Analysis of The Main Themes in The Movie "No Country for Old Men"

About this sample

About this sample


Words: 916 |

Pages: 2|

5 min read

Published: Jun 9, 2021

Words: 916|Pages: 2|5 min read

Published: Jun 9, 2021

Movies like No Country for Old Men, directed by Ethan and Joel Coen, become instant classics as soon as you watch them once because of the message that the themes portrayed. These messages can be so memorable that you only have to watch the movie once and the themes will always stick with you. No Country for Old Men is full of these themes, which help makes it such a detailed and powerful movie. The three most prevalent themes in this film are greed, violence, and the helplessness of the human nature.

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Evidence of greed is seen at the very beginning of the movie, when Llewelyn Moss stumbles upon a drug deal gone wrong. He takes the two million dollars that are left behind, which ultimately seals his fate. Moss’ greed can be seen when Carson Wells says “ I'm guessing this isn't the future you had planned for yourself when you first clapped eyes on that money.” Moss kept the money without thinking about the consequences would be, and now he is worried about Anton Chigurh, the man who is after him. Even Chigurh is consumed by greed, his goal is to obtain the money and use it for personal gain. Chigurh is so determined to get the money that he offers to Moss “you bring me the money and I'll let her go. Otherwise she's accountable, same as you. That's the best deal you're gonna get. I won't tell you you can save yourself, because you can't.” Chigurh is willing to kill Moss’ wife in order to force him to give him the money. Greed can be a very powerful trait that brings out the worst in people. It brought out an untamable desire out of Chigurh, and a constant fear out of Moss.

Anton Chigurh is the physical representation of death often random and brutal, but also exacting revenge on those that willingly or not accept it. Chigurh likes to give his victims a chance to escape by flipping a coin, if they call it correct they live but if they call it incorrectly they die. In the film there are two coin flips, one involving an elderly man, and one involving Llewelyn Moss’ wife. During the first coin flip the old man tells Chigurh “well, we need to know what we’re calling it for here” and Chigurh responds by saying “You’ve been putting it up your whole life.” This scene is a very tense situation between two strangers, one that is very intimidated and one that is calmly deciding his every move. The old man does not know that this coin flip is life or death for him, but he is still intimidated by Chigurh’s presence. The second coin toss involves Carla Jean Moss after Chigurh has found her. The difference in the two scenes is that Carla Jean knows both of the possible outcomes, whereas the old man did not. Carla Jean tells Chigurh “I know exactly what was in store for me.” and she doesn’t call the coin toss. As a result of her not calling the coin toss, her fate was already sealed and Chigurh kills her anyway. The two coin tosses revolve around the amount of chance the two characters have accepted along the way. The old man married into a family and adopted a very secure life, and on the other hand, Carla Jean took a risk by marrying a man against her family’s wishes. She accepted the risk that that man brought to her unknowingly, which ultimately resulted in both his and her deaths. This is a great way to frame the idea of chance and the inevitability of death.

The central theme of the film is that there is nothing anyone can do about the negatives of the human nature, whether that be violence, greed, hatred, or anything else. This goes hand in hand with fate, and having everything set in stone. Chigurh becomes the human embodiment of fate, and he believes that every little choice you make during your life leads you to your death. During the coin toss with the old man Chigurh says that the coin has “been traveling 22 years to get here.” Chigurh means that this coin toss has been decided from the very beginning. Chigurh is a strong advocate for chance and luck, as shown through his coin tosses. Llewelyn Moss has a hard time accepting his fate once he takes the briefcase of money, he still believes that he can outrun Chigurh and keep the money for himself. Carla Jean Moss has accepted her fate and you can see this when she says “The coin don’t have no say. It’s just you.” She has realized that her fate is set in stone, and that Chigurh is going to kill her now. No Country for Old Men epitomizes fate by having a character like Anton Chigurh, who is not afraid to do anything.

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No Country for Old Men is a film full of noteworthy themes and messages. This movie shows all of the bad traits of people, those include greed, violence, hatred, and any other trait. Anton Chigurh is the embodiment of these bad traits. Chigurh is consumed by greed, and is willing to commit any act of violence in order to get what he wants. The three most prevalent themes in the movie are violence, greed, and the helplessness of the human nature. This movie and its morals are memorable and will stick with the viewers for the rest of their lives. 

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Dr. Charlotte Jacobson

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Analysis of The Main Themes in The Movie “No Country for Old Men”. (2021, Jun 09). GradesFixer. Retrieved July 17, 2024, from
“Analysis of The Main Themes in The Movie “No Country for Old Men”.” GradesFixer, 09 Jun. 2021,
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Analysis of The Main Themes in The Movie “No Country for Old Men” [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2021 Jun 09 [cited 2024 Jul 17]. Available from:
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