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No Country For Old Men: Ending Explained

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The Coen brothers’ 2007 film No Country for Old Men is not your typical Western: the hero doesn’t win, or even survive, the villain gets away, and the ending isn’t a shootout but rather a slow, calm, monologue by a character who was the least involved of the three main characters. The final scene, much debated by fans and critics, does however give us a window into the movie’s deeper meaning and the Coens’ pessimistic worldview. Buy or rent the movie on Amazon: http://amzn.to/2hgRcaO Works Cited & Consulted: * "Cormac McCarthy - Subconscious is older than Language." YouTube, uploaded by sdobric. Oct 18, 2014. * "The Coen Brothers interview on NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN (2007)." YouTube, uploaded by Eyes On Cinema. Sep 23, 2014. * "Why do we dream? - Amy Adkins." YouTube, uploaded by TED-Ed. Dec 10, 2015. * "Movies I Love (and so can you): No Country for Old Men (2007) [*Spoilers*] ." YouTube, uploaded by Movies I Love (and so can you). Aug 22, 2013. Sign up to our email newsletter for updates on new videos, fun film trivia, news on giveaways, longform content, events and more! http://bit.ly/2oVVB1Q If you like this video, subscribe to our YouTube channel for more: http://www.youtube.com/c/Screenprism Like ScreenPrism on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/screenprism Follow ScreenPrism on Twitter: http://twitter.com/screenprism Visit ScreenPrism.com: http://screenprism.com/
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Text Comments (1872)
The Take (1 year ago)
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T. F. 32 (5 days ago)
The Take Jesus fucking christ. I just took a huge dump you could analyse & explain what the certain shade of brown means about how much I enjoyed the food I ate & how the clearly painful girth of the turd reveals my daily pain filled struggle through life. The undigested sweet corn could represent my unwillingness to persevere & complete different things I’ve been asked to do. Or you could just call it a good poo plain & simple that doesn’t need explaining in such a ridiculous over the top manner.
Guiseppi Gambini (1 month ago)
Thanks Mr.Cohen....er uh Miss Cohen👍
AD FO (10 months ago)
ScreenPrism a whole lot of made up stuff
Thomas Smith (29 minutes ago)
Tommy Lee , huh!, that's ok I'll pass.
Tina Eden (1 hour ago)
For anyone interested, another good Cohen Brothers Film is Blood Simple. I've watched a number of their movies more than once, but I'm not sure I could stomach this one a second time. The violence was too intense. Loved the analysis on this video and all the comments.
disgusted1 (7 hours ago)
I always figured they'd run out of money.
Thomas Caulfield der (9 hours ago)
I remember the first time I watched this movie what a load of bullshit
Nitty Gritty (12 hours ago)
This shit isn't that deep really
Dan Bujor (15 hours ago)
No God in judaism.
Lionel Mandrake (15 hours ago)
Yeah, like this is such a deep movie. It's a load of shit, like a Tarentino film. Shock and awe and BS. Like a Dylan song. Pure BS. Entertainment for the brain dead zombies that are the new Americans.
Brian Smith (16 hours ago)
I didn't bother even watching this clip. Just want to say that was the one of the worst movies I have ever seen. Just more violence porn. very disappointed.
Shroom Duke (17 hours ago)
I am still confused , maybe more so!
Michael Ashcraft (18 hours ago)
Ohhhh kay then!
getemgood6464 (23 hours ago)
I agree with everything you said and came to that conclusion myself. I was hoping you spoke about the car accident at the end of the film. What was the purpose of it? It made no sense and do not see how it fit into the movie. I guess it is an enigma conclusion.
alter ego (23 hours ago)
fawken jews..
Radnally (1 day ago)
Best movie ever made
Ssaa nn (1 day ago)
Call it, friendo
Mike Way (1 day ago)
The older you get, the more you will "get" this movie (and book's) last scene.
