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February 25, 2008 12:00 PM

Casey Affleck

The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford

Javier Bardem

No Country for Old Men

Philip Seymour Hoffman

Charlie Wilson’s War

Hal Holbrook

Into the Wild

Tom Wilkinson

Michael Clayton

Javier Bardem’s implacable killer, armed with a pneumatic gun and sporting that incongruous Buster Brown do, was the scariest bad guy to stalk a screen in years. But what really distinguished his turn in No Country for Old Men was the wry humor he brought to the role, as if his maniac was in on a cosmic joke everyone else failed to appreciate.

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