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Old 11-12-2007, 05:51 PM   #26
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Re: A Big Disappointment

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That's a good question. Probably better than I did, because the conversations between the "sophisticated" and the local yokels would have been novel.

Why was the automobile accident towards the end of the movie there? To show that, in the end, Bardem was really no different than Brolin?

BTW, thanks for all your help in this thread.
again, the car accident makes more sense in the book. the sheriff actually investigates the accident and figures out that it was probably chigurh that the boys saw. the book does a much better job of tying everything together, but the movie does a better job of not dragging at the end.
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Old 11-12-2007, 05:53 PM   #27
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Re: A Big Disappointment

also, i never really thought of this movie as similar to Fargo. Mainly, I think of Fargo as a movie full of losers (except for the female cop and her husband). No Country is full of smart, capable people. No country is more tragic while Fargo is a dark comedy. When everyone gets caught or killed in Fargo you don't feel bad, not so in No Country.
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Old 11-12-2007, 06:22 PM   #28
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Re: A Big Disappointment

Boy, I didn't see any of the people in No Country as smart or capable. Anton is simply a robotic killer who gets no pleasure out of life. Brolin's character is not smart, he is only motivated by trying to keep the money. He ends up as he would have been expected to end up. Woody Harrelson's character is an idiot--he sees the briefcase but doesn't get it and ends up with Anton walking up the stairs right behind him. The guy in the office building ends up the same way. Tommy Lee Jones is a small-town lawman, similar to Macdormand's character in Fargo, but without the intelligence or drive of the heroine in Fargo; he fails to get his man. Brolin's wife is unable or unwilling to help him and her mother is a bigotted loudmouth.

I do agree that Fargo was done more as a black comedy than No Country. Buscemi, MacDormand, and Macy are good comic actors and played their roles accordingly in Fargo. There was nothing like that in No Country, just a few funny lines.
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Old 11-12-2007, 06:42 PM   #29
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Re: A Big Disappointment

Anton is very smart...he may be cold and ruthless but he is not a idiot like the villains in Fargo.

For what he initially appears to be(a dumb hick), Brolin's character shows a lot of smarts. Blowing the chamber before attempting to shoot the dog. Waiting to make sure the guy by the tree is dead.
Hiding the bag. Using the tent poles to get the bag back. Asking for the layout of the hotel. Realizing there is no way Anton could have simply found him. Buying the clothes from the kids and taking their beer bottle. etc etc
But Brolin also does a lot of dumb things...in part because he is way in over his head.
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Old 11-12-2007, 06:53 PM   #30
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Re: A Big Disappointment

I think what GTL is saying is that Fargo is full of screwups. The characters are mostly screwups (save Frances McDormand), the kidnapping is botched, Jerry's plan falls apart, etc. There really aren't any such screwups in NCFOM. And maybe you don't think the characters are smart, but they're certainly resourceful. Brolin survives a lot longer than anyone else Chigurh wants dead because of his resourcefulness, Chigurh never really makes any mistakes, and even Woody showed that he was able to figure out what Brolin was doing pretty easily.

As for Jones, I think his character was very smart, he just wasn't really up for the job anymore (and for the record, he did get his man....at the very beginning). McDormand caught the bad guys due to their own incompetence as much as anything else, whereas Jones had no such luck. Jones was at least smart enough to do what little he could do, but maybe I'm just defending him because he reminds me a lot of my dad.

