim, the scenes simply fades to black and then he is shown again outside the building later and the victims' fates are never revealed; they are never seen or mentioned in the movie again, as corpses or otherwise. One cannot assume he killed them, because in an early scene he spares a gas station attendant.
"No Country" also innovates the art of film-making by making it's psychopath killer, "the deepest film villain since Hannibal Lecter" (or, the universal acclaimists allege...and who wants to argue with *them*!). No Country's killer shows his compelling deepness by repeatedly shouting things like "CALL IT!" after he flips a coin. In another scene, he further shows his deepness by making such deeply thought-provoking statements as: "I won't tell you you can save yourself. You can't." *Clearly*, this is Pulitzer Prize-worthy dialogue and one of the great cinematic villains of all-time. Thanks, universal acclaimists, for being honest about this and giving this character all the credit he so richly deserves! Maybe in the sequel he can play Blackjack or Poker to determine if he will shoot someone with his airgun or not? There I go again with my bad ideas, he's *already* *soooooooo freakin' unbelievably complex!!!* that to add a further level of complexity to him, like Blackjack-playing on top of coin-flipping, would be too much to even *try *to comprehend without bursting a gasket in one's brain wiring.
Tommy Lee Jones plays a hick sheriff in this movie. He is a great actor, but he seems very bored in this role and it's like he's phoning in his performance. Perhaps he was disappointed when he read the script and realized the movie has no ending, and this made him not wanna put any energy or effort into the role. The other actors in No Country are all third-rate unknowns (other than Woody Harrelson who has a nonsensical, pointless cameo); maybe Tommy Lee was simply trying to dumb-down his acting down to their level. Whatever the case may be, it's definitely Tommy Lee Jones' worst performance ever. On second thought, I am probably wrong with everything I've just said in this paragraph. Really, Tommy Lee Jones' seemingly uninspired performance is probably just him tapping into the higher plane of existence upon which this whole enigmatic masterpiece of a movie so-good that normal human beings are barely fit to watch it, much less understand it, occupies.