This is a film that pulls no punches – it’s brutal, violent and at times perverse. It is almost sadistic in how it removes all sense of catharsis from the audience, yet does so with such grace and efficiency that you’re constantly shaking your head in amazement.
Roughly, the story is about a guy (Josh Brolin, in top-notch form) who stumbles across a drug deal gone bad, and he gets chased by one serious bad-ass played in career defining perfection by Javier Bardem. Tommy Lee Jones plays a sheriff who gets caught up, and an all star cast of supporting players fill out the rest of the plotting.
There is never a moment when the film isn’t smarter than its audience, yet there is nothing pretentious or precious about the presentation. This is an unabashedly literary movie, clearly demanding multiple viewings. The photography is gorgeous, and this fantastic presentation by the genius Coen boys prove once again they are at the tops of their game, the pinnacle of contemporary American filmmaking.
Plus, I hereby declare, nay, demand that Bardem’s hair deserves an Oscar!