And about the car accident...I don't really know why that happened. In the book it says that the guy driving the car that hit Chigurh was high, so maybe it was a statement about how drugs will get everybody in one way or another. In the movie, though, it just came across as something that happened for no apparent reason.
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Old 11-12-2007, 07:01 PM   #31
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Re: A Big Disappointment

Also, as far as the various character's capabilities, the book says that Harrelson's character was a special forces colonel in Vietnam and hints that Chigurh was too. Brolin was also a Vietnam veteran, and Jones was a WWII hero (I think I said Vietnam in an earlier post). So these people aren't necessarily just dumb hicks.
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Old 11-12-2007, 09:27 PM   #32
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Re: A Big Disappointment

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Boy, I didn't see any of the people in No Country as smart or capable. Anton is simply a robotic killer who gets no pleasure out of life. Brolin's character is not smart, he is only motivated by trying to keep the money. He ends up as he would have been expected to end up. Woody Harrelson's character is an idiot--he sees the briefcase but doesn't get it and ends up with Anton walking up the stairs right behind him. The guy in the office building ends up the same way. Tommy Lee Jones is a small-town lawman, similar to Macdormand's character in Fargo, but without the intelligence or drive of the heroine in Fargo; he fails to get his man. Brolin's wife is unable or unwilling to help him and her mother is a bigotted loudmouth.

I do agree that Fargo was done more as a black comedy than No Country. Buscemi, MacDormand, and Macy are good comic actors and played their roles accordingly in Fargo. There was nothing like that in No Country, just a few funny lines.
I have to disagree with your opinion that the characters in No Country were not smart or capable. I'll give a few examples that were in the movie (the book spends a lot more time highlighting what the individual characters are good at and different areas of expertise)

Chigurh is injured by moss when they have a firefight in the hotel across the mexican border. Afterwards Chigurh is badly injured and is incredibly resourceful. He creates a diversion (blows up a car) and then steals the medical supplies he needs to patch up his bullet wound. He patches himself up, on his own, in a hotel room. This is a clear sign of intelligence. He understands medicine. This also proves that he is capable. Being able to clean a bullet wound and then suture the wound is not an easy task and takes expertise.

Moss has a very deep skill set as well when it comes to survival, weaponry, and street smarts. He manages to stay a step ahead of Chigurh the whole movie. Chigurh does not kill Moss. Many people may not realize this. In my opinion, Moss' mother in law is responsible for getting him killed. You can take this how you want. He is very good with guns, and the only person who survives a gunfight with chigurh. etc... etc...

The Sheriff is very smart. I have no idea why you see him as unintelligent. From the very beginning he realizes that Chigurh is a sociopath. He understands the trouble Moss is in and he does everything he can to help him. This is why he doesn't focus on the crime scenes and instead focuses on Moss' wife. He knows that the only way to find Moss will be through his wife. In the end, he does get the info from the wife. He is a good cop. There is no way to catch or stop Chigurh. In my opinion, Chigurh is a god like being, unstoppable.

Maybe I'll post more, but if you still disagree with me we're probably at an impasse and arguing further won't get us anywhere.

You are not supposed to necessarily like any of the characters in No Country. It's a tragedy, and each character who dies is responsible for their own death in some way. The story is about why people make choices that lead to tragedy. If you think about the movie, none of the choices that lead to tragedy for Moss or his Wife had to do with the money.
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Old 11-12-2007, 11:35 PM   #33
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Re: A Big Disappointment

Good stuff, thanks.

You're right, the characters are certainly not sloppy and dimwitted, like the Fargo characters. They showed resourcefulness. Moss was thoughtful, but in the end not thoughtful enough. None of the characters were smart enough to succeed.

The only thing with which I definitely disagree is your last sentence. Surely his desire for the money was what did Moss and his wife in. Please explain why you think otherwise.

Thanks again.
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Old 11-12-2007, 11:36 PM   #34
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Re: A Big Disappointment

Funny, I suspected there might have been some Vietnam stuff in the novel that was left out of the movie when the border guard asks Moss if he was in 'nam.
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Old 11-13-2007, 12:12 AM   #35
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Re: A Big Disappointment

how is American Gangster not on your top 5?
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Old 11-13-2007, 01:14 AM   #36
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Re: A Big Disappointment

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Good stuff, thanks.

You're right, the characters are certainly not sloppy and dimwitted, like the Fargo characters. They showed resourcefulness. Moss was thoughtful, but in the end not thoughtful enough. None of the characters were smart enough to succeed.

