Masterfully staged and meticulously crafted, No Country for Old Men represents the most mature piece of work yet from filmmaking brothers Joel and Ethan Coen. As it details the trouble that falls upon a Texas hunter (Josh Brolin) who comes across a briefcase full of drug money in the desert, the movie doesn’t have a snarky trick up its sleeve. Long the merry pranksters of the cinema, the Coens have given irony a vacation. Javier Bardem is a skin-crawling marvel as the merciless, murderous psychopath on the hunter’s trail, while Tommy Lee Jones, as the weary sheriff mopping up after them, embodies the tone of Cormac McCarthy’s novel, on which the film is based. Speaking in McCarthy’s priceless colloquialisms – they can best be described as floridly plainspoken – Jones’ veteran lawman has an air of utter despair over the criminal and violent direction the world is heading. By the end of the film, he’s become nihilistically nostalgic.