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No Country for Old Men Review

Movies.com Critics

5.0

Dave White Profile

… this movie gets to join the ranks of the best … Read full review

Other Critics provided by Metacritic.com

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 5.0
    91

    out of 100

    Metascore®
    Universal acclaim
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 100

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    Many of the scenes in No Country for Old Men are so flawlessly constructed that you want them to simply continue, and yet they create an emotional suction drawing you to the next scene. Another movie that made me feel that way was "Fargo." To make one such film is a miracle. Here is another.

    Read Full Review

  • 100

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    If watching movie violence is cathartic, then this film amounts to heavy therapy. It's much more than that, however. This is the best film the Coen brothers have done since their glory days of "Fargo" and "The Big Lebowski," maybe the best they've done, period.

    Read Full Review

  • 80

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Ray Bennett

    The Coens' typically superior filmmaking sustains the electrifying mood for most of the picture, but they are undone by being too faithful to the source novel by Cormac McCarthy.

    Read Full Review

  • 88

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    The Coen brothers have fashioned a wry and riveting hybrid of a drama, Western, crime thriller and action film that is as powerful and thought-provoking as it is genre-bending.

    Read Full Review

  • 91

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Lisa Schwarzbaum

    The breath of cinematic life, though, the sensibility, the energy, belong to Joel and Ethan Coen, and this is their stirring success.

    Read Full Review

  • See all No Country for Old Men reviews at Metacritic.com

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Pause for kids 16 & under

Coens' violent film is brutal, thought-provoking.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this violent, mature crime drama from the filmmakers behind Fargo isn't for kids. Scenes include bloody wounds, jarring acts of aggression (shooting, fighting), and psychological abuse (the primary villain is especially unnerving in his calm demeanor, callousness, and ingenuity). Several scenes involve lengthy shootouts between characters with large guns, as well as contemplations of the bloody aftermath. You can also expect frequent references to drugs (the $2 million at stake is part of a heroin deal gone bad), some drinking, and language (the one use of "f--k" is by a young boy).

  • Families can talk about the film's use of violence. Does violence have the same impact in a movie like this as in an action movie like Live Free or Die Hard? Why or why not? Which type of movie violence do you find more affecting and/or upsetting? How do the Coens use filmmaking techniques to spark specific emotions in their audience? Do you think this film can be considered a Western? Why or why not?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: A killer is a sociopath; an opportunistic cowboy steals drug money, then becomes hunted; a weary sheriff philosophizes about bad deeds, lack of courtesy, and generational changes.

What to watch for
  • violence false5

    Violence: Lots of violence, both brutal acts and bloody aftermath. Sheriff describes crime scenes (e.g., "blood all over the floor"). Weapons include shotguns, knives, and pistols; villain also uses an oxygen tank to shoot through victims' heads (no bullet, deadly hole). Several shootouts go on for long minutes, featuring blood, stylized shadows, speedy cuts, loud guns, and breaking glass and furniture. Early scene includes multiple corpses shown shot and drying in the sun, as well as a survivor begging for water. A dog attacks Llewelyn, who shoots it mid-leap (no blood, but big teeth and loud noise); he's left with wounds and bloody feet. Villain washes and sews his own bloody wound (shown in close-up). Shooting victim shows bloody neck and gurgles; body left floating in a pool; other bodies in a parking lot and motel room. A car accident leaves a man bloody; he stumbles out and reveals his broken arm (bone exposed) to two boys.

  • sex false0

    Sex: Villain is naked in a bathtub, but no explicit shots.

  • language false3

    Language: The characters are generally laconic, offering occasional colorful commentary, including one use of "f--k" (by a child), several uses of "hell" and "ass," plus one or two uses of each of the following: "goddamn," "s--t," "bitch" (one with "son of a"), and "swinging dick."

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Details/logos used to establish location: Texaco gas station, Southwestern Bell bill.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false3

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: The plot turns on a large quantity of heroin (shown at the film's start in brick form) and money. Several scenes of drinking (beer and liquor) at home, in a bar, and in a hotel room. Llewelyn holds a beer, pretending to be drunk in order to cross the Mexican border.

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