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No Country for Old Men is a 2007 American neo-Western thriller film directed, written, and edited by Joel and Ethan Coen, based on Cormac McCarthy’s eponymous 2005 novel. Starring Tommy Lee Jones, Javier Bardem, and Josh Brolin, it tells the story of a Texas welder and Vietnam veteran to whom chance and greed deliver a fate that is neither wanted nor denied; a cat-and-mouse drama set in the desert landscape of 1980 West Texas. Themes of fate, conscience, and circumstance are explored; ones that the Coen brothers have previously explored in the films Blood Simple (1984) and Fargo (1996).
No Country for Old Men premiered in competition at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival on May 19. It won four awards at the 80th Academy Awards – Best Picture, Best Director, Best Supporting Actor (Bardem) and Best Adapted Screenplay, allowing the Coen brothers to join four previous directors honored three times for a single film. In addition, the film won three British Academy Film Awards (BAFTA) including Best Director, and two Golden Globes. The American Film Institute listed it as an AFI Movie of the Year, and the National Board of Review selected the film as the best of 2007.
More critics included No Country for Old Men on their 2007 top ten lists than any other film, and many regard it as the Coen brothers’ masterpiece, as well as one of the best films of the 2000s. The Guardian’s John Patterson wrote: “the Coens’ technical abilities, and their feel for a landscape-based Western classicism reminiscent of Anthony Mann and Sam Peckinpah, are matched by few living directors”, and Peter Travers of Rolling Stone said that it is “a new career peak for the Coen brothers” and “as entertaining as hell”