->''"What you got ain't nothin' new. This country's hard on people. You can't stop what's coming. It ain't all waitin' on you. That's vanity."''

''No Country for Old Men'' is a 2005 neo-western thriller novel by Creator/CormacMcCarthy, a grizzled old man who refuses to discuss his books beyond their often disturbing content. In 2007 it was adapted into a film written and directed by Creator/TheCoenBrothers -- two oddballs with a great sense of black humor and a love for twisted storylines -- and the result was a breathtaking and chillingly eerie film that's considerably bleaker than anything else they've done.

West Texas, 1980: When rugged Vietnam veteran Llewelyn Moss (played in the film by Creator/JoshBrolin) finds the horrific aftermath of a botched drug deal and takes a suitcase filled with money, he sets in motion a spiral of violence beyond his control or comprehension. A cynical old sheriff, Ed Tom Bell (Creator/TommyLeeJones), is determined to prove that there's still a place for justice in an otherwise unfair and cruel world as he sets out to find Moss and protect him from the owners of the money.

There's just one small hitch: an assassin has been sent after the stolen money, and he is ''a complete sociopath''. Anton Chigurh (Creator/JavierBardem) is a man willing to do ''absolutely anything'' -- to "[[{{Ubermensch}} follow a supreme act of will]]", as [[BlueAndOrangeMorality he puts it]] -- in order to achieve his aims... and it's no longer just the money he's after.

The film was honored with numerous awards: it received three British Academy of Film awards, two Golden Globes, and UsefulNotes/{{Academy Award}}s for Best Picture (Scott Rudin and [[Creator/TheCoenBrothers Ethan and Joel Coen]]), Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay (the Coen brothers), and Best Supporting Actor (Bardem).

!!Provides examples of:


* AnAesop: Monstrous evil like Chigurh has always existed, and thinking previous times were better or more moral is vanity. Despite all of this, there are always people who will [[ArcWords carry the fire.]]
* ArbitraryGunPower: In RealLife, a cattle-gun would barely be able to '''dent''' a [[spoiler:door-lock]], much less [[spoiler:blow it completely out of the door.]] Though one could argue that one of the most psychotic and dangerous people ever may have made a few accommodations to his main method of breaking into houses and killing victims.
* ActionSurvivor: Llewelyn Moss in some parts. [[spoiler:Not so much by the end.]]
* AloneWithThePsycho: Most characters in the story find themselves alone and helpless with Anton Chigurh. [[spoiler:No one ever shows up to rescue them.]]
* AmbiguousSituation:
** It's never made explicit whether Chigurh killed [[spoiler: the accountant]].
** Does Bell's dream symbolize hope, or despair?
* AntiHero: Moss is probably a NominalHero. Bell gradually goes into KnightInSourArmor.
* AnyoneCanDie: One of the themes of the film.
* TheAtoner: Sheriff Ed Tom Bell. Mostly in the book; just hinted at in TheFilmOfTheBook.
* AxCrazy: Anton Chigurh is a subversion. He has his reasons, and he's more coldly logical than crazy. He does, however, have one of the primary traits of a true AxCrazy, which is the immense amount of danger involved in engaging with him.
* TheBadGuyWins: [[spoiler:That this seems to happen more and more in the modern world is what drives Sheriff Bell over the DespairEventHorizon.]]
* BadassBoast: "I'm going to make you ''my special project''."
* BavarianFireDrill: In a particularly disturbing example, Chigurh steals a random passerby's pickup truck by pulling him over in a police car, and manages to get him to stand still and complacent as he punches a hole into his forehead with a cattle bolt.
* BeigeProse: The novel.
* BigBad: Anton Chigurh.
* BigBadWannabe: The [[CorruptCorporateExecutive middle manager]] of the Matacumbe Petroleum Group. He seems to be the one who arranged to purchase $2.4 million worth of black tar heroin from Pablo Acosta's Juarez Cartel, and is responsible for bringing both Chigurh and Wells into the plot that he kicked off the begin with. It's subtly implied that this may be his first rodeo and that he's in over his head, and the company's initial foray into the drug trade ultimately gets him killed.
