No Country For Old Men

First of all, let me admit that I am a HUGE fan of Javier Bardem ("Live Flesh," "Collateral" and "Boca a Boca"). I own a number of his Spanish-language films and have been extremely impressed with his range and his abilities for over ten years. Next, I also admit that I appreciate some of the Coen Brothers' work ("Blood Simple" and "Fargo"). But for my "Entertainment Dollar?" Not this one...sorry. It is extremely well done, but it is NOT entertaining!

"No Country for Old Men" is unremittingly grim, bloody, suspenseful and nihilistic. Josh Brolin ("American Gangster" and "Flirting With Disaster") is a resourceful Vietnam vet who is out in the wide open spaces of Texas, hunting antelope. After wounding one, he is in the process of tracking it when he happens upon a grisly cluster of dead men, a dead dog and abandoned pickups. After counting the corpses and the pickups, he ascertains that one man is missing, so he redirects his tracking skills and finds the last man, also dead by now, but in possession of a bag of money. Tommy Lee Jones ("Men in Black," "The Fugitive" and "Coal Miner's Daughter") is the weary sheriff of the Texas county where the slaughter took place. The scene tells him of a drug deal gone bad. He and the sheriff of El Paso County have one of those old-timer laments about what the world has come to.

Bardem's character is -- along with being in the drug trade -- a homicidal maniac. There is little or no logic to his actions, he kills with no remorse (sometimes by the flip of a coin) and is every bit as resourceful as Brolin's character.

Most of the killings are just off-screen (whew!) and some are merely alluded to (Bardem checking the bottoms of his shoes as he exits one house).

Woody Harrelson ("Ed TV" and "North Country") makes a brief appearance, and Tess Harper ("Tender Mercies" and "Broken Bridges"), looking as sweet as ever, is the patient wife of Tommy Lee's sheriff. Scottish actress Kelly Macdonald ("Gosford Park" and "Finding Neverland"), this time out, turns in a convincing Texas accent as Brolin's skeptical wife.

This is high quality, high caliber (sorry) and high anxiety...and I didn't even see this one for FREE! Aarghhh!