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True Grit Reviews

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John M

Super Reviewer

July 23, 2011
Top to bottom a solid retelling of the classic. The Coen Brothers do a wonderful job and Bridges and Steinfeld shine. I havent seen the original in years and have never read the book. But this an amazingly good film.
garyX
garyX

Super Reviewer

December 23, 2010
A fourteen year old girl employs the talents of a grizzled old US Marshall to track her father's killer. The Coen brother's re-imagining of John Wayne's western classic is actually not as different from the original as you'd expect. The biggest difference is in its lack of bravado; Bridges' Rooster Cogburn is more of a crotchety old has-been than The Duke's larger-than-life portrayal and the spectre of Death permeates the film in a similar way to Jarmusch's Dead Man. Even the teenage Maddy (impressively played by newcomer Hailee Steinfield) is not immune to its touch, as we see when she beds down for the night in an empty coffin nearly as soon as she appears. The melancholy epilogue is another nice touch and the ending in general I felt worked much better then the first film. I would have to say that I found Matt Damon an odd casting choice (I suspect the studio insisted on a "big name") but he acquits himself adequately and although it is amongst the most mainstream of the Coens' films, it still has enough of their hallmarks to make it appeal to their die-hard fans. A quality western in the classic style which I personally prefer to the original version.
Louis R

Super Reviewer

December 19, 2012
A stirring, handsome, fairly moving, excellently acted and shot western. A pleasure to watch, while ultimately a little insubstantial.
Al S

Super Reviewer

March 4, 2010
This is one of the ten best films of 2010. It brings out the best of what the old-school western used to represent and is resurrected in this film. It's a brilliant masterpiece from The Coen Brothers, a frequently funny, thrilling and tremendously exciting action-packed adventure. The two brother-filmmakers have done it again this time with a remake of the classic John Wayne western and making just a new classic of their own. A strong, hard-boiled and incredible movie that's just a electrifying entertainment ride. An exhilarating and powerful movie that will stand the test of time. A stellar thrill-ride of thrills, action and humor. A handsomely made and very well-performed film that truly packs gritty intensity and fantastic characters. It brings the western back in an explosive and unforgettable way that just rocks. An outstanding all-star cast that truly are at their best. Jeff Bridges is absolutely magnificent, he gives a gritty, mesmerizing and awesome performance. Matt Damon Is excellent. Josh Brolin is terrific. Hailee Steinfeld is a wonderful young actress who gives an extraordinary performance.
Tyler R

Super Reviewer

February 1, 2012
I want to begin by saying that I love westerns. They have this simplistic charm that can't be explained. Whether it be the atmosphere, the mood or even the characters, most westerns work....most. True Grit is an exception. I heard that everybody loved this film, critics, movie-goers, even people who hate westerns. I watched this movie expecting to love it, but I was dissapointed. It revolves around 14 year old Mattie Ross who joins Rooster Cogburn and Texas Ranger LaBoeuf to kill her father's murderer, Tom Cheney. The first thing I noticed was the film is really slow. The pacing was way off and the dialogue scenes were just too drawn out and dragged on for a really long time. Once Cogburn, LaBoeuf and Mattie began their journey I was expecting the film to pick up more, but if anything it was just as slow. The dialogue made it worse because it was almost impossible to understand. Jeff Bridges did a really good job as Cogburn, but the thing that held him back was the Coen Brothers decision to make him sound like gargling nails. Same goes for Matt Damon as LaBoeuf, he was really good, but some dialogue was incomprehensible. There are a few scenes with some gun fights and they were entertaining, but they didn't last too long. Most of the potential the movie had was overshadowed by very slow pacing; that's my biggest complaint with the movie. Another really redundant thing was they constantly built up to seeing Tom Cheney and they kept talking about him, but he was barely in the movie. He had maybe two scenes, but he was blocked out by the other villain, Ned Pepper, played by Barry Pepper. It's strange that Barry Pepper is in the movie because LaBoeuf has his own "Private Jackson moment" as I like to call it. Anyway, Tom Cheney had his character built up to be the main antagonist, but he has a good 12-15 lines. But I do have to give credit for the characters for the movie. Cogburn was played out as a low-life drunk, but still a badass, LaBoeuf is just a guy who doesn't take shit from anyone ("I'm givin' her a spankin'!") and Mattie is just this bloodthirsty little beast who wants nothing more than to see Tom Cheney dead. The ending of the film is also really dark and it actually does play into a realistic way to potray how Mattie's character develops. True Grit was a dissapointment for me mainly because it was just really slow. The dialogue was hard to understand and the dialogue you could understand was uninteresting. The film built up to almost nothing, it lacked the charm most Westerns have and I found the end too depressing. I did like the acting, characters and comedic style, but those were not enough for the movie to work.
Scott G

