Roger Ebert gives it 4 stars and says it is "as good a film as the Coen brothers, Joel and Ethan, have ever made" and "a masterful evocation of time, place, character, moral choices, immoral certainties, human nature and fate." Rolling Stone calls it "an indisputably great movie". Slant Magazine describes it as "masterful". Slate.com is disappointed. The New York Times says it is "bleak, scary and relentlessly violent. At its center is a figure of evil so calm, so extreme, so implacable that to hear his voice is to feel the temperature in the theater drop." Time Out closes with this:
A masterly tale of the good, the deranged and the doomed that inflects the raw violence of the west with a wry acknowledgement of the demise of codes of honour, this is frighteningly intelligent and imaginative.