Paul N/A (1 day ago)
total bullshit, just putting stupid bullshit rhetoric to make an explanation, on a movie that really wasn't made for an explanation, gotta luv ah's like this
Ronald (1 day ago)
Just watched it, hands down, terrifying villain
Doug Hermesch (1 day ago)
In a word "disappointing".   Good movie to watch when needing a nap.
Ssaa nn (1 day ago)
Try a plastic bag. And some duct tape...
Dave Goffredo (1 day ago)
What does ambiguity mean?
jenbill1602 (1 day ago)
The movie was great right up until it just ended I hate when they do that it's almost like the writers just don't know how to end it so they try and get artsy leaving it up in the air
Brent Waterbury (1 day ago)
I really didn't get this flick the 1st time and understood it better the 2nd... Of course in Texas we know that psychopaths run rampant on a daily basis.
kkroyu (1 day ago)
I think is normal film viewers as guys we look for reason and cause We saw the so called hero operating with the motivation of money the villain operating by way of chance And the law man Standing on a perch Viewing it all from a distance. Each one of them had motivational factors that all of us possess And as the video here suggested the picture was so muddied it was hard to determine the true villains from the true bag guys in comparison to the original westerns
Ed E (2 days ago)
I remember when I went to see this movie in the theater. After it was over, I wanted to ask for my money back! I hated the ending....made me so mad, BUT after watching it a second time, I began to understand the underlying meaning. I have watched it over and over again. It has become one of my all-time favorite movies. Each time I watch it, I learn something new. It is a movie that you just can't "watch." Every line means something and it goes so much deeper than what you are observing with your eyes....(if that makes any sense). So if you watched it once and hated it, give it another chance and you might change your opinion about this great, well-written movie. Peace
mountain man (2 days ago)
what was mosses past sin that caught up with him,fact is he would have gotten away,maybe, with it if he wouldnt have gone back to take water and he would have checked for the tracking devise sooner,this movie was a look at changing times in texas when the cartels began to move in and show there ruthlessness to texans who were at the beginning of seeing this on this scale this movie is actually very realistic and spooky.
frisco21 (2 days ago)
For me, the overarching point of the movie was the profound consequences of the choices we make. Had Moss simply kept the money and not chosen to return to the crime scene to give aid to the victims, he probably would have been OK. But he chose to do the right, humanitarian thing, and it put him on a path that, in the end, cost him his life.
Noff Memphis Slim (2 days ago)
My favorite movie of all time......
bruce lansing (2 days ago)
Great movie. Stupid ass You Tube yakity yak.
David Lindsay (2 days ago)
The movie was stupid and made no sense. But that being said, when did anything out of Hollywood make sense!
David Lindsay (1 day ago)
@Randy White Try watching the movie again and if you can't figure it out you have no common sense.
Randy White (1 day ago)
David Lindsay What Made no sense to you?
CORTEZ CASTILLO (2 days ago)
Dang, I thought you were foundflix at first
a68riz (2 days ago)
More nilistic noir bullshit, complete loss of consciousness. Hollywood will also meet its end, sooner or later.
David Hamilton (2 days ago)
People need the end of this film explained to them?
lostintime86 (3 days ago)
I'm still confused
Fabian Asensio (3 days ago)
it was a sick story where the good guys were inept and the bad guy killed all he wanted to. Bad story line.
Fabian Asensio (4 hours ago)
@JamCellar funny how you write ignorant, yet their is no real reason stated. I state the reason for mine...the bad evil man has all the power. That is not law enforcement reality and made for a very dark story. I think it sucked.
Fabian Asensio (5 hours ago)
@JamCellar it's true. Was a dark and morbid story.
JamCellar (7 hours ago)
This comment might be the most ignorant and stupid thing i have ever read. I cant even believe i am humoring it at all.
dammitanothername (3 days ago)
there's no subconscious.
C. Kinchman (3 days ago)
Are we to assume that the other driver is dead? It's awkward to not know what happened to the one that Tboned Shugur. Insignificant enough to not be mentioned?
