The “No Country for Old Men” ending had all of America talking and more than a few people disappointed. This 2007 masterpiece from the famous Coen Brother film team was a blockbuster. A dusty, dirty story stretching across the openness of west Texas had memorable characters, a compelling storyline, and an intriguing ending. 

“No Country for Old Men” is about Llewelyn Moss, a run-of-the-mill guy who one day while out hunting comes across what is clearly a botched robbery scene, with dead bodies and bullet-riddled vehicles.  He eventually takes a bag of money from the scene, which unfortunately for him is being sought by Anton Chigurh, a ruthless hitman who immediately enters the pantheon of great bad guys from American cinema.

As the “No Country for Old Men” ending nears, Moss attempts a meeting at a motel with his young wife to hand the money over to her.  Lawman Ed Tom Bell—played by Tommy Lee Jones—goes to meet Moss, prompted by information from Moss’ wife.  When Bell arrives at the motel he finds Moss dead and the money gone. Viewers are sometimes confused at this point, as Moss is not clearly shown to be dead.

The “No Country for Old Men” ending gives Chigurh another chance for murder, however, as he goes to visit Moss’ wife, Carla Jean. He tells her that he’d attempted a deal with her husband that would spare her life, but that her husband refused, and that now he must kill her. She protests, but Chigurh is psychopathic, and having decided she must die, he is going to kill her.  Again, the viewer is forgiven here at the “No Country for Old Men” ending, as Chigurh leaves her home without his murder of Carla Jean being shown.  Knowing Chigurh, however, leaves little doubt as to what transpired in the home.

Chirgurh leaves the scene and is suddenly hit by a car. Noticably hurt, Chigurh receives assistance from two young boys on the scene, but refuses to allow them to get the authorities. He limps away. 

The “No Country for Old Men” ending wraps up with Bell, retired, speaking to his wife about two dreams he had the night before. These dreams are open for interpretation, though it seems as though he is reflecting on the fate of mankind. As the Village Voice said, “everyone in ‘No Country for Old Men’ is both hunter and hunted, members of some endangered species trying to forestall their extinction. 

The movie closes abruptly, as Bell finishes describing his dream, and the viewer is left to wonder about the fate of Chigurh. 

-Nathan Kahl