* BilingualBonus: When Moss gets woken up by the Mariachis the song they're playing translates to: "You wanted to fly with no wings/ You wanted to touch heaven/ You wanted many riches/ You wanted to play with fire/ And now that -"
* BlackAndGrayMorality: Chigurh versus Moss. Chigurh is a relentless, cold-blooded killer. Moss is impulsive and prideful, getting innocent people such as his wife in danger or killed as well as [[spoiler:leading to his own death.]]
* BlackAndWhiteMorality: Moss mistakenly believes that this is how the world works.
* BriefcaseFullOfMoney: Moss takes one from the site of the botched drug deal, setting the plot in motion.
* BusCrash: The entire story seems to be building towards a climactic duel between Moss and Chigurh, but in the end [[spoiler:Moss is killed off-screen by a gang of Mexican drug runners]]. A deliberate [[SubvertedTrope subversion]] of DeathIsDramatic (see above).
* CarnivalOfKillers: Not only Chigurh, but Harrelson's character, and the random hitmen Chigurh kills.
* TheCartel: Real life drug kingpin Pablo Acosta's Juarez Cartel is one of the two parties involved in the drug deal gone wrong. [[spoiler: Their hitmen eventually kill Moss.]]
* CassandraTruth: ''"It's full of money."''
* CelebrityParadox: In the novel Ed Tom Bell mentions the murder of a federal judge in San Antonio. He's referring to John Howland Wood, who was assassinated outside his townhouse by a contract killer named Charles Harrelson on May 29, 1979. Creator/WoodyHarrelson (yes, the son of Charles) would go on to co-star in the [[Creator/TheCoenBrothers Coen Brothers]]' film.
* ContractOnTheHitman: Carson is hired to kill Anton after [[spoiler:Anton kills the managerials who'd come with him out to survey the deal gone bad, as well as the Mexicans at the motel, causing his boss to think he'd gone rogue]].
* CounterfeitCash: [[PlayingWithATrope Downplayed]]: the money [[spoiler: within the briefcase]] is certainly authentic, but its setup is misleading [[spoiler: as one layer below the top row of bundles of "hundred"'s is a row with bundles of "one"'s, including a bundle with a slot cut inside it to store a tracker]].
* CrapsackWorld: Sheriff Bell seems to believe that this is what the world is becoming, as does his friend in El Paso, who complains about teens coloring their hair and wearing nose rings. His old mentor later sets him straight. The world isn't becoming a crapsack, it's always been that way.
* CrazyPrepared: Moss goes to some trouble setting up a proper hideout and trying to preempt his enemy's attacks. [[ProperlyParanoid If it were not for his quick thinking and planning]], he would have been killed very quickly.
* CreatorThumbprint: Even though this movie shocked many audiences in 2007 by being considerably DarkerAndEdgier than most of the [[Creator/TheCoenBrothers Coens]]' previous films, it still bears several of their signature elements: it's set in the recent past (the early 1980's), it's about a crime gone awry (the botched drug deal), and it features a seemingly emotionless ImplacableMan with an embarrassing haircut (Chigurh).
* CreepyMonotone: Chigurh speaks in this, although the slight intonation he does have at times carries almost palpable menace.
* DarkerAndEdgier: ... than anything the [[Creator/CoenBrothers Coen brothers]] did previously, even their debut ''Film/BloodSimple''
* DeadFootLeadfoot: Moss hitches a ride with a bystander, who is killed while Moss talks to him. Later, he hitches another ride with an entirely different man, who is also killed for his trouble, but that happens long after he was separated from Moss.
* DeadpanSnarker: Llewelyn Moss is (at least at first) a carefree one. His wife Carla Jean Moss is a fretful one. Ed Tom Bell is a wistful, morose one. Anton Chigurh is a cold and deadly one.
--> '''Chigurh''': What business is it of yours where I'm from...friendo?
* DeathIsDramatic: [[spoiler:Moss's]] death is a notably subverted in drama, as it happens off screen. Though in the book, the gun battle with the cartel is actually described vividly by a police officer after the fact, and it's pretty damn dramatic how it went down.