George Morris (3 days ago)
no country 4 U.S. CITIZENS.
53philp (3 days ago)
Need a sequel
1 Hitter (3 days ago)
You lost me when you referred to Moss as a thief. He found that money. No one was alive, so who did he steal from? Not the one gut shot dying Mexican? Possession is 9-10ths of the law.
1 Hitter (1 day ago)
Space Ghost no reason for them to look for me. I’m saying they called him a thief. Everyone was dead. In my opinion calling him a thief is unfair. As for the cartel, you aren’t gonna convince them if you returned it the next day. I get that
Space Ghost (1 day ago)
Tell that to the drug cartel when they find you.
Scott Sanders (3 days ago)
A weird but fascinating film with excellent film noire acting and action.
Golf Guy (3 days ago)
Great movie overall! The one scene that I find very odd is when Brolin is waiting in the cheap hotel room knowing Bardem is coming for him. As an Ex Marine he would know never sit right in front of a door without cover. He could have easily moved to the side or even the other side of the bed!
Ssaa nn (1 day ago)
Yes, that scene bothered me too. And even if one was never in the military, it should have occured to most people to not sit right in front of the door...
Vince wilmifingerdo (3 days ago)
This was the stupidest movie ever and the guy that played the bad guy was awful
Ryan Harris (1 day ago)
Vince wilmifingerdo your a dick then
goutvols103 (4 days ago)
Wouldn't this movie make a great sequel?
IcantSeeReplies (4 days ago)
Overrated movie
Calvito Bonito (4 days ago)
I like films like this because it’s real!! You’re out of your depth with some bad guys 🤷‍♂️😂😂
Lateralus 9:24 (4 days ago)
One of the best movies of all time!!! It took a while for me fully appreciate this movie from beginning to end. But eventually, I was able to disabuse myself of my typical Hollywood filmic expectations so I could see the haunting beauty of the message in the ending.
evilatheistbastard (4 days ago)
I thought Tommy’s character had discovered prescription drugs.
The Universe Galaxy (4 days ago)
wat is all this over analyzing stuff....there is no way most people will get this just from playing the movie......its just a movie then
Fred (4 days ago)
The only thing I remember from this film is....IN THE DESERT AT NIGHT YOU CAN HEAR CAR ENGINES AND SEE LIGHTS FOR MILES !!!
Milo Flint (4 days ago)
Hmmm, never heard anyone mention the first dream before. Nice catch. I'm feeling dumb for having missed it myself.
Jim Stanga (4 days ago)
Did he kill Moss’s widow?
tiredlawdog (4 days ago)
I go to a movie to be entertained. Seems this movie has to be torn down and taken apart and explained piece by piece. I'll have to admit when the show was over I left scratching my head about many parts of the plot. Liked the movie just on the face of it, thanks for trying to explain it though.
zip91413 (4 days ago)
I felt similarly when I was younger... A game changer for me was when an older guy I worked for told me his favorite album was Joni Mitchell "Blue". This guy taught me a lot about music and movies, so even though I couldn't tell if I liked the album the first few times I listened to it, I didn't give up on it. And once I learned the melodies (which are unpredictable and don't follow the cliche forms of most pop music) it is now in my top 3 albums. And I came to realize that, if I like an album the very first time I hear it, I may not be able to listen to it over and over (it wears out quickly). Thanks to that experience, I realized that my favorite movies (and music and books for that matter) leave me unsure whether I like them at first, but get better and better with each review. Movies with the predictable plots (James Bond gets captured again, almost gets killed, gets away and catches the bad guy) are good for one or two viewings. But a movie like this peaks on maybe the fourth or fifth viewing... maybe even the tenth. I hope you watch the movie again, and realize what I wish I had realized at a younger age! On your next viewing, watch what happens with everybody who comes in contact with the money. The first time I saw the movie, I kind of assumed that the guy who found the money was our hero good guy, and that this was another cliche movie where guy finds money, guy kills all the drug dealers, guy and girl meet years later on tropical beach with all the money. But in this movie, our "hero" is unceremoniously slaughtered halfway through. The kids at the end are fighting over the money Chigur gives them. The kids on the bridge want to overcharge a dying man for their jacket since he just overpaid for a shirt. The money in this movie brings out the worst in people. As it actually usually does in reality. If you do watch the movie again and realize the payoff of investigating great art: let me know - I can recommend other movies like this.
