Written by Joel and Ethan, based on the novel by Cormac McCarthy; directed by Joel and Ethan; produced by Joel and Ethan
Llewelyn Moss stumbles across a bloody crime scene – a drugs deal gone bad – and walks off with a bag full of money. Psychopathic murderer Anton Chigurh gives chase…
Seen before? No.
Best performance: Tommy Lee Jones. An obvious casting choice for a world-weary, grizzled Texas sheriff – but nevertheless a good one.
Coen regulars (running total of appearances): Stephen Root (3) has another small role, and Josh Brolin (1) plays Moss.
Best bit: The tense nighttime chase in the desert.
Review: The Coens’ fifth movie set in the American South is a splendid return to form. They know how to shoot and populate wide, open spaces so well (compare with the studio-bound Ladykillers, which felt so dreary). We’re back to the slow and methodical style of Blood Simple: there’s little humour, lots of sequences have no dialogue, but it’s engrossing. I constantly wanted to know what was going to happen next. A prime slice of film soleil.
Eight motel rooms out of 10.