YMMV / No Country for Old Men

  • Accidental Aesop:
    • Life isn't black and white. Acting like it is will just cause problems for yourself. Also if you find some money near some dead guys, for God's sake leave it the hell alone! Or at the very least, search the contents, in case there's a tracker in it...
    • Once you're free and clear, try not to go back to the crime scene later on.
  • Adaptation Displacement: The film is far better known than the novel, and many consider it to be superior.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
    • Mostly of Anton Chigurh. Those characters who know about him act like he's an unstoppable badass, but think about it. Sure, he kills plenty of people, but always by taking them by surprise/attacking them while they're unarmed/using an exotic weapon that most people wouldn't recognize/all three at once. When he finally confronts someone who is ready and able to put up a fight, he is wounded and loses his quarry. When he is faced with the prospect of a fight with Sheriff Bell, he runs away. Finally, at the end of the movie he murders Moss' innocent, unarmed wife, and then just barely escapes the police with the help of two children. The guy isn't a badass; he's just a cowardly psycho with delusions of magnificence.
      • He's also a scarily good planner. The scene in the hotel allows him to figure out how to attack the Mexican's hotel room down to every detail. Doesn't make him necessarily any more badass, just makes him good at figuring out his arenas.
    • Is Sheriff Bell the last of a dying brand of justice, incapable of containing a rising tide of evil, or a self-pitying old man so preoccupied with the past that he has become ineffectual in the present?
  • Awesome Music: After almost exclusively diegetic music note  for the whole film (and barely any of it, at that), Carter Burwell's bone-chilling theme finally plays during the credits, and it is perfect. Unfortunately, it's almost impossible to hear without simply playing the scene over and over on your DVD, because no soundtrack was released. It can, however, be heard in its entirety on Youtube here.
  • Complete Monster: Anton Chigurh is a hired assassin defined by his nihilistic personal code. Compared to the Bubonic Plague by his former associate Carson Wells, Chigurh is an emotionless killer with no regard for human life, occasionally deciding his victims' fates with a coin toss. Introduced strangling a police officer to death with handcuffs, Chigurh proceeds to murder an innocent man to steal his car, repeating this crime later in the film. Employed to recover $2 million lost in a drug deal gone bad, Chigurh murders two of his employer's men and relentlessly hunts for Llewelyn Moss to retrieve the money. Along the way, Chigurh murders several Mexican criminals who are also pursuing Moss, shooting one of them as he surrenders, and later kills a hotel clerk and a random motorist who get caught in a gunfight between Chigurh and Moss. Chigurh later kills Wells and the man who hired them both, intending to keep the money for himself, and promises to kill Moss's wife Carla Jean unless Moss surrenders the money. making it clear that he intends to kill Moss regardless; Wells had previously commented that even if Moss gave up the money, Chigurh would kill him anyway for "inconveniencing him". After Moss is killed, Chigurh murders Carla Jean, attempting to justify this senselessly cruel act by claiming to be keeping his promise. A chilling psychopath devoid of humanity, Chigurh is presented as an unstoppable force of evil, a monster without empathy or remorse.
  • Family-Unfriendly Aesop: Delivered to the sheriff near the end of the film: you can't stop bad things.
  • Fashion-Victim Villain: Regarding the haircut, in the actor's words, "I'm not going to get laid for three months." Unlike most examples of the trope, it actually makes Anton scarier instead of laughable.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Josh Brolin and Tommy Lee Jones co-starred in Men in Black 3, with Brolin playing an uncanny younger version of Jones. This means this is another film where they don't share a scene together.
  • Memetic Mutation: The Implied Facepalm. When something is so fucking retarded a full and proper facepalm is not even necessary.
  • Moral Event Horizon: The Mexican mobsters cross it when they murder the woman by the hotel pool in their attempt to kill Moss. Chigurh also kills anyone who gets in his way as he moves around the country, and in one case kills an innocent person purely on principle.
    "Can you get those chicken crates out of the bed?"
  • One-Scene Wonder:
    • Stephen Root's character, the mysterious boss who hires Carson Wells, is never named and has only two scenes.
    • Barry Corbin as the maimed former deputy Ellis has one scene with Sheriff Bell after most of the story is over.
  • Retroactive Recognition:
    • Fans of Video Game High School will be surprised to see Josh Blaylock (who plays protagonist BrianD) show up near the ending (He's the kid who gives Anton his shirt.)
    • Josh Brolin is also playing the protagonist's elder brother in The Monster Squad.
  • Squick: Somewhat of a Fridge Squick. In the hotel shootout scene, when Llewelyn tumbles out of the pickup truck, he's covered in blood. It takes a second for it to sink in that it's not HIS blood.
    • Chigurh cleaning his wounds. As well as the bone sticking out of his arm.
  • What an Idiot:
    • The cop at the beginning. How bad at your job do you have to be to nonchalantly turn your back on a suspect whose mobility is in no way impaired? Never mind strangulation by handcuffs, he could have just as easily sneaked out the door.
    • The victim whose car is stolen shortly after the above. What was this guy thinking? "Guy in cop car pulls me over, looks like death personified, no badge, carrying a white fire extinguisher thingy. Seems legit."
  • The Woobie: Carla Jean Moss. Is completely innocent, has a Jerkass husband whom orders her around without telling her anything, and a useless old mother with cancer. Her husband is killed because of his hubris, her mother dies of cancer, and she is finally killed herself by Chigurh.