14-year-old mattie Ross (Hailee Steinfeld) joins an aging U.S. marshal (Jeff Bridges) and another lawman (Matt Damon) in tracking her father's killer into hostile Indian territory in Joel and Ethan Coen's adaptation of Charles Portis' original novel. Sticking more closely to the source material than the 1969 feature adaptation starring Western icon John Wayne, the Coens' True Grit tells the story from the young girl's perspective, and re-teams the celebrated filmmaking duo with their No Country for Old Men producing partner Scott Rudin. Josh Brolin and Barry Pepper co-star. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi
Director: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen
Cast: Jeff Bridges, Josh Brolin, Matt Damon, Barry Pepper, Dakin Matthews.
Release Date: Dec 22, 2010
Rated PG-13 for some intense sequences of western violence including disturbing images
Runtime: 2 hr. 8 min.
Being unfamiliar with the novel and John Wayne film, I came to the Coen’s brother’s True Grit a clean slate. Westerns of yesteryear had never had much appeal for me outside of the occasional spaghetti western. The most recent western I’ve found more appealing for some reason and True Grit is one of those films that perfectly personifies why. Its characters are well drawn and thoroughly complex and never disinteresting. The Coen’s have a wonderful eye and love of the wide open spaces and varied climates. They pace this film steadily and thoughtfully so you can savor ever aspect of the scene and sharp dialogue. Newcomer Hailee Steinfeld is a revelation from the outset; she gives her character a forceful strength and wisdom that demand you attention throughout. She more than comfortable onscreen with the big name talent and holds her own with ease. Jeff Bridges chews scenery from the moment his character is introduced; it’s a delightful performance that’s surprisingly multilayered and textured. Bridges and Steinfeld share excellent chemistry together, something much needed for a story like this. Matt Damon turns in solid supporting work as a Texas Ranger who appears to be more talk and vanity than substance. Damon displays strong flexibility and range here working as a solid ying to Bridge’s yang. Josh Brolin and Barry Peppers are excellent in tiny but pivotal roles.