Super Reviewer

March 24, 2012
This is the oldern american that will make the critics jaws drop. with a strong cast and a high grade scenery, alongside it's immaculate plot, the Coen's deliver us a God of a film, one that will be extremely hard to replace in the coming years of re-make's, that would take a bright director to produce such a film.
Albert K

Super Reviewer

September 28, 2010
Loved the script, the editing, and cinematography. Seriously, this movie is perfectly made in terms of technicalities. And what about Hailee Steinfeld as Mattie Ross. Wow, extremely surprising that she did not win for best actress. Nevertheless, "True Grit" was an extremely entertaining movie.
FilmFanatik
FilmFanatik

Super Reviewer

February 22, 2012
How can you not love everything that the Coen Bros. get their hands on? Everything they touch is cinematic magic and True Grit is no exception. While a lot of us went into this movie with a preconceived notion of what it's about based on the previously filmed John Wayne version, the film still manages to seem fresh and different. I think everyone gives great performances (even though I miss the presence of a young Kim Darby) and they all seem to be vital to the storyline. However, I think the characters tend to peter out and the story loses its focus somewhere in the second act. I'm not quite sure how to explain it. We're on this mission with Rooster Cogburn and Mattie Ross to catch Tom Chane, but somehow it becomes about Ned Pepper and a personal feud between him and Cogburn, which doesn't seem to be pre-established in any way. Then the main villain seems to serve no purpose in the story because of this, other than just being a distraction to that particular story thread. It bothers me a bit, and I feel bad for saying so. Perhaps it was the point of Charles Portis' book to be so severed and not be so formulaic, including the abrupt ending, but it just felt shorter than it needed to be. Overall, it's not a bad a film and has some great character development. Just don't look to be too involved with the story dynamics or you'll be disappointed.
Sanjay R

Super Reviewer

February 21, 2012
This movie had a great screenplay and terrific acting by everyone on screen. The action sequences are nothing new and somewhat bring this movie down, but its sharp writing keeps its great from start to finish. Also, it was a lot funnier than I anticipated.
Daniel P

Super Reviewer

January 10, 2011
It's a descriptor that drives me crazy, it's so over-used, but I can't resist saying it: pitch-perfect. Maybe it's that I came to this film without the baggage of the John Wayne original, or maybe it's the fact that I read the novel first; either way, this is a lean story made for the big screen. Character, objective, obstacle. Jeff Bridges is solid, Hailee Steinfeld impresses, and Matt Damon completely disappears into his role. The shots are beautiful, and the adaptation kept the right stinging bits of dialogue to tell this story of a 14-year-old girl out for revenge. Great music, great pacing, and great storytelling. I'm of the opinion that without the weight of John Wayne's de facto lifetime achievement Oscar for the first film, the Academy would have had no trouble giving this excellent new adaptation its biggest prize.
Jason R

Super Reviewer

December 23, 2010
Solid movie. I'm not into Westerns, but it is fun to see the banter between Coen Brothers' characters. All three of the leads do a fantastic job with the script, elevating what might have been a potentially boring plot to something watchable and re-watchable.
Jack Hawkins
Jack Hawkins

Super Reviewer

February 27, 2011
I was looking forward to this film, but ultimately it was forgettable, a disappointment. My main problem with this film is the pacing. The majority of the film is slow, building the character of 'Tom Chaney' to be this elusive, faceless nemesis, almost being comparable to 'Keyser Soze' in 'The Usual Suspects'. I felt that when or if the clan finally found Chaney it would be a grand stand-off, a chilling confrontation. But, in the back of my mind, it dawned on me that this film was only around the 1 hr 40-50 minute mark; it had the pacing of a film an hour longer than that, it couldn't afford to be like this. And so it was, very little happened in the first 1 hr 30 minutes, with absolutely everything coming to a head within the next 10 to 15 minutes or so, it felt rushed and created a crushing sense of bathos. Ultimately, the film has a simplistic premise that is, quite frankly, poorly told; stories of retribution have been told dozens of times, and much better, too.

