From the Associated Press (via ArtsJournal) . . . —J.S.

The Coen brothers’ “No Country for Old Men” was named best picture Monday by the New York Film Critics Circle, further adding to the crime drama’s awards haul in the lead-up to the Oscars.

Joel and Ethan Coen also each won for their direction and screenplay adapted from Cormac McCarthy’s novel of the same name. Javier Bardem, who plays a menacing serial killer with the hairdo of Prince Valiant, also won best supporting actor.

This awards season has been viewed as wide open, but “No Country for Old Men” already has been honored for best picture by the National Board of Review, the Boston Society of Film Critics and the Washington, D.C., Area Film Critics Association.

Stephen Whitty, film critic for The Star-Ledger of Newark, N.J., and New York Film Critics Circle president, said he considers “No Country for Old Men” the Coen brothers’ best film since 1996’s “Fargo.”

“It’s been a couple years of fairly light movies from them and I thought this was really dark and mature and controlled and really had something to say about changing times,” said Whitty. “A lot of us are Coen brothers’ fans but I think this film really struck a deeper chord with most people.”

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