Wendell (Garret Dillahunt): You think this boy Moss has got any notion of the sorts of sons of bitches that're huntin' him?
Ed Tom Bell (Tommy Lee Jones): I don't know, he ought to. He's seen the same things I've seen, and it's certainly made an impression on me.
Ed Tom Bell: You know Charlie Walser? Has the place east of Sanderson? Well you know how they used to slaughter beeves, hit 'em with a maul right here to stun 'em... and then up and slit their throats? Well here Charlie has one trussed up and all set to drain him and the beef comes to. It starts thrashing around, six hundred pounds of very pissed-off livestock if you'll pardon me... Charlie grabs his gun there to shoot the damn thing in the head but what with the swingin' and twistin' it's a glance-shot and ricochets around and comes back hits Charlie in the shoulder. You go see Charlie, he still can't reach up with his right hand for his hat... Point bein', even in the contest between man and steer the issue is not certain.
Anton Chigurh (Javier Bardem): And you know what's going to happen now. You should admit your situation. There would be more dignity in it.
Carson Wells (Woody Harrelson): You go to hell.
Anton Chigurh: Let me ask you something. If the rule you followed brought you to this, of what use was the rule?
Carson Wells: Do you have any idea how goddamn crazy you are?
Anton Chigurh: You mean the nature of this conversation?
Carson Wells: I mean the nature of you.
At a glance: The Coen Brothers study of a chain of events begun with a lost stash of cash and a cold-blooded killer is evocative with its ugly brutality, stark locations, quirky sets, and elegant prose – it should easily gather a handful of Academy Awards.
A hunter/tracker and retired welder (Josh Brolin) discovers a scene of carnage; a score of Mexicans, murdered while trafficking heroin. He grabs a big satchel of money, which places a cold-blooded murderer (Javier Bardem) and a gang of Mexicans on his trail. Also in the mix are the local Sheriff (Tommy Lee Jones) and a bounty hunter (Woody Harrelson).
Aided by a seriously creepy performance by Bardem, the Coen Brothers have painted a chilling portrait of a killer, set in backwater towns of Texas populated by simple, honest folk. The stark photography by Roger Deakins combines with the meticulously chosen sets and locations to portray a Texas as depressing-looking and quirky as the story that is told.
It was almost impossible to single out a handful of great quotes from this film; basically the entire script qualifies as one big great quote. This script should win the 2008 Academy Aware for best adapted screenplay. If you can deal with the ugly violence, you will be rewarded with heaps of beautiful prose.
"…strong, evocative storytelling pared to the bone and braced with a sensibility perfectly matched to the material.
- Sean Axmaker (Seattle Post-Intelligencer)
"The Coens load the film with realistic touches that add grit and meaning to the almost mythical plot."
- Rich Cline (Shadows on the Wall)
"Virtuoso. A film of pin-sharp principles, cross-hair precision and suffocating tension, this Coens stunner hits like a cattle gun between the eyes."
- Jamie Graham (Total Film)
"Violent, poetic, gripping, thrilling and blackly funny: that’ll be the Coens doing what they do best then. Now with added humanity."
- Ian Nathan (Empire Magazine)
"With its sly wit, dark intelligence and tense action sequences this film re-establishes the Coens as two of American cinema's most talented directors. It's also the best adaptation of McCarthy's work to date and an unmissable crime movie."
- Jamie Russell (Channel 4 Film)