No Country For Old Men

1 Jul

The Book

This story moved fairly slowly, and rather differently than other novels. The sense of impending doom pervaded events, as did the stream of consciousness included from Llewellyn, The book was nearly comical in its handling of such dark subject matter as it described events without becoming overly emotional or rhetorical. It was as if doom and a snide laughing grunt appeared hand in hand.

The Film

The Coen brothers certainly left their stamp on this film as the absurd is celebrated with the slightest of nuance and ridiculosity. Llewellyn was well portrayed and allowed the audience to “feel” his thoughts, even when they were not audible. This is the genius of this movie; it represented the events the way they were meant to unfold without “beating it into the audience”. Hilarity ensued.

The Adaptation

This adaptation was fairly true to the original book, although it seemed to “jump the shark” during Tommy Lee Jones’ extended closing which was not included in the original novel. In some ways, this book was nearly written to create a movie. It presented the action carefully, but without an over-emphasis on emotion. All of this was left up to the viewer to decide.

The Critics

In Reverse Shot, Churner was quite positive about this film and praised its adaptation from the original text. He noted several wonderful attributes of the film including Coen humor and the superb acting while also not getting too hung up on any one part. He posited that this film is “greater than a sum of its parts” (Churner, 2007).

In Bright Lights Film Journal, Kutner appreciated the unconventional ending, but realized most people wouldn’t like it (Kutner, 2007).

Also in Reverse Shot, Rowin noted that  this movie was a seamless adaptation with wonderful actors (Rowin, 2007).

The Critical Argument

Some might argue that this movie is the ultimate man’s movie.  It harnessed the strong, silent, Eastwood type. Yet, all the while, “[the] Coens… amplify the material’s dark, rueful humor (Scott, 2007). Without the stellar performances, this would have been impossible. Moss’ portrayal as “man attuned to the land’s rugged ferociousness” is a man at his purest form – attuned with nature and hardship (Schager, 2007). Tommy Lee Jones as the sheriff is a celebration of the righteous man – the savior. The audience is drawn to his quiet strength. And finally, there is the villain – the unharnessed violence of men. All of these characters are a salute to “real men” everywhere.

Works Cited

Butler, Isaac. “The Politics of No Country for Old Men.” TypePad. Parabasis, 15 Nov. 2007. Web. 27 June 2015. <>.

Churner, Leah. Best of the Decade #17: No Country for Old Men. Museum of the Moving Image: Reverse Shot, 10 Dec. 2009. Web. 27 June 2015.

Grossman, Lev. “A conversation between author Corman McCarthy and the Coen Brothers, about the new movie No Country for Old Men.” Time Magazine, 18 Oct. 2007. Web. 27 June 2015. <,9171,1673269,00.html>.’

Kutner, Jerry. No Country for Old Men – Breaking The Rules. Bright Lights Film Journal, 7 Dec. 2007. Web. 27 June 2015.

McCarthy, Cormac. No Country for Old Men. New York: Knopf, 2005. Kindle Edition.

Partosa, H A., and K Caringal. “No Country for Old Men: A Valuation of Humanity Within Desolation and Despair.” Blogspot. Politics and Film, 27 Feb. 2010. Web. 27 June 2015. <>.

Robinson, Tasha. ““Book vs. Film: No Country for Old Men” .” Movies. AV Club 27, Nov. 2007. Web. 27 June 2015. <,10236/>.

Rowin, Michael J. No Country for Old Men. Museum of the Moving Image: Reverse Shot, 4 Nov. 2007. Web. 27 June 2015.

Rudin, Scott, Ethan Coen, Joel Coen, Scott Rudin, Mike Zoss, Tommy L. Jones, Javier Bardem, Josh Brolin, Woody Harrelson, Kelly MacDonald, and Cormac McCarthy. No Country for Old Men. Burbank, Calif: Miramax Home Entertainment, 2008.

Schager, Nick. “Review of No Country for Old Men.” Movies. Slant Magazine, 8 Nov. 2007. Web. 27 June 2015. <;.

Scott, A O. “He Found a Bundle of Money, and Now There’s Hell to Pay.” Review of No Country for Old Men. New York Times, 9 Nov. 2007. Web. 27 June 2015. <>.


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