A 14-year-old girl needs a man with "true grit" to help her bring in the fugitive who killed her father. That she settles on Rooster Cogburn--a one-eyed, booze-soaked, potbellied U.S. marshal on the downward curve of his career in law enforcement--is the glorious springboard for all versions of True Grit: the Charles Portis novel, the 1969 western that won an Oscar for John Wayne, and the 2010 Coen brothers adaptation. The Coens have some mighty shoes to fill in their version, and their choice for the eye-patch is Jeff Bridges, who growls his way through an understated take on Rooster. Matt Damon plays LaBoeuf, the Texas Ranger who joins the hunt; Josh Brolin is the scurvy killer; and Barry Pepper is the leader of the outlaw gang. Working as usual with cinematographer Roger Deakins, the Coens exhibit their clear, crisp view of western places, thrillingly creating new takes on recognizable vistas such as the frontier town, the snowy forest, and the isolated cabin at night. The Coens revel in the incredibly ornate dialogue, which allows their sardonic attitude to bleed into the material--young actress Hailee Steinfeld doesn''t seem at all fazed by the language, which may be a key reason she got the job as heroine Mattie Ross. While True Grit doesn''t have the heft of the best films in the Coens'' arsenal (there''s something very formal and even a wee bit academic about their stroll through this familiar text), they do create a pleasant sense of a good yarn, retold around the campfire for the umpteenth time. --Robert Horton
True Grit is a powerful story of vengeance and valor set in an unforgiving and unpredictable frontier where justice is simple and mercy is rare. Mattie Ross (Hailee Steinfeld), is determined to avenge her father''s blood by capturing Tom Chaney (Josh Brolin), the man who shot and killed him for two pieces of gold. Just fourteen, she enlists the help of Rooster Cogburn (Academy Award® Winner Jeff Bridges), a one-eyed, trigger-happy U.S. Marshall with an affinity for drinking and hardened Texas Ranger LaBoeuf (Academy Award® Winner Matt Damon) to track the fleeing Chaney. Despite their differences, their ruthless determination leads them on a perilous adventure that can only have one outcome: retribution.
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