Reviewer's grade: A
Ethan and Joel Coen have taken a critical drubbing in recent years, but the sibling filmmakers behind such quirky masterpieces as "Fargo" and "The Big Lebowski" are back in fighting form with the bloody, brilliant "No Country for Old Men." It helps, of course, that they have the benefit of great source material.
Based on the acclaimed Cormac McCarthy novel, the picture plumbs the dangerous recesses of humanity in this dust-choked yarn of greed, murder and mayhem along the Texas-Mexico border. Josh Brolin is a welder who comes across an abandoned suitcase full of ill-gotten money. Javier Bardem is the terrifying hit man out to recover the loot, and Tommy Lee Jones is the philosophizing sheriff trying vainly to make sense of it all.
The three turn in extraordinary performances, but most of all, "No Country for Old Men" is unbearably suspenseful, edge-of-your-seat stuff. Alfred Hitchcock, wherever he is, must be smiling in appreciation. R