The only thing with which I definitely disagree is your last sentence. Surely his desire for the money was what did Moss and his wife in. Please explain why you think otherwise.

Thanks again.
A lot of people will miss this and I missed it the first time I read the book. This is a mild spoiler, so don't read this if you are planning on seeing the movie guys. When Moss takes the money and goes back to his wife no one knows about it. Neither the drug sellers, buyers, nor Chigurh have any idea that Moss took the money. The transponder only works at close range, and he might have been found later, but that is a big maybe. Moss goes back to the scene and has to abandon his truck to escape. His truck gives away his identity and seals his fate. Moss goes back the second time to bring water to the wounded Mexican. He tells his wife, "I'm fixin to do something dumber than hell, but I'm going to do it anyway." He can't leave the man to die. He just can't do it. This is what gets him into the mess. This is also how he is different than the sheriff. The book ends with the sheriff telling a story of leaving his men behind to die in the heat of battle. There is more to it than this, of course. But in my mind, the money isn't what gets Moss killed, it's the moral code that he follows that won't allow him to leave a man to die.

I know you were expecting me to wax philosophical on why it's not about the money. But there is actually tangible evidence that it wasn't the money that got him into the mess. Of course it's just my opinion. I like talking about movies and books I enjoy, so keep asking away.

To your point about none of the characters being smart enough to survive. This is a hallmark of all tragedies. I'm an intelligent person myself and I enjoy tragedies because they are full of brilliant people, good and bad, who will never reach a happy ending. Just makes for great art.
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Old 11-13-2007, 01:16 AM   #37
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Re: A Big Disappointment

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Funny, I suspected there might have been some Vietnam stuff in the novel that was left out of the movie when the border guard asks Moss if he was in 'nam.
The book opens the same way as the movie, with Moss hunting. The book goes into incredible detail about Moss' rifle and the way he is using it. It becomes immediately clear that Moss was a sniper and this is a thread throughout the book. I believe all the major male players are vets.
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Old 11-13-2007, 12:24 PM   #38
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Great film

I agree with the other posters about the intelligence of these characters. Not necessarily book smart, but very very resourceful.

I loved the dialogue, and the suspense didn't let up for the majority of the film.

The ending left me wanting me more (perhaps I should read the book based of this thread), but I think the point I got out of it was what everything is changing, all the time.

There are no happy resolutions because 10, 20 years from now, some other horrific crimes will happen that people will shake heads on and wonder how it got so bad.



Question: what was happening when the sheriff was looking at the keyhole in the last motel, and anton was in the shadows inside, waiting for the door to open? I realize that it was most likely a flashback, so does this mean that anton killed moss?
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Old 11-13-2007, 02:07 PM   #39
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Re: Great film

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I agree with the other posters about the intelligence of these characters. Not necessarily book smart, but very very resourceful.

I loved the dialogue, and the suspense didn't let up for the majority of the film.

The ending left me wanting me more (perhaps I should read the book based of this thread), but I think the point I got out of it was what everything is changing, all the time.

There are no happy resolutions because 10, 20 years from now, some other horrific crimes will happen that people will shake heads on and wonder how it got so bad.



Question: what was happening when the sheriff was looking at the keyhole in the last motel, and anton was in the shadows inside, waiting for the door to open? I realize that it was most likely a flashback, so does this mean that anton killed moss?
Ya I got a little confused with this in terms of did he leave once the sheriff went into the bathroom. Did he go out the window in the bathroom cuz they seemed to focus on the open latch.
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Old 11-13-2007, 06:46 PM   #40
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Re: Great film

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Ya I got a little confused with this in terms of did he leave once the sheriff went into the bathroom. Did he go out the window in the bathroom cuz they seemed to focus on the open latch.
This scene was not a flashback, at least not in the book. Jones goes back to the motel on a hunch, because of the conversation he has with the El Paso sheriff about how brazen Chigurh is in returning to crime scenes. In the book, he enters the room and Chigurh is out in the parking lot in his pickup. The significance of the grate and screws were that they confirmed to Jones that Chigurh had been there. In the book, Jones spends several minutes getting up the courage to just walk outside so he can drive off and radio for backup. In the movie, I don't know if Chigurh leaves while Jones has his back turned or just waits behind the door.

