Must-see movies required for a successful existence
Why it’s famous:
This neo-Western thriller set in the 1980s is probably one of the most famous Coen Brothers flicks. With four Academy Awards and numerous appearances on critics’ top 10 lists, this suspenseful story of cat-and-mouse takes the screen with gripping scenes, brilliant screenwriting, and probably one of the most ubiquitous and equally awful haircuts you will ever see on Javier Bardem.
Llewelyn Moss: If I don’t come back, tell mother I love her.
Anton Chigurh: What’s the most you ever lost in a coin toss?
Carla Jean Moss: Your mother’s dead, Llewelyn.
Llewelyn Moss: Well then I’ll tell her myself.
Carla Jean Moss: You don’t have to do this.
Anton Chigurh: People always say the same thing.
Carla Jean Moss: What do they say?
Anton Chigurh: They say, ‘You don’t have to do this.’
Why you haven’t seen it:
You read the synopsis and the idea of a Western set in the 1980s just didn’t do it for you. So you passed and instead shame-watched reality TV although you would never admit to it.
Why it might be tough to get through:
With only 16 minutes of music including the end credits, this movie has the striking feature of being painfully, writhingly, and almost entirely soundtrack-less which can either have the effect of keeping you on the edge of your seat, or slowly lulling your eyes shut. It also takes a while to figure out exactly what is going on and where it’s going.
Why you should see it anyway:
When it comes to the Coen Brothers, patience is a virtue. While this movie does seem slow-paced, it actually becomes quite the thriller about a half hour into it, at which point you’ll start cheering for the heavily moustached Josh Brolin and actually root for the guy.
The silence of this movie, although very striking and hard to deal with at first, adds an element of worry, excitement, and delectable tension, which makes the movie unique in an era when movies tend to be so heavily scored.
• Unlike most successful book adaptations, much of the film’s action is taken word for word from Cormac McCarthy’s novel, and occurs in the same order.
• The silencer on Chigurh’s shotgun was specially made for the movie. Such a device didn’t exist, so the Coens had one invented.