* {{Deconstruction}}: Moss is a deconstruction of the action hero, especially the older tougher variety. He thinks of himself as tough, resourceful, and morally righteous. To the audience, he comes across as greedy, vain and stupid, never really thinking of the consequences of his actions or of the potential cost to those around him. Like Sheriff Bell, Moss is an archetype of a forgotten era, from a time when men never gave in to bad guys and the lines of black and white were clear. He doesn't seem to realize that the world is turning into a much darker place where men like him have no place. [[spoiler:Unlike Bell, he never realizes and pays the ultimate price for his arrogance.]]
* DecoyProtagonist: Llewelyn Moss. Sheriff Bell is the real protagonist (however nominal), and delivers both the opening and closing monologues. The story is about an old man not adapting to the reality of the brutal environment he works in.
* DeepSouth: The setting, although the simple folk oblivious to the evil encroaching upon them evoke shades of SweetHomeAlabama.
* DespairEventHorizon: Bell crosses it [[spoiler:after the deaths of Llewelyn and Carla Jean]]. A conversation with his Uncle Ellis reminds him that criminality and senseless violence have always been part of life in the region. Bell's narration ends on an ambiguous note as he relates two dreams he had. (They seem to allude to Creator/CormacMcCarthy's masterpiece ''Literature/TheRoad''.)
* DiabolusExNihilo: Played very, very straight with Anton Chigurh. He spends the first act of the film terrorizing the townsfolk for reasons that are never really discussed. As the second act begins, he's instantly involved in the plot without a word of explanation. We don't even know who's employing him, and the people the audience thinks are employing him get blown away.
* {{Determinator}}: ''All'' the men. [[spoiler:But Chigurh trumps everyone else; ''nothing'', not even potentially crippling injuries, will keep him down for long.]]
* DiceRollDeath:
** Anton Chigurh uses a coin toss to decide whether to kill or spare certain people.
** When Chigurh escapes the police station, he stops a driver on a highway to kill him and steal his car. The poor guy just happened to be the only one on the road.
** Llewellyn flags down a motorist on an otherwise deserted street while running from Chigurh; the driver dies when Chigurh shoots at them. As above, the guy was just in the wrong place at the wrong time.
* DisapprovingLook: Creator/TommyLeeJones' famous "Implied Facepalm" given to one of his deputies - in context, it's both annoyance at the gung-ho of the Deputy trying to get Bell off his ass and investigating the crime scene, and the fact the other agencies on scene are just as gung-ho.
* DissonantSerenity: One of the most chilling aspects of Chigurh.
* DownerEnding: Not only [[spoiler:is the Deuteragonist murdered (off-screen)]], but then [[spoiler:the villain murders the hero's wife (again, off-screen) and escapes justice, leaving an old man to contemplate his inability to act in the face of so much seemingly pointless violence of the world]].
* TheDreaded: Even other [[PsychoForHire hardened]] [[ProfessionalKiller killers]] are afraid of Chigurh, and with good reason.
* EasterEgg: The credits include an attribution for "The One Right Tool", a reference to one of Chigurh's apparent reasons for turning on his employer. (Right above it is a credit for "Serious Matters": i.e.: lawyerin' stuff.)
* EeriePaleSkinnedBrunette: Chigurh.
* TheEighties: Set in 1980; since it's the beginning of the decade, and the setting is rural Texas, there isn't much of stereotypical '80s fashion. Chigurh's rather out-of-place garb (alligator skin boots, denim jacket...) could be leftover fashion from the '70s, not to mention his haircut. There's no '80s pop soundtrack either; it's mostly eerie sound effects or silence.
* EveryoneCallsHimBarkeep: Stephen Root's character is credited as "Man Who Hires Wells".
* EvilIsPetty:
** Chigurh is willing to [[spoiler:belittle and possibly kill a gas station attendant for ''trying to make small talk with him'']].
** In the novel, he casually describes how he murdered someone in a parking lot for making fun of him.
* EvilOverlooker: Chigurh overlooks Llewelyn Moss on the DVD cover pictured above.
* {{Expy}}: Chigurh is one of Franchise/TheTerminator. WordOfGod acknowledged this, and said that the ending where [[spoiler:Chigurh has a violent bone break]] was to make him seem less like a machine.