Ronny Savoie (4 days ago)
It has to be explained, the bad guy gets away the hero dies this movie stinks
David Gibson (4 days ago)
They, the Coens, have zero knowledge of the Holy Scriptures or the Truth therein. Portraying evil is enough said.
Space Ghost (1 day ago)
The "Holy Scriptures" are merely man-made fictional BULLSHIT. Grow up!
Jeffrey Morton (4 days ago)
While I appreciate all the fine analysis, a film this good could not possibly be so well thought out. Just as some of the best songs ever written appeared as if by magic, fully complete in the composer's mind, so too it seems this film comes together with a large dose of kismet. To me it is similar to Clint Eastwood's "Unforgiven" in that the story, acting, and filming are almost guided by a force all it's own, though I know a lot of work went into making these films...
Tina Eden (1 hour ago)
Unforgiven -- yes, another good film! I didn't think to connect this film and it.
Vinnie Provolone (4 days ago)
"Are you going to shoot me?" That depend's. Do you see me? Damn!
Rex Robards (4 days ago)
Just one point: The Cohen Brothers did not write that story. The film is an adaptation of a book written by Cormac McCarthy. There is nothing in the film that is not in the book - the only differences are what the Cohens left out. If you want to know what the film is about, read the book.
Yannick Methorst (4 days ago)
I actually have a more positive take on the film. Allow me to explain. Bell becomes bitter from the fact that he is overmatched by Chigurh and the Mexicans. This is illustrated by many things, but the most on the nose moment is when he has a heart to heart with the other older law enforcement officer: "kids with green hair and bones in their noses" the other man says. "Once people stop saying sir and ma'am, everything else just goes out the door", Bell says. This is a highly bitter and old-mannish thing to say from an otherwise very wise and (socially) intelligent man. His bitterness and cynicism takes a philosophical turn in the scene with his cousin Ellis. He says: "I always thought God would just come into my life. (...) but I don't blame him he didn't". Then his cousin Ellis, whom we know has dabled in cynicism himself because Ed Tom is surprised that he has let go of his feelings of revenge, chides him for assuming to know what God thinks. He then tells him the story of their uncle who was brutally murdered more than 70 years prior to the events of the movie. This illustrates that Ed Tom's bitterness is for the birds, West Texas is and always has been a tough place to live for the old and the young. The fact that he has gotten older and does not want to face those dangers head on anymore (like Llewelyn did) has changed, not the country. Now the final two scenes could be read as signifying the randomness of fate, even for Anton Chigurh, and how there is no comfort for an old man like Ed Tom. But then again, you can also attach meaning and justice to the fact that, when Carla Jean forces Chigurh to take responsibility for his moral choices ("the coin don't got no say"), and stops being "the one right tool" without any moral agency, he suddenly becomes part of a moral universe and is hit by a car through no fault of his own. Poetic justice? Or that God came into Ed Tom's life through his dreams, to show him his father is waiting for him somewhere in the dark? Or maybe there simply are multiple readings of the ending for whomever wants to have a more optimistic viewing of the film.
rico567 (4 days ago)
Why don’t you explain the Yeats poem in 12 minutes? THAT would be impressive....
larry snipes (5 days ago)
excellent movie!
isaysee (5 days ago)
'' It's not the One Thing ---- it's the Dismal Tide ''
UltimateBargains (5 days ago)
Awful movie.
Don McCready (5 days ago)
The Coen Brothers must have been snorting a lot of coke when they wrote it.
