40 must-watch movies to consider yourself a film buff

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No Country for Old Men (2007)

We haven’t talked about the Western a lot in this series and that’s because it’s a genre that stayed pretty stagnant throughout the classic era. The Western, in the early days, promoted Western expansion with men clearly defined in black and white. There were some shifts in the narrative here and there, but not much until the modern era. (I do urge you to check out 1939’s Stagecoach, 1956’s The Searchers, and 1962’s The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance.)

By the early 2000s, the Western had all but died as a genre, with movies acting as neo-Westerns or espousing Western ideals in a modern context. This is the case with the Coen brothers’ adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s No Country for Old Men. Taking place in the harsh landscape of Texas, the film follows Llewellyn Moss (Josh Brolin) who stumbles upon a briefcase full of money belonging to hired hand Anton Chigurh (Javier Bardem). Thus begins a modern-day (or ‘80s per the film’s time period) game of white hats and black hats.

No Country is tense from the word go, but it’s at its best when Bardem arrives to instill fear in everyone’s hearts. His scene in the convenience store as he determines life and death with a coin toss still creeps me out.

Where to Watch It: Rent now via Amazon, Google Play, PlayStation, YouTube, Apple, and Vudu.