* FaceDeathWithDignity:
** Carla Jean, in the film.
--->'''Carla Jean:''' The coin ain't got no say. It's just ''you''.
** Also discussed when Chigurh is about to kill [[spoiler:Carson]].
--->'''Chigurh:''' You should admit your situation. There would be more dignity in it.
** The Accountant seems remarkably unfazed considering Chigurh has just killed the only other man in the room with him; he just calmly asks if he's going to die next. [[spoiler: But it's entirely possible he survives, as we never do see the results of the conversation.]]
* FluffyTheTerrible: {{Lampshade|Hanging}}d; "Chigurh" is pronounced almost like "sugar". Then there's his sense of fashion...
* FreshClue: In the film, Sheriff Ed Tom Bell is investigating Llewelyn Moss' trailer and notices condensation on a bottle of milk. The killer they're tracking had left the milk there less than an hour ago. Unfortunately, this doesn't really help them find the killer ''now''.
-->'''Ed Tom Bell:''' Now that's aggravatin'.\\
'''Wendell:''' Sheriff?\\
'''Bell:''' ''[points to a bottle of milk]'' Still sweatin'.\\
'''Wendell:''' Whoa, Sheriff! We just missed him! We gotta circulate this! On Radio!\\
'''Bell:''' Alright. What do we circulate? "Lookin' for a man who has recently drunk milk?"
* FreudianTrio: Moss is the Ego, Chigurh is the Id (representing darkness and violence), Bell the Superego (representing all that is good and rational). Going on the Good vs. Evil, with man in the middle interpretation, that is.
* GenreBusting: A specialty of Creator/TheCoenBrothers.
* GoodCannotComprehendEvil: A major theme of the story, embodied by Sheriff Bell.
%% * GoodOlBoy: Carson Wells, among others.
* {{Gorn}}:
** The [[Creator/TheCoenBrothers Coen brothers]] said themselves they wanted to make the "strangling" scene in the beginning the most violent strangling in the history of movies.
** The unfortunate random passerby whose only crime was letting Moss into his pickup suffers one of the most gruesome deaths in the movie.
** The death of [[spoiler:the man who hires Wells.]]
** Then there's the guy in the hotel whose arm gets ''obliterated'' by Chigurh's WeaponOfChoice.
* GoryDiscretionShot: Several; in one instance, a discretion cut moves to a later scene.
* TheGuardsMustBeCrazy: Moss simply walks over the US-Mexican border into Mexico, past the only Mexican night shift customs officer, who is asleep. TruthInTelevision however [[JustifiedTrope justifies]] this - you can indeed cross the border ''to'' Mexico without as much as a passport control, but getting ''back'' to the US is a '''totally''' different affair altogether.

* HappilyMarried: Ed Tom Bell and Loretta; Llewelyn and Carla Jean (though they snark at each other occasionally).
* HatesSmallTalk: The unfettered, purpose-driven Chigurh does not respond well to idle chit-chat (see EvilIsPetty).
* HeadsOrTails: Anton Chigurh flips a coin to decide whether to kill a potential victim. Those that choose not to take the chance are killed anyway, because they refuse to submit to the PowersThatBe. [[AlternativeCharacterInterpretation Fans actually debate over the reason why he does it.]] [[spoiler:[[FaceDeathWithDignity Carla Jean refuses to play]], [[ShutUpHannibal refusing to blame the coin or fate for what she believes is her inevitable death - simply Chigurh]].]]
* TheHeroDies: [[spoiler:Moss himself at the end.]]
* HeroKiller: Anton Chigurh murders [[spoiler: Carson Wells and Carla Jean]].
* HollywoodSilencer: With its enormous silencer, Chigurh's Remington 11-87 shotgun has a report no louder than that of a BB gun.
* HistoricalDomainCharacter: Though he doesn't appear, real-life Mexican drug kingpin Pablo Acosta is hinted to be one of the parties interested in recovering the stolen briefcase.
* IfIDoNotReturn:
--> '''Llewelyn:''' If I don't come back, tell mother I love her.\\
'''Carla Jean:''' Your mother's dead.\\
'''Llewelyn:''' Well, then I'll tell her myself.
