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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A very enjoyable film
I have been looking forward to seeing True Grit for a while, missing it at the cinema I bought the Blu-ray. I was not disappointed, the film lived up to its reviews. While I did not want to compare it to the original I could not help particularly comparing Hailee Steinfeld's performance as Mattie Ross with that of Kim Darby. I would have to say that Hailee Steinfeld won...
Published on 1 July 2011 by Trev-R

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Definately Worth Watching
Well, I've seen both films several times and read the book, so here goes.
For me, westerns are like sci-fi films, they say more about the period in which they were made rather than the period that they are depicting. This is definitely 'grittier' than the John Wayne, but that alone does not make it a better film, just a different one. Jeff Bridges is excellent,...
Published 18 months ago by N. SKILTON


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60 of 72 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More of a Coen Brothers film than a western. But so what?, 13 Feb 2011
This review is from: True Grit [DVD] (2010) (DVD)
This story begins with a narration; a woman reminiscing about when she was a child and how she hired a US marshal, Rooster Cogburn, to hunt down and kill the man who murdered her father. We then quickly go into flashback and the hunt begins, with Texas ranger LaBoeuf joining Cogburn and the girl on their quest.

Best you know now that the hunt takes a while before it begins. And that it begins at a slow pace. And that it generally keeps a slow pace throughout. The Coens are in no hurry to catch the killer; they are more interested in the posse following after him; how they interact with each other and, consequently, what we learn about them - information we retain until it matters.

This is not an action film as some people who criticise it seemed to think before watching it. The Coens like characters. They like to put them in close-up and have them snipe at each other. And they like beautiful wide shots. The cinematography by Roger Deakins is perfect as always and needs to be seen on the big screen to be fully appreciated. The film is very true to the book upon which it is based and the book perfectly suits the Coen's style.

When the periodic action does come in the style of a set-piece, it is masterfully handled; always with tension and panache, sometimes with humour, only once with extreme violence. But you are aware that conversation is allowing action to intrude, often briefly, