No Country For Old Men Ending Explained & Plot Analysis

No Country For Old Men: Ending Explained
No Country For Old Men.

No Country For Old Men was released in competition at the Cannes Film Festival on May 19th, 2007. This film has since become one of the best films of the 21st century as more and more people continue to watch the neo-western crime thriller. The film is based on the 2005 novel of the same name by Cormac McCarthy. The film has won numerous awards, some of which include four at the 80th Academy Awards, three BAFTA, and two Golden Globes. The film is known for its impeccable storyline and cast performances and has a knack for leaving its viewers overwhelmed after watching the movie. No Country For Old Men, however, left many viewers confused with the ending. Hence, we have it explained right here.

The film, No Country For Old Men, was written and directed by Joel and Ethan Coen and starred Tommy Lee Jones, Javier Bardem, and Josh Brolin. The movie is set in the desert landscape of 1980 West Texas. It covers various themes such as fate, conscience, and circumstance for which the Coen brothers have known.

No Country For Old Men: Ending Explained
Anton Chigurh.

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Plot

No Country For Old Men’s plot is set in 1980 and centers around Anton Chigurh, played by Javier Bardem, a hitman who gets arrested in Texas. In an attempt to escape, he strangles a deputy sheriff and uses a captive bolt pistol to kill a driver and take his car. While on the run, he almost kills a gas station owner but spares his life when he wins Chigurh’s coin toss. Meanwhile, a man named Llewelyn Moss, played by Josh Brolin, comes across the aftermath of a drug deal while hunting pronghorns in the desert. On the scene, he finds a briefcase with two million dollars and takes it home. He comes back to the scene with water for a man who was wounded and dying of thirst, only to find him dead. After this, he is pursued by two men in a truck, but he manages to elude them. When he reaches home, he sends his wife, Carla Jean, played by Kelly Macdonald, to stay with her mother as he knows they are in danger now. He himself then goes to a motel in Del Rio and hides the briefcase in his room’s air duct.

Later, Chigurh is hired to recover the money, and he breaks into Moss’ house to do so but finds it empty. After which, Terrell County Sheriff, Ed Tom Bell, played by Tommy Lee Jones, arrives to investigate the break-in. When Chigurh follows a tracking device hidden in the money, he goes to Moss’ motel room, where he kills a group of Mexicans waiting to ambush him with a shotgun. However, Moss retrieves the briefcase before Chigurh can find it. After Moss moves to a hotel in the border town of Eagle Pass, he finds the tracking device, but it is too late as Chigurh has already found him. After violent firefight wounds both of them, Moss is taken to a hospital by a passing band.

After healing a bit, Moss retrieves the money, which he had stashed after the firefight. He then arranges to meet Carla Jean at a motel in El Paso. Moss plans to give her the money and hide Carla from danger. When he arrives at the motel, he is shot at by the Mexicans, after which Bell and Carla Jean find him dead. Chigurh is later successful in retrieving the money. After all, this Bell visits his uncle, who is an ex-lawman himself. Bell then tells his uncle that he plans to retire as he feels “overmatched” by the recent crimes in the region. His uncle then tells him a story from when he was a lawman, which reminds him that the region has always been violent. Weeks later, Carla Jean returns home to find Chigurh waiting there. He offers her a coin toss for her life which she refuses, saying that he cannot pass the blame to luck. The choice is his. As he leaves the house and drives off, a car crashes into him and injures him. He then bribes two young witnesses for their silence and flees.

No Country For Old Men: Ending Explained
Ed Tom Bell.

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No Country For Old Men Ending Explained

No Country For Old Men has an ambiguous ending. In the final scene of No Country For Old Men, Ed Tom Bell tells his wife about a dream he had. In his dream, he and his father are riding on horseback at night. Ed Tom Bell’s father rides ahead of him, carrying fire in a horn. He also tells her that his father didn’t say a word in the dream. He rode ahead of him, to make a fire, with his head down. Ed Tom then says that he knew his father would be waiting up ahead. He had made a fire in “all that cold and all that dark”. In the context of the film, this dream could be his subconscious telling him what he feels. As he said earlier to his uncle, he feels the world has passed him by. He is a man who knows that he has no more milestones to achieve in life other than just living out the rest of it peacefully.

He has already retired, and his father has been dead for years. So, it is possible he feels that he will meet his father again in the afterlife, where he will be waiting for him with a fire ready to protect and keep him warm. But it was just a dream, so it means he’s not there yet. Everyone in the movie has their own demons to deal with. For example, the fact that Chigurh uses a coin toss to determine whether to kill or not twice in the movie tells us that he sees the world as chaos that needs to be brought to order. This tells us that something had happened to him in the past, something which he probably had no control over, which has made him the way he is today.

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