While the narrative of the film lets it down, the acting does not. Performances from Bridges, Damon and Brolin are all relatively good (if you can put up with Bridges' incoherence), but it is in Hailee Steinfeld that we see the best performance. The gumption the 14 year-old portrays in her character reveals her great confidence and talent as a young actress; initially it must have been daunting for a girl of her age working with her male co-stars.

People I have consulted about the film praised its cinematography, but the similar wide and open landscapes and nail-biting sequences of the Coens' outstanding 'No Country For Old Men' were leaps and bounds ahead. Unfortunately, 'True Grit' produced nothing original, nothing that particularly etched itself on my mind.

In conclusion, I am totally bemused by True Grit's praise and score on Rotten Tomatoes; I have a suspicion that it has something to do with the Coens' reputation. If the film were directed by a lesser name, I think this film would've garnered the average score of around 70% that it deserves.
Wildaly M

Super Reviewer

January 6, 2011
Not usually a fan of westerns, but ventured to watch this one because of the good reviews. It certainly did not disappoint and even the ending left me wanting more. Definitely looking forward to seeing more films with Hailee Steinfeld.
DreamExtractor
DreamExtractor

Super Reviewer

February 25, 2011
True Grit is not just another western, it is without a doubt my favorite western of all time (tied with The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly). The story is about a 14 year old girl named Mattie Ross who embarks on a journey with a Marshall named Rooster Cogburn and a lawman named Lebeof to kill Tom Chaney, the man who killed and robbed Matties father. The plot is a deep and emotionally driven movie that knows that its more brains then action, and I think the Coens did a good job realizing thats what the author was going for and they did a incredible job. The cast is one of the best ensembles ever, Jeff Bridges can never be live up John Waynes performance, but I think he came pretty close and that his role was honestly amazing, Matt Damon was just plain awesome and is one of my favorite actors, but the show stealer is newcomer Hailee Steinfeld who I predict will soon be one of the best and most famous actresses of all time in a fee years. The musical score was composed perfectly and it honestly was one of the best composed scores of all time. True Grit isn't a perfect movie, it was pretty slow the first half hour and could've gone faster but it honestly is one of the greatest westerns I have ever seen and is probably, like I said, favorite western of all time, tied with The Good The Bad and The Ugly.
familiar s

Super Reviewer

October 30, 2011
Westerns not being my cup of tea, I wasn't too curious for this one. To make matters worse, this one had the Coen brothers name attached to it. I don't know why but they've been a turn-off for me. Anyways, yesterday I ran out of options and gave it a go (as I was supposed to sooner or later which as happens to be the case with most of the top rated movies). The movie served its purpose, i.e. to entertain, well enough, but there's nothing to it beyond it. The humorous portions are its best offering. The girl's dialogues got on my nerves at times, though.

If you're a Coen Brothers fan, there's no stopping to you going for this sooner or later. I found it satisfactory all around,
Graham J

Super Reviewer

October 26, 2011
Bridges as Cogburn is perfect. As it's come to be expected, another masterwork by the Coen's.
Jason O

Super Reviewer

December 23, 2010
Never have seen the John Wayne original, but this one was so awesome it makes me wanna!
sergioogarcia
sergioogarcia

Super Reviewer

June 23, 2011
I love westerns. I heard this a remake of a classic Wayne's movie and honestly I was expecting better specially from Jeff Bridges. He's great, but the adaptation wasn't outstanding as many critics said. Anyway is a very nice story with one of those very Hollywood endings.
Josh L

Super Reviewer

October 14, 2010
A wholly entertaining western with great dialogue, acting, and action that will keep you focused the whole time. It is a little predictable, but it's hard not to be at some points in a story. I still fully enjoyed the ride, and would gladly watch this movie again anytime. Jeff Bridges is one of the best actors working today and has proven himself once again by reinventing Rooster Cogburn while the Coen Brothers prove that they can make a more straight-laced movie and still bring their signature style to the table and produce a great movie.
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