* ImprobableAimingSkills: Somewhat averted with Anton Chigurh, a hitman with probably decades of experience. He is capable of gunning down the driver of a vehicle from a lengthy distance using a sub-machine gun with only two shots. The third would have killed the passenger had he not reacted quickly.
* ImprobableWeaponUser: Chigurh. He uses a pneumatic cattle bolt gun as a a lock-breaker and once as an improvised weapon, and his primary firearm is a silenced Remington 11-87 shotgun with a pistol grip.
* ImproperlyPlacedFirearms: In one scene, Chigurh uses a Glock 19 pistol. Glock pistols were not produced until 1983. The movie takes place in 1980
** Not to mention his Remington 11-87, introduced 1987
* InfoDrop: In the film, the date is revealed from the fact that a 1958 coin "has traveled 22 years to get here". Agnes' tombstone also bears the year.
* IronicEcho:
** Not verbally exchanges, but when Chigurh [[spoiler:gets into a car collision that gives him a nasty open fracture (read: the bone piercing the skin]], he asks two youths for his shirt as a (partial) disguise in exchange for a lot of money. Llewellyn did it earlier after getting wounded by Anton, asking three college-age kids for a coat in exchange for a lot of money.
** This example exists only in the book: When Sheriff Bell first meets Carla Jean, he removes his hat which she takes to mean that he's informing her that her husband is dead, and Bell has to quickly calm her down and explain that he was just being polite before she has a breakdown. Later on (and this scene is in the film) they meet again and he removes his hat once more, only this time [[spoiler:Llewelyn]] is actually dead and it takes Carla Jean a moment to understand this time.
* TheIngenue: Carla Jean Moss, who is genuinely innocent of Llewellyn's antics.
* KarmaHoudini: Played with. [[spoiler:Llewellyn's killers get away just as Bell gets there, but he managed to kill one and sent the rest running in fear.]] Later, [[spoiler:Chigurh does kill his wife, but she defies his nonsensical logic. Shortly after, a car slams into him, apparently killing him, but he manages to get out and escape after bribing some kids nearby to keep quiet - many critics saw this as a clean getaway, but even with his medical knowledge, the injuries he received are not treatable by himself, and are very likely to put him out of commission, if not kill him.]] It's spelled out further in the book, where [[spoiler:one of the kids rats him out and the sheriffs know where he's going.]]
* KillThemAll: [[spoiler:Come the finale, the only major characters not seen dead are Ed Tom and Chigurh.]]
* LampshadeHanging:
--> '''Carla Jean''': You don't have to do this.\\
'''Chigurh''': People always say the same thing.\\
'''Carla Jean''': What did they say?\\
'''Chigurh''': They say, "you don't have to do this".
* LaserGuidedKarma: [[spoiler:Chigurh gets T-boned by a speeding car a few minutes after killing Carla Jean. While Chigurh's shown to have fixed his wounds before, the sort of fracture he receives is going to put him out of commission for a long while (if not permanently) without real medical aid.]]
* LettingTheAirOutOfTheBand: Used in the mariachi band scene for one of the few moments of overt comic relief in the film.
* LiteraryAllusionTitle: Taken from the poem [[http://www.online-literature.com/yeats/781/ "Sailing to Byzantium"]] by Creator/WilliamButlerYeats. While in the original poem the speaker is an old man who can no longer keep up with the lust (Eros) of the young, Sheriff Bell is an old man who can't keep up with the violence (Thanatos) of the young.
* AMacGuffinFullOfMoney: Moss has a suitcase containing $2 million. Chigurh is hunting Moss to get the money. Bell is hunting Chigurh and simultaneously hunting Moss in hopes of getting him to safety. [[spoiler:Chigurh never catches up with Moss, and Bell never catches up with either Moss or Chigurh. Bell and Chigurh ''almost'' cross paths, but they never actually meet one another.]]
* MeanCharacterNiceActor: Javier Bardem, whose icy, menacing and intense performance as Anton Chigurh won him a well-deserved Oscar and created one of the most memorable movie villains in recent history, is in reality a very meek and soft-spoken man; most of his other roles have been in romantic comedies. He confessed to being alarmed by the graphic violence in the film and the pure evil of his character, and says he only agreed to take the part because he believed the Coens were using violence to make a meaningful statement.