And no, Anton didn't not kill Moss. The Mexicans who found out where Moss was going killed him in a big shootout and stole the money. In the book, though, Chigurh ends up with the money, so it's safe to assume he caught up with the Mexicans.
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Old 11-13-2007, 07:55 PM   #41
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Re: Great film

Thanks for the explanation. From what I remember in the movie, it almost looked like Anton was scared or nervous waiting in the room.

I certainly didn't expect him to leave, once he's had his gun drawn and aimed. It seems out of character at that point.
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Old 11-13-2007, 08:57 PM   #42
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Re: Great film

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Thanks for the explanation. From what I remember in the movie, it almost looked like Anton was scared or nervous waiting in the room.

I certainly didn't expect him to leave, once he's had his gun drawn and aimed. It seems out of character at that point.
Yeah, I didn't really get that either. It certainly would've been easy for Anton to kill the sheriff, and he didn't seem to have any qualms about killing people.

The only thing I can think is that maybe killing Jones unnecessarily would've violated his principles in some way, kind of like in Silence of the Lambs when Clarice says Lecter won't come after her because he'd "consider it to be rude." Anton kills the wife for no reason, and potentially at great risk to himself, just because his principles demanded it. Jones had done nothing to him, so maybe killing him would have been rude.
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Old 11-13-2007, 09:20 PM   #43
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Re: Great film

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Thanks for the explanation. From what I remember in the movie, it almost looked like Anton was scared or nervous waiting in the room.

I certainly didn't expect him to leave, once he's had his gun drawn and aimed. It seems out of character at that point.
Yeah, I didn't really get that either. It certainly would've been easy for Anton to kill the sheriff, and he didn't seem to have any qualms about killing people.

The only thing I can think is that maybe killing Jones unnecessarily would've violated his principles in some way, kind of like in Silence of the Lambs when Clarice says Lecter won't come after her because he'd "consider it to be rude." Anton kills the wife for no reason, and potentially at great risk to himself, just because his principles demanded it. Jones had done nothing to him, so maybe killing him would have been rude.
I thought it was basically trying to say that Anton is basically like a ghost.

I think that if he had still been in the room when Jones sat down he would have killed him but he was gone by then
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Old 11-13-2007, 11:53 PM   #44
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Re: Great film

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Quote:
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Thanks for the explanation. From what I remember in the movie, it almost looked like Anton was scared or nervous waiting in the room.

I certainly didn't expect him to leave, once he's had his gun drawn and aimed. It seems out of character at that point.
Yeah, I didn't really get that either. It certainly would've been easy for Anton to kill the sheriff, and he didn't seem to have any qualms about killing people.

The only thing I can think is that maybe killing Jones unnecessarily would've violated his principles in some way, kind of like in Silence of the Lambs when Clarice says Lecter won't come after her because he'd "consider it to be rude." Anton kills the wife for no reason, and potentially at great risk to himself, just because his principles demanded it. Jones had done nothing to him, so maybe killing him would have been rude.
I thought it was basically trying to say that Anton is basically like a ghost.

I think that if he had still been in the room when Jones sat down he would have killed him but he was gone by then
this was my take too. there really wasn't anywhere to hide in the room, but he disappears anyway. he won't be found if he doesn't want to be. the book is different. chigurh isn't in the room. he sees the sheriff enter the room from his truck in the parking lot and then pulls a disappearing act.
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Old 11-14-2007, 02:33 AM   #45
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Re: Great film

He hid behind the door that had swung open, and the door was never shown to be closed, so either he was there as long as Jones was there, he left while Jones had his back turned, or he was truly a ghost who could sneak out at will (that is, get out of the room w/out Jones noticing in the time it took Jones to get inside).