Jason Eaton (5 days ago)
The end meaning is that Anton is also an old man, washed up and beaten, and he needs to go.
PARAPOLITICOS (5 days ago)
That's not what the ending means. The ending means that in this world only the evil and the cowards survive the test of the ''no country for old men''. Guess who is who..
rikk sashquat (5 days ago)
Moss should have just disappeared with the money but as in most marriages his mother in law did him in
Kai Gibson (5 days ago)
Most overrated movie of the last 20 years.
adorephoto (5 days ago)
Disagree with your interpretation of the second dream in particular... You are definitely overthinking it. That dream is a premonition of his own death whereby he meets his father in the next life. When or how that happens is uncertain. Listen to what he says about his father going on ahead and how he knew he would eventually catch up with him. The fire is sort of a beacon leading him through the darkness.
Mike Harnett (5 days ago)
Remember when you didn't need to be a psychologist to understand movies? This movie sucked, the Cohen brothers suck, and they copped out with that stupid ending. They aren't talented enough to come up with a decent ending, so they pulled this artsy-fartsy bullshit to try to pull the wool over our eyes. Nice try boys, but no cigar, because I'll never spend a dime on any of your lousy movies.
Bill Sterling (5 days ago)
Great movie! It's one man's story about life, however... I have a different story.
Dag Nabbit (5 days ago)
I have discussed this film with different people . We agreed Cowboy gave Chigur a good run for his money. My brother agreed that the world has always been like what the Coen Brothers & Cormac put forth. In the coin toss with the Gas Station attendant one blogger wrote that Chigur didn't really want to hurt the Old Coot but Chigur does not like strangers trying to make small talk with him and it violates his comfort zone. Of course the old man got it right and escaped. One of my favorite lines was " Did we ever think we would see people with green hair invade out Texas towns ? " Hard to believe but in mainstream America there was a time that even having a Beatles haircut from their early 60s days could get your ass beat and not just in Texas ! Anyway , thanks for a very good essay !
Mc007Queen (5 days ago)
Oh the character that Tommy Lee Jones character was a lazyest dumb ass , why didn't he take the fingerprints off the milk jug bottle ? No lol he play the lousy old slow mother fucker, have ever seen in a law inforcecement character ever seen in a movie
Bob Bart (5 days ago)
Ah ...... So Nice. -Taking a little vacation from the Political & Climate Change videos. It's very pleasant here, and the people seem to be of a better nature, not so combative ... I think I might buy a house here and settle down a while.
Francis Ebbecke (5 days ago)
Life is not fair was my takeaway from the movie.
Bryan Tittle (5 days ago)
Yeah, I missed all of that the first time.
Curtis Ellsworth (5 days ago)
Ah, really good movie until near the end, then it just saunters off into lazy writing territory. C- movie at best because of the ending...
David H (5 days ago)
"you cant stop whats coming, thats vanity".
Todd Bellows (5 days ago)
That's your opinion.
Oscar Tritt (5 days ago)
If you need a 10 minute explanation to understand the end of a movie then imo the director has disappeared up his own arse.
Delmus Ingle (5 days ago)
This made me want to see it for about the tenth time,
Stev Rex (5 days ago)
LOL - I would have immediately looked for a tracking device, and left town. Also, would have killed the asshat that moron Spanish fellow pays. Problem is, in acting in the manner of someone with intelligence. There would have been no movie.
legend9948 (5 days ago)
In my opinion the ending meaning of the film is a little different.  I think Chigurh represents all the pure evil, all the hate and intolerance in the world that you can stop for awhile but eventually it manifests itself and continues on.  Hence the car crash scene where Chgurth is down and out but picks himself up and continuous on his evil way.  Also I believe that the ending has a sort of positive point in the second dream the Sherriff has.  His journey through the darkness represents our lives that are sometimes full of doubt and pessimism. We just can't understand why certain terrible things happen.  Hence the fire at the end of the journey (life) gives us hope that at the end of it all we will have shelter and justification of the cold (all the pitfalls and barriers we experience in our lives) and truly be able to put all things in perspective.  Just my point of view, nothing more.