* MissedHimByThatMuch: Anton tracks Llewellyn via transponder to a motel room. While Anton is [[spoiler:violently eliminating the Mexicans occupying the room, Llewellyn is dragging the 50 lb. satchel through a ventilation duct in the opposite room. The gunfire and screaming mask the scraping sounds created by the bag.]] By the time Anton checks the vent, Llewellyn has left the motel and hitched a ride out of town.
* MissingFloor: In the scene where Wells gets hired at the "corporate office", he makes a comment about counting the floors to the building and there being one missing. This is in reference to the practice of skipping floor [[ThirteenIsUnlucky "13" in larger buildings because the number is considered unlucky]]. Of course, there still is a thirteenth floor in the building, it's only the label that's changed. It's a subtle indication that the people at the top of the organization are kidding themselves about what they can control.
* MoodWhiplash: The entire scene with the mariachi band - they wake up Llewyn from his tense firefight with Chigurh, and [[LettingTheAirOutOfTheBand stop when they see his blood-covered shirt.]]
* {{Motifs}}: Throughout the movie, cowboy boots are heavily focused on, whether its through the frequent shots of Anton Chigurh's or having an entire scene devoted to Llewelyn buying them, with this fixation emphasising the NewOldWest atmosphere of the film as a whole.
* {{Narrator}}: In the novel, Sheriff Ed Tom Bell. In the movie, he narrates the opening, and in his closing scenes, his dialogue becomes more and more like narration.
* MurderIsTheBestSolution: Or in Chigurh's case, murder is the ONLY solution.
* NeverTrustATrailer: The trailer makes the film look like a tough action film and alludes to a final confrontation between Wells and Chigurh. Those who have seen the film know that the trailer couldn't be less like it.
* NewOldWest: A very Western story, set in a very Western state, complete with sundowns and showdowns and gunfights.
%% * NightmareFuelStationAttendant: Anton Chigurh.
* NoEnding: [[PlayingWithATrope Played with]]. As noted above, [[spoiler:with the exceptions of Chigurh and Sheriff Bell, every major character dies]]. A quick shot reveals that [[spoiler:Chigurh had found the money in the ventilation system again, and left with the money]], but it goes by fast and is irrelevant to the story by this point. Further, [[spoiler:Chigurh is grievously wounded - in the novel, it's taken further, where the sheriffs will continue tracking him.]]
* NoGoodDeedGoesUnpunished:
** The man with the chicken crates who stops to give Chigurh a jump. He gets his brains removed for his troubles.
** Moss' act of mercy to bring the dying Mexican mobster water gets the cartels Chigurh on his trail, though it also gives him warning that someone is looking for the cash, which sets Moss running and helps him figure out that there's a tracking beacon in the cash before Chigurh can ambush him.
* NominalHero: Moss. He is impulsive, prideful, greedy, and his actions get a lot of innocent people killed as well as ensuring his own doom. However, we are not supposed to see him as a hero so much as a greedy, stupid man in a situation far out of his depth. The only thing he really has going for him is that the man chasing him is a lot worse.
* NostalgiaAintLikeItUsedToBe: [[PlayingWithATrope Played with.]] Sheriff Bell often muses about how someone like Chigurh wouldn't have gotten away with anything in the "old days", but this claim is undermined at the end when his uncle Ellis tells him a tale of how his grandfather was killed in cold blood on his own porch in 1909 by a trio of Native Americans, and then says to him flat out that claiming the "old days" were better or more moral is nothing but vanity.
* NothingIsScarier:
** This movie manages to make the act of ''unscrewing a lightbulb'' frightening.
** The build-up before [[spoiler:the hotel shootout between Llewelyn and Chigurh.]]
** Anton can even make a ''coin flip'' absolutely terrifying.
* ObstructiveBureaucrat: The one time Anton Chigurh meets his match.
* OminousWalk: Anton Chigurh uses this quite a bit.
