Movies: No Country For Old Men
Your enjoyment of the Coen brothers' latest film, "No Country For Old Men" (based on the Cormac McCarthy novel of the same name), depends chiefly on how much pleasure you derive from a very particular worldview; the movie can be summed up as "Gnostic dualism with firepower." The characters, including blue-collar protagonist Llewelyn Moss (played by Josh Brolin, who is having a career-making year), are trapped inside a material world that doesn't take bravery or goodness into the equation.
Moss stumbles upon a failed drug deal and a big bag filled with unmarked bills while hunting out in the desolate Texas plains. Rather than leave well enough alone, he takes the money, bringing the inevitable attention of a whole bunch of folks, among them Chigurh (a remorseless killer tracking the money, played expertly by Javier Bardem), angry Mexican drug dealers, and a Texas sherriff (Tommy Lee Jones, essentially playing the same role he's played in every other movie - a weathered law enforcement officer). It's typical Coen brothers territory - money, greed, and sporadic bouts of extreme violence.
What isn't typical is the worldview. This movie is the polar opposite of "Fargo," both in setting and in its larger meaning. "Fargo" had Frances McDormand's "Margie," a paragon of virtue in a horrible world. "No Country" is far more bleak in its assessment of what happens when a good cop meets unspeakable, almost insane violence. It wasn't really effective for me, but your mileage may vary.
The standout role in the movie is Chigurh. Bardem gifts the character with an unwavering, almost predatorial intensity - you feel that even if Chigurh got the money, he wouldn't really know what to do with it. Chigurh is a sociopath in the strict, DSM-IV sense - he does not follow society's norms, but he is not irrational or wild. And yes, he carries the coolest movie weapons I've seen in awhile - a suppressed shotgun and a cattle gun.