My friend let me borrow a few screeners she received so I managed to watch this movie in the comfort of my own home. Let me say - WOW. I had heard a lot of great things and one person with a negative review (cough*Derry*cough) about the movie so I was hoping it was going to live up to my expectations and it totally did.
Stop reading now if you don't want to be spoiled.
Javier Barden is just spectacular as the killer in search of a satchel full of money that Josh Brolin's character takes. This movie reminds me so much of the old Hitchcock films. You could probably line this movie up with something like North by Northwest and find a few character similarities. Hitchcock was famous for putting his lead characters in situations over their heads and all the while trying to save themselves for a sin that they are not necessarily guilty of but it turns out they are guilty of something. Brolin's character stumbles upon a drug meet gone wrong and abandons a man that is dying and finds a satchel of money and takes it home with him. Later that night, he returns to give the man some water (that he had asked for earlier) and not only finds him dead but the owners of the money in search of him. Some others are also looking for the money and have hired Javier Bardem's character to find it as well.
I swear, anytime Bardem entered the screen I wondered what he was going to do next. He was very meticulous and calculating when it came to killing. The scene that got to me was when he was in the gas station talking to the owner. Just standing there, eating his peanuts and making conversation but at the same time sizing him up to see if he should kill him or not. You could tell that the owner had that look on his face, that he knew he was dead and was just trying to process it. And I loved that Brolin's wife threw the "coin" theory out the window and I think that bugged him more than anything. He wanted to believe that the coin chose (like with the owner of the gas station) like a fate, but in the end - it was he who decided who died and who didn't. Maybe he didn't like that he had all that power of life over death and he wanted to put the fault on someone else (you stole the money, you deserve to die; you picked heads, it was tails).
The only thing that I would have liked to see was more Tommy Lee Jones/Javier Bardem interaction. It seemed that it would have been a really good rivalry with TLJ's no nonsense approach and Bardem's no nonsense killing. I was almost waiting for them to meet up but that never does happen. Quite frankly, the way it was left - was a little unsettling and bittersweet but I accept that some movies can't be tied together in a little bow and this is why it left the impression it did with me. But the more I think about it, its almost better that way too.
I highly recommend seeing this movie, so you know why Bardem will win the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor.
Final Rating: Worth Paying Full Price