REVIEW: ‘True Grit’

Director:
Ethan Coen, Joel Coen
Cast:
Jeff Bridges
Hailee Steinfeld
Matt Damon
Josh Brolin
Rated: PG-13

Jeff Bridges does it again.

True Grit follows the young girl Mattie Ross (Steinfeld) who has recently lost her father to a criminal named Tom Chaney (Brolin). Ross is very strong willed and does not plan on ending her hunt for Chaney. She comes to a larger town where she looks to find a man with “real grit” to go after Chaney and bring him to justice.

Ross eventually meets Rooster Cogburn (Bridges) who is a U.S. Marshall who is quite good at gun battles, having shot many criminals in the past. She also meets a cocky Texas Ranger named LaBoeuf (Damon). After some convincing the three set out after Chaney, but they have a difficult time with the man hunt since the three don’t exactly get along.

Like the other “True Grit” film, the story works as a traveling adventure picture. Instead of being a western where a lone ranger comes to save a town, this works as a trek through the wilderness with some gunfights thrown in. Additionally, the banter of the characters and their arcs helps the picture go smoothly. I also enjoyed that the Coens were able to add some of their own comedic writing into the film.

The characters were all different and had their own personality aspects to keep things interesting. Bridges was awesome as Cogburn, playing the western, gun slinging hardened marshal. He really makes for a likable character and Bridges was able to put a good western accent onto his dialogue.

Matt Damon was also enjoyable. His character was the egotistical guy who really has a heart of gold and thankfully, Damon is able to display this.

Steinfeld stole a bit of the show herself, too, being able to really play her role well especially for her age. She was able to deliver a lot of emotion and had great banter with the veteran actors.

I didn’t feel that Brolin was amazing in his role, but this might be because his character didn’t seem completely developed.

The action in the film may seem lacking to some especially after seeing some of the trailers, yet, I thought it was pretty enjoyable. The last battle really reminded me of classic western climaxes that was a little over the top but still fun.

Overall, True Grit was a solid flick. The story and action were good but what really brought it all together were the characters and those who portrayed them. Our three leads were really enjoyable and kept the film running at full steam. Maybe not the absolute best of the year but this one was still enjoyable. 4 out of 5.

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Author: Matthew Liedke

My name is Matthew Liedke. I'm a reporter for the Bemidji Pioneer in Minnesota, but I also have a passion for the art of film. This passion led me to start writing about film in 2008. From 2008-2016 I wrote pieces at my own website, After the Movie Reviews. Then, from 2016-May 2018, my write-ups were featured on AreaVoices, a blog network run by Forum Communications Company. Today, I now write film reviews and other pieces here on Word Press. More about me: I'm a 2012 graduate of Minnesota State University Moorhead where I studied journalism and film. Outside of film, I enjoy sports, video games, anime and craft beers.

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