Top 25 Countdown — No. 3


Today I continue my Top 25 countdown with a Coen Brothers classic.

No. 3 — No Country For Old Men (2007)
Starring: Tommy Lee Jones, Josh Brolin, Javier Bardem, Woody Harelson, and Kelly Macdonald
Director: Joel and Ethan Coen
Quote: "I was sheriff of this county when I was twenty-five years old. Hard to believe. My grandfather was a lawman; father too. Me and him was sheriffs at the same time; him up in Plano and me out here. I think he's pretty proud of that. I know I was. Some of the old time sheriffs never even wore a gun. A lotta folks find that hard to believe. Jim Scarborough'd never carried one; that's the younger Jim. Gaston Boykins wouldn't wear one up in Comanche County. I always liked to hear about the oldtimers. Never missed a chance to do so. You can't help but compare yourself against the oldtimers. Can't help but wonder how they would have operated these times. There was this boy I sent to the 'lectric chair at Huntsville Hill here a while back. My arrest and my testimony. He killt a fourteen-year-old girl. Papers said it was a crime of passion but he told me there wasn't any passion to it. Told me that he'd been planning to kill somebody for about as long as he could remember. Said that if they turned him out he'd do it again. Said he knew he was going to hell. "Be there in about fifteen minutes". I don't know what to make of that. I sure don't. The crime you see now, it's hard to even take its measure. It's not that I'm afraid of it. I always knew you had to be willing to die to even do this job. But, I don't want to push my chips forward and go out and meet something I don't understand. A man would have to put his soul at hazard. He'd have to say, "O.K., I'll be part of this world." — Sheriff Ed Tom Bell
About: Sometimes you find perfect movies. They're beautiful productions, have an overwhelming narrative, and incredible performances. I would say that's true of "No Country For Old Men," which is based on the Cormac McCarthy novel of the same name. And it follows the story of the novel closely, but more importantly it asks the same big questions. There's a reason it won Best Picture the year it was released. The Coen Brothers are incredible filmmakers, and "No Country For Old Men" is their masterpiece. Everything about the production works, and the lead actors really drive the engine. But what puts it over the top for me is the ideas it has about the world and people. It's a fascinating moral exploration, one that causes me to think introspectively about faith. That is a rare gift from a film. No matter how many times I watch it, I am captivated by how it speaks to me. I feel similarly about the book. Through the character of Sheriff Ed Tom Bell we ask a hard question about the world — how do we reconcile our belief in good with the evil and suffering we see? The answer to that question is difficult for Christians and non-Christians alike, and the answer Bell arrives at is heart-breaking. But it's the question that drives me, and it's the way the film explores that idea that I find fascinating. It's a beautiful movie and worth checking out if you haven't seen it.
Rating: R for strong graphic violence and some language.

Top 25 Countdown:
4. The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
5. Simon Birch (1998)
6. The Godfather (1972)
7. Jurassic Park (1993)
8. Jaws (1975)
9. Gettysburg (1993)
10. Up In The Air (2009)
11. Die Hard (1988)
12. Doubt (2008)
13. Way of the Gun (2000)
14. Heat (1995)
15. The Paper (1994)
16. Watchmen (2009)
17. LA Confidential (1997)
18. Serenity (2005)
19. Children of Men (2006)
20. Miller's Crossing (1990)
21. About Schmidt (2002)
22. Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
23. The Matrix (1999)
24. Independence Day (1996)
25. The Shawshank Redemption (1994)

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