Rusoviet Tovarich (5 days ago)
I forget the show but it had Gladys Knight and the Pips were on. Before they performed the song (I forget the tune) she said "...the good old days....the good old days....everyone's always talking about the 'good old days'. (then she paused and said) Well for your children and your grandchildren - today is and will be their 'good old days'." They never existed save the degree of evil or good has been decreased or increased. Central Europe entered into a hell from 1939 - 1989. I'd reckon for those old enough to have lived through that era they don't look back on that time period as 'the good old days'...same for Cambodia or China under Mao
Jeff Ebdy (5 days ago)
The original novel ended as the movie did
JOHN RICHARDSON (6 days ago)
In my opinion, the ending is done that way so they can make another movie that continues where the first one left off.
MrBreeze (6 days ago)
I hated the ending.
Harry Wall (6 days ago)
I don't think that was the meaning of the film at all
Piglatinsuperstar (6 days ago)
this movie sucked all the way
Cini Man (6 days ago)
"Bunch of horseshit"
Hoosier Hermit (6 days ago)
When you have to explain your movie, it probably sucked
Kai Gibson (5 days ago)
And it does. It really is a bad movie.
Ender Wiggin (6 days ago)
Good try
Pastor Paul D (6 days ago)
This kind of world is creeping up on all of us, the way millennials are acting ,the things they insist to be true which are complete and total fabrication yet they choose to believe them ,hatred for white people hatred for anyone that has a different opinion Yep they embrace abortion sodomy sexual transmitted diseases are good all the things that are good kind and loving to them. the fact that people don’t believe in God yet they believe in spirits ,the Bible talks about this generation and I always wondered how this would take place in America and today I am watching it unfold
Dee Lee (6 days ago)
Literally, every line in this movie is great, even from the small characters
Justin Nixon (6 days ago)
Does the wife lives at the end.
Dee Mac (4 days ago)
Justin Nixon No.
ZOSO STAR (6 days ago)
I understood the movie and the ending! I wanted to see if the Girl won the coin toss at the end, that wasn't. clear. You should have left the interview out with Orca the land whale...
BillyJack85 (6 days ago)
This sounds like a nice way of saying the ending sucked
BillyJack85 (5 days ago)
@Robert Roselle Awesome movie... as awesome as a movie can be for having a shitty ending, that is... I understand people like to be all avant garde and try new shit, especially when it comes to art and movies, but you can't create all the tension for a showdown between 2 characters like that and then fuck people over in the end It'd be like Van Damme getting ready to fight Tong Po at the end of Kickboxer and spraining his ankle before the big fight. Nobody wants to see that shit
Robert Roselle (5 days ago)
Great movie!!!
Christs Revenge (7 days ago)
Right on!!!
PinkOld (7 days ago)
I'm not afraid of a downbeat ending (S7en, anyone?), as this movie surely has, but I couldn't help finding myself more than just a little disappointed that Bell (Tommy Lee Jones' character) didn't at least take a shot at Chigurh instead of essentially chickening out at the last minute.
pecosRoy (7 days ago)
this film is not about 'the world' per se, where absolute order DOES exist. the film is about the world of men and the various systems of order men attempt to impose on one another - the 'myth' of civilization and its rules; chiugurh's coin game is just one example. the western genre has traditionally meditated on civilization and the individual's relationship to it, which makes this film fall squarely within it. the Take's 'explanation' attempts to put 'no country for old men' on par with some bromidic self-help lecture. i suggest more 'homework' for The Take...
Archy Cruzz (7 days ago)
I hate the ending. You can't expect the viewers to understand those explanations. Viewers wants satisfaction in the end. It should be visual. The bad guy doesn't get away like that. It's like the movie was cut short. No ending.

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