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This movie is totally deserving of all the accolades it has received. The three main players are Llewellyn Moss (Josh Brolin), the unlikely hero, who stumbles across a drug deal gone bad, and on impulse takes a briefcase full of money, which he finds at the scene. He then has to go on the run, because he knows that someone will want that money back. Javier Bardem plays Anton Chigurh. He won an Oscar for this role, and it was well deserved. Chigurh is the hit man on the trail of Moss and the money. He is a chilling character, always dangerously calm, even when wreaking havoc or extreme violence, and he is completely without conscience or morals. Every moment that he is on screen crackles with tension. Sheriff Tom Bell (Tommy Lee Jones) is the man who hopes to find Moss before Chigurh does, because he knows that if Chigurh finds Moss first, Moss will die. Bell is a good and wise man, but is jaded because he has seen so much destruction and violence in his life, firstly as a WWII soldier, and then in his job as Sheriff.

Dialogue is kept to a minimum, and this successfully ratchets up the feeling of tension for the viewer. Moss and Chigurh are both clever and resourceful, and there is a real battle of wits, in which the viewer is never quite sure who is likely to win (except I did know the ending, as I had already read the book).  The characterisation is fantastic all around, as the quality of the acting is never less than excellent.

I have heard criticism of this movie for it’s downbeat ending. Personally however, I felt that the ending fitted the mood of the film completely. Splendid acting all round, and some beautiful camera work with a story that will definitely hold your attention – well worth a watch.

Year of release: 2007

Directors: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen

Writers: Cormac McCarthy (book), Ethan Coen, Joel Coen

Main cast: Josh Brolin, Javier Bardem, Tommy Lee Jones, Kelly MacDonald

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Click here for my review of the novel.

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This is a cool little movie.  I was predisposed to liking it I guess, because it stars the utterly luscious and swoonsome Benicio Del Toro, a man upon whom I can happily feast my eyes!

However, to reduce Del Toro to mere eye candy would be to do him an injustice.  He is a terrific and charismatic actor, and he is super in this film.  The other main star is Tommy Lee Jones – another man who can make a film worth watching just by being in it.  They both bring their characters to life, and make them easy to believe and invest in.

The premise of the movie is that Aaron Hallam (Del Toro), A decorated US Special Forces Operative, has gone on a murderous rampage, seemingly without motive, and Lieutenant Bonham (Jones) is the man reluctantly brought out of retirement to hunt this killer down.  Bonham is the man who trained Hallam and turned him into the killing machine that he now is, and probably has a better idea of his mindset than anyone.  However, Hallam is also able to correctly anticipate Bonham’s methods.

The chase takes place through the woods and through a city, and there are many great action scenes in this film.  It is a pretty straightforward thriller, although Hallam’s state of mind is never fully explained (is he mad, or is he bad)?  And what are the reasons for his rampage?

Two great stars elevate this from good to great!

Year of release: 2003

Director: William Friedkin

Writers: David Griffiths, Peter Griffiths, Art Monterastelli

Main cast: Benicio Del Toro, Tommy Lee Jones, Connie Nielsen

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