Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Review: True Grit

Grade: A-

After her father is murdered by hired hand Tom Chaney, 14 year old Mattie Ross sets out to hire the toughest U.S. Marshall she can find in order to bring the man to justice. She meets Rooster Cogburn, a U.S. Marshall she believes has true grit, but who has a bit of a drinking problem, and hires him to help her track down the murderer. He reluctantly agrees to help her but is resistant to her joining him on the journey. Against his wishes, she joins him as they trek into the Indian Nations to find Chaney, who is hiding out with his gang in the mountains. They are also joined by a Texas Ranger, LaBoeuf, who is hunting Chaney for his own purposes. The trio finds a true adventure full of danger and surprises and they are all have their limits tested along the way.

Every once in a while a remake of a classic movie comes along that manages to really live up to the original and possibly surpass it as well. Well, True Grit is that movie. This movie, which is based on a book by Charles Portis and is technically a remake of a classic John Wayne movie, was great and I think might be better than the original. But, while it is technically a remake, it is also a very original movie as the Coen Brothers (No Country for Old Men, Burn After Reading) did an amazing job making this movie their own. The writing was great and the scenery was fantastic. True Grit is easily one of the best westerns I’ve seen in a long time. The story keeps you interested and, as is the Coen Brothers way, there is a fair bit of humor mixed in.

Jeff Bridges (Tron: Legacy, Crazy Heart) plays the role of Rooster Cogburn, a hard drinking U.S. Marshall. Bridges was perfect for this role, he really just did an amazing job. His portrayal of Cogburn was a lot of fun to watch and is one of the better performances of the year. Relative new comer, Hailee Steinfeld plays the role of Mattie Ross, a steadfast young girl who is determined to find her father’s killer. Steinfeld is incredible, she is surrounded by three seasoned actors and she manages to keep up with them and have one of the best performances in the movie. I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if her performance goes up for some awards. Matt Damon (Hereafter, Invictus) plays Texas Ranger, LaBoeuf. He did a really good job with this role, which was kind of a step out of the norm for Damon. LaBoeuf isn’t always a likable character, but manages to play it really well. Josh Brolin (You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger, Milk) plays Tom Chaney. Brolin is amazing in this role, but unfortunately the roles isn’t as big as I had hoped. This performance is probably one of his best.

True Grit is a movie that is full of grit. It is a fun movie to watch and is the best western of the year and one of the best of the decade. The Coen Brothers have yet to disappoint and just keep putting out great movies. If you like westerns, go see this movie, it is fantastic. If you like the cast, go see this movie as it features some of their best performances. If you like movies, this movie is definitely worth checking out.

Great quote: “I thought you were gonna say the sun was in your eyes, or rather, your eye.”

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