At first glance, No Country For Old Men is a simple cat-and-mouse story about a guy with a case full of money, running from a killer who wants the money. But it is somewhat more nuanced then that. Above all else, this film is a masterwork in undermining audience expectations. NCFOM is bound to frustrate a lot of viewers. Its reticent characters and slow pace may come off as dull and its regular subversion of convention will leave others disappointed. But this troper finds such bucking of the trend to be refreshing. NCFOM is one of those movies that has the balls to end with no victory for the hero. It likes to trick the viewer into thinking they know something the onscreen character's don't, only to pull out an ace at the last second that the audience didn't see coming. The movie sets up for a big final showdown between the protagonist and antagonist, only to subvert it at the last possible second. This film loves to screw around with the audience. Some will not like that at all, but I want to be taken for a ride. I'm tired of seeing the hero always win against insurmountable odds. If the hero is always going to ultimately win in these stories, where is the tension? Every once in a while, we need a film this nihilistic and uncompromising. Combine that with its haunting atmosphere and chilling locales, this film will be unlike anything you will have ever seen. If you want something that dares to be different, I recommend this film entirely.
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