Update: The New Yorker's David Denby describes the work as "lethal cool." Yes, that's the right expression I guess. Read the first two paras of his article on the Coen brothers and their works, and he says, in precise words, the words and images that I wanted to capture as my own reaction to No Country for Old Men.
The Coen brothers’ “No Country for Old Men” casts an ominous and mournful spell from the first shot. Over scenes of a desolate West Texas landscape, an aging sheriff (Tommy Lee Jones), ruminating on the new viciousness of crime, says that he’s not afraid of dying. But, he adds, “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.” Without transition, we see Anton Chigurh (Javier Bardem), an odd-looking man in a modified Prince Valiant haircut, murder first a deputy sheriff, then a stranger whose car he needs. (He strangles the deputy and shoots the stranger with some sort of gun attached to what looks like an oxygen tank.) The movie jumps again, to Llewelyn, an early-morning hunter (Josh Brolin) who’s out in the desert tracking antelope. In the distance, he sees five pickup trucks arrayed in a rough circle and some dead bodies lying on the ground. He moves in slowly, rifle held low. His attentiveness is so acute that it sharpens our senses, too.