* ParrotExposition: Chigurh, especially so during the Gas Station scene:
-->'''Owner''': Will there be something else?\\
'''Chigurh''': I don't know, will there?\\
'''Owner''': Is something wrong?\\
'''Chigurh''': With what?\\
'''Owner''': With anything.\\
'''Chigurh''': Is that what you're asking me? Is there something wrong with anything?\\
'''Owner''': Will there be anything else?\\
'''Chigurh''': You already asked me that.\\
'''Owner''': Well, I need to see about closing now.\\
'''Chigurh''': See about closing?\\
'''Owner''': Yes, sir.\\
'''Chigurh''': What time do you close?\\
'''Owner''': Now. We close now.\\
'''Chigurh''': Now is not a time. What time do you close?\\
'''Owner''': Generally around dark. At dark.\\
'''Chigurh''': (beat) You don't know what you're talking about, do you?
* PetTheDog: Llewelyn goes back to the scene of the gunfight with a full carton of water, out of sympathy for the driver he refused to help earlier ("I ain't got no damn agua") who was probably dead anyway.
* PileBunker: Chigurh's weapon of choice.
* PlayAlongPrisoner: In his first scene, Anton Chigurh allows a deputy to arrest him, [[spoiler:slips his cuffs from back to front, kills the deputy, and steals a police car.]] All just to prove a point about supreme will.
* PoliceAreUseless: The cops are either shot or are too late - and even then, Ed Tom is either unwilling or unable to do more, such as help federals and DEA agents with investigating the bizarre murder scene. [[spoiler:In the end, he decides he's had enough after Llewellyn is killed right before he manages to reach him.]]
* PragmaticAdaptation: The style in which the novel is written would seem to be difficult to adapt to film, but the Coens manage to do it justice by translating [=McCarthy=]'s stark language into stark imagery and audio design. This resulted in it being one of the few films that is widely regarded to be superior to the book.
* ProfessionalKiller: Both Anton Chigurh and Carson Wells are assassins-for-hire and psychopathic, but Chigurh ''far'' outstrips Wells in the latter aspect.
* QuieterThanSilence: Due to there being almost no music prior to the closing credits, the audience can hear a lot of environmental sounds like wind and footsteps, when characters aren't talking or shooting.
* RealityHasNoSoundtrack: The film uses an almost exclusive diegetic soundtrack in some places and silence in others, which adds to the NothingIsScarier theme of the film.
* RuleOfThree: Anton doesn't like getting blood on his boots, which we see three times: the first time in the hotel room when he shoots the Mexicans (while in sock feet). The second time, after [[spoiler: he shoots Welles]] he puts his feet up as he's on the phone with Llewellyn. The third time, he's coming out of Carla Jean's mother's house, proof that [[spoiler: he also killed Carla Jean]].
* SelfStitching: Anton blows up a car so he can steal the medical supplies to treat his injuries; he's later shown stitching himself up, as if we need proof that he's any more badass than he already is.
* ScarilyCompetentTracker: Carson Wells. Subverted by Anton Chigurh, however. Llewelyn eventually realizes that there's no way Chigurh could be tracking him so effectively without some sort of advantage. Sure enough, there's a tracking device in the money bag.
* SceneryGorn: From the shots of the barren, desolate Texas landscape to the long pans over dead bodies in the early stages of decay, this movie has it in spades.
* ShootOutTheLock: Chigurh uses the cattle gun to do this when he's not using it for... [[{{Squick}} other things]].
* ShootTheShaggyDog: The climax of the film is starkly anticlimactic, causing many to debate whether it was a brilliant {{deconstruction}} or an insulting cop-out.
* ShoutOut: Mike Zoss Pharmacy. "Mike Zoss" is the name of the Coen Brothers' production company and it was the actual name of a pharmacy located in [[http://bingoprof.blogspot.com/2007/12/mike-zoss-pharmacy.html St. Louis Park, Minnesota]].
* ASimplePlan: A very dark take.
* SlasherSmile: Chigurh sports one during the strangling scene; it's the most emotion he shows in the entire movie.
* TheSociopath: Anton Chigurh is such a potent one that he's a walking force of unstoppable evil.
* SurpriseCarCrash: It uses this as part of its AntiClimax ending. After [[spoiler: Anton Chigurh kills Carla Jean and drives off before the police arrives, his car is struck down by another vehicle as he is leaving the neighborhood. Chigurh is as much a victim of circumstance as anyone else]].
