Blog Response—No Country for Old Men


  1. Analysis of the Book

No Country for Old Men is a western thriller by Corman McCarthy about a man who finds two million dollars after walking into the aftermath for a drug deal gone wrong. The story follows three men, Sheriff Ed Tom Bell, Llewelyn Moss, and Anton Chigurh, and how their lives intertwine as a result of the bad drug deal. As Sheriff Bell investigates the area of the drug deal and its results, Llewelyn runs towards Mexico to escape Anton Chigurh, a hitman who was hired to retrieve the money. Several of the novel’s themes are choices, self-determination, violence, and fate.

  1. Analysis of the Film

Co-directed by Joel and Ethan Coen, No Country for Old Men shows the story of how Llewelyn Moss found two million dollars after a drug deal went awry. Llewelyn takes the money and attempts to escape the hitman, Anton Chigurh, who was hired by the Mexicans dealers that the money belonged to. Llewelyn sends his wife away and runs with the money. After a few encounters with Anton, Llewelyn ends up in a hotel between the border of Texas and Mexico. A few of the themes of the film are greed, self-determination, and density.

  1. Analysis of the Adaptation

The film, No Country for Old Men is extremely faithful to the McCarthy novel in terms on storyline. Although it is hard to find differences in a film that thoroughly commits to the novel, there are a couple aspects that are missing from the film. One part that is missing from the film is the story’s pacing. Another part that is film cuts down on is Sheriff Bell’s character. In the novel, Sheriff Bell is seen as one of the main protagonists of the story. However, in the film Sheriff Bell is seen as a minor character until Llewelyn turns up died.

  1. Online Research on the Film

This article addresses how the Coen Brothers bend the rules of the endings of Western films and compares it to another western film, The Great Silence.

This article analyses the genre that No Country for Old Men would be placed in.

In this article, Thierry Jutel addresses how cinematic narration and mental imagery is shown in No Country for Old Men. Jutel argues that the film turns into a new “visual regime of cinema” by how it transforms the viewer into an active participant. He goes on to explain the film’s slow pace as a form of knowledge to the characters in their situation.

  1. Critical Argument Paragraph

The film version of No Country for Old Men takes on a different form of a Western thriller. In a way, the film is a revisionist Western because it takes the liberty of changing classic Western style aspects. There is no climatic shoot-out or confrontation between the film’s protagonist and antagonist. There does not seem to be a clear good and bad guy in the film as well. While Llewelyn and Anton do have several shoot-outs between each other, there never comes a point when they are face to face. Llewelyn getting killed off-screen by the Mexican dealers takes away some of the Old Western values. In Old Western films, there is usually a clear indication of “good guy vs. bad guy,” however, No Country for Old Men seems to refrain itself from giving its characters those types of roles. Even though Anton is clearly the antagonist or the “bad guy,” Llewelyn is not necessarily the hero/”good guy.” Llewelyn tries to save his wife from Anton, but he also chose to take the money and run. No Country for Old Men does take the liberty of changing the classic Western film form, but it is still able to maintain the overall aspect of a Western film.


2 thoughts on “Blog Response—No Country for Old Men

  1. I took a film studies class last year about Quentin Tarantino and was introduced to the “spaghetti western” which is what most Americans consider a western film. This film totally had that feel. I would argue that this film did have a climax – the murders at the end – but the Coen brothers were playing with us by not showing them.


  2. I do agree that the film didn’t necessarily have a good or a bad guy. However, as a viewer we are able to make that distinction for ourselves instead of it being chosen for us. I appreciated that aspect of this film.


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