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Movie Debate #32: No Country for Old Men

Reed Rothchild

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29 members have voted

  1. 1. See below for explanation of ratings

    • 10/10 - One of your very favorite movies of all time. Top 10.
    • 9/10 - Killer fucking movie. Everyone should watch it.
    • 8/10 - Great movie. Maybe one of the best released that year.
    • 7/10 - Very good movie, but not quite great.
    • 6/10 - Pretty good. You might enjoy the occasional watch, or tune in if you happen to catch it on cable.
    • 5/10 - It's okay, but maybe not something you'll go out of your way to watch.
    • 4/10 - Meh. There's plenty of better alternatives to this.
    • 3/10 - Not very good.
    • 2/10 - Not your cup of tea at all. Some people might like this, but you are not one of them.
    • 1/10 - Horrible in every way.
    • 0/10 - The Citizen Kane of painful experiences. You'd rather shove an icepick in your retinas than watch this.
    • Never seen it, but I'm interested.
    • Never seen it, never will.

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I just could not get into this movie. The Coen Brothers are often dense and fill their works with deep metaphors and dark themes that can be intellectually interesting, but Javier Bardem's character just felt too cartoony here. I get that he represents an unstoppable force of nature (specifically the inevitability of time and change), but this is still a human story and the lack of a real human antagonist made it hard for me to care about the human protagonist. I think the Coens are much better at making their point with dark humor as opposed to pure darkness (I'm not a huge fan of Lebowski, but Fargo and Burn After Reading are both great). Anyways, this movie is a 5/10 for me and I doubt I'll ever watch it again.

Edited by DoctorEncore
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I'm torn between a 9 and a 10.  It's probably a 9.9.  I really enjoy this movie and I've watched it more times than I can remember.  I really enjoy the attention to detail that most scenes receive and the amount of time spent with little or no dialogue.  I also enjoy the amount of the story that is left to interpretation.    

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Member · Posted
3 minutes ago, mbd39 said:

8/10. This is probably my favorite scene in any movie.


I feel like that's the scene that sums up the entire film in about 5 minutes.

For me, this film was more commentary on the loss of good old fashion, humble American pie, picket-fence desiring Americana nostalgia juxtaposed to the reality of today of a degradation of morality, selfishness and decline of general American "innocence".  Not only are those days gone, but they seem to slip further and further away.  This film isn't about Bardam's character. It's more about the experience of Jones's as he's hunting down this guy and experiencing evil unlike anything he's heard or seen before. Regardless, there's a large lack of shock on Jones's part because society has already been sliding down that slope for decades so even though the path Bardam's character leaves is ruthless, it's not entirely unexpected.  This isn't a movie about shock-value.  It's about slow changes towards depravity in society.

Even the end eludes itself to the continuation of this downward spiral with Bardam's final interaction with the kids.  I'll try not to spoil it but both their behavior and his treatment of them is more symbolic that moral degradation and collective seering of consciences isn't stopping and will continue on with further generations.  Bardam is a "fringe" character of society, no doubt. Regardless, his character represents a change in morality that seeps into our culture slowly with time.  Jones, representing the old school, humble, "good" way of life and represents a passing generation that tries to reconcile and get by in a world that's changing and unrecognizable. 

In the end, we are all on that spectrum and at some point, the trend is likely to continue that we will feel that we are living in a "country" that has no place for us.

TL;DR: This film has a real nihilistic view of our society and it's evolution towards a loss of morality and embracing violent culture.  At least, that was my opinion on the meaning of it all.

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10/10. Love the Coens. Tempted to go 9 because it robbed my favorite movie There Will Be Blood of its rightful Best Picture academy award, but it's still one of my favorite movies. I agree the coin toss scene is one of the tensest, best acted scenes in any movie.

Edited by DefaultGen
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