* TheSyndicate: The Matacumbe Petroleum Group, which is the company that owns the stolen money and hires both Anton Chigurh and Carson Welles to recover it.
* TakeAThirdOption: Subverted. [[spoiler:Carla refuses to call the coin Chigurh flips for her. He kills her anyway.]]
* ThatsWhatSheSaid : Amazingly enough. In the book, during the first exchange between Moss and Carla Jean.
--> Keep it up.
--> That's what she said.
* TrespassingToTalk: The protagonist's wife encountering PsychoForHire Anton Chigurh in her house who was waiting there for her to return.
* TwentyMinutesIntoThePast: The book is set in the 1980s but was released in 2005, and the movie in 2007.
* UncertainDoom: After Chigurh kills [[spoiler: the man who hired Wells]], the accountant with whom said man was speaking asks Chigurh what he'll do to him:
--> ''Accountant'': Are you going to shoot me?
--> ''Chigurh'': [[HeadsIWinTailsYouLose That depends]]: [[YouDidntSeeThat do you]] [[IWasNeverHere see me]]?
-->-- ''end of scene''
* UselessProtagonist: Sheriff Bell, too apathetic to even properly pursue Chigurh, unlike the hotshot deputies and the out-of-state investigators trying to piece together what's going on. One of his major scenes is his deputy trying to encourage him to go with the investigators at the crime scenes - he doesn't care, saying it'll do no good. [[spoiler:He doesn't bother with investigating further after he fails to stop Chigurh, or the hitmen from killing Llewyn.]]
* VillainsNeverLie: Averted. The Juarez Cartel recovers their heroin from the deal gone wrong, but reports it missing to the other party involved.
* VomitIndiscretionShot: Llewelyn, after inspecting his wounds past the Mexican border.
* WeaponOfChoice:
** Bell uses a revolver for a service pistol.
** Chigurh carries a captive bolt pistol wherever he goes and also has a silenced shotgun to sneak up on targets with.
** Moss ''doesn't'' have a signature weapon, using whatever's at hand while on the run. He uses everything from his hunting rifle to a SawedOffShotgun.
* WhamLine: It doubles as a BadassBoast...or it would have if not for the eventual subversion.
-->'''Llewelyn Moss:''' Yeah, I'm going to bring you something, alright. I decided to make you a special project of mine. [[BringIt You ain't going have to come looking for me at all.]]
* WhyDontYouJustShootHim: The duel between Chigurh and Moss is very different in the book and movie. In the movie, [[spoiler:When Chigurgh cracks the doorknob, it strikes Moss, who shoots back and flees. In the book, Moss turns on his bathroom light and hides in the dark, and when Chigurh inspects the bathroom, Moss holds him at gunpoint and escorts him down the hall with Chigurh facing away. He had the opportunity to kill him there, but is apparently reluctant to commit murder.]]
* WrongGenreSavvy: Llewelyn Moss. He refuses to accept that the world isn't as black and white as he believes it is and acts like he's a stereotypical action hero. [[spoiler:This flaw ends up getting him killed.]]
* XanatosSpeedChess: The film is essentially a three way game between Moss, Chigurh, and Bell.
** Moss is clever enough to have a plan for when his motel room is compromised. He places his satchel of money in an air vent he can reach from another room. [[spoiler:Unfortunately, he isn't able to keep up for too long.]]
** When Anton Chigurh [[spoiler:is outsmarted and injured by Moss outside the Eagle Motel]], he realizes bushwhacking the Vietnam veteran isn't going to work. Anton immediately restructures his hunt to prioritize eliminating Moss' only way out: Wells and the man who hired him. He then threatens to kill his wife, in order to lure Moss to the nearest airport.
* YouKeepTellingYourselfThat: It practically defines the character of Anton Chigurh. The film version stresses this even further; [[spoiler:in the book, he manages to intimidate Carla Jean into calling the coin toss. In the film, we never see her break. She refuses to give him that 'out', and it's the closest he gets to a defeat.]]
* YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness: Chigurh does this to everybody to the point it's impossible to deal with him.
-->'''Carson Wells:''' You can't make a deal with him. Even if you gave him the money he'd still kill you just for troubling him. He's a peculiar man.