But I don't think he was really ghost-like, because Moss was able to detect him beforehand, as well as get the jump on him in the street. On a related subject, one of the things that interests me most and is never revealed is how/why they caught Chigurh at the beginning. That's the type of thing that always fascinates me about these stories.
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Old 11-14-2007, 05:20 AM   #46
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Re: Great film

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He hid behind the door that had swung open, and the door was never shown to be closed, so either he was there as long as Jones was there, he left while Jones had his back turned, or he was truly a ghost who could sneak out at will (that is, get out of the room w/out Jones noticing in the time it took Jones to get inside).

But I don't think he was really ghost-like, because Moss was able to detect him beforehand, as well as get the jump on him in the street. On a related subject, one of the things that interests me most and is never revealed is how/why they caught Chigurh at the beginning. That's the type of thing that always fascinates me about these stories.
It is explained somewhat in the book. Spoiler here... At some point in the book Chigurh explains that he did something odd. He was at a restaurant or diner and a few young men disrespected him. Normally, he would have always killed them. This time he decided he would let them go. However, when he is leaving the restaurant, they confront him again and he kills at least one of them. I forget the exact details. He is pulled over by a cop shorty afterwards and he lets the cop arrest him. He says that he wanted to see if he could get away. He was testing himself I suppose
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Old 11-14-2007, 05:50 AM   #47
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Re: Great film

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It is explained somewhat in the book. Spoiler here... At some point in the book Chigurh explains that he did something odd. He was at a restaurant or diner and a few young men disrespected him. Normally, he would have always killed them. This time he decided he would let them go. However, when he is leaving the restaurant, they confront him again and he kills at least one of them. I forget the exact details. He is pulled over by a cop shorty afterwards and he lets the cop arrest him. He says that he wanted to see if he could get away. He was testing himself I suppose
Ah yes, I'd completely forgotten about that. Thanks.
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Old 11-16-2007, 10:21 PM   #48
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Re: Great film

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He hid behind the door that had swung open, and the door was never shown to be closed, so either he was there as long as Jones was there, he left while Jones had his back turned, or he was truly a ghost who could sneak out at will (that is, get out of the room w/out Jones noticing in the time it took Jones to get inside).

But I don't think he was really ghost-like, because Moss was able to detect him beforehand, as well as get the jump on him in the street. On a related subject, one of the things that interests me most and is never revealed is how/why they caught Chigurh at the beginning. That's the type of thing that always fascinates me about these stories.
I think you're being too literal - Anton hiding behind the door is simply the Sheriff's projection of what COULD BE beyond the door and waiting for him. It's the Sheriff's own fear - an illusion.
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Old 11-16-2007, 10:26 PM   #49
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Re: Great film

hyachachaa I have to wait another week before this comes near me
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Old 11-17-2007, 01:15 AM   #50
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Re: No Country For Old Men

I really liked this...however, I have long realized that my love for the Cohen Bros. movies is mostly because of their humor, story-telling ability and their exquisite craft. None of their movies ever really "moves" me beyond, "wow, that was a cool movie."

Their phenomenal filmmakers and I'm a huge fan. T But like Tarantino, it seems most of their movies are about other movies or movie making in general. nothing wrong with that, I guess, but it does leave me with a feeling that something's emotionally missing after I see one of their films.

No Country is great. I enjoyed it immensely. I loved the very bold choice of not having any music at all. The dialogue was so rich and perfect it created all the music needed.

Brolin, Bardem and Jones were all terrific. I actually liked Harrelson's role in this. And I've always had a crush on McDonald. It was cool seeing Barry Corbin and Stephen Root, too. really, Brolin was a revelation. Who knew he was so good?

I really liked Jones's last scene, too. Very moving.

But for some reason, it's not quite Once, Michael Clayton or Gone Baby Gone. Those three are still the best films of the year for me so, so far. I liked Zodiac and Breach a lot, but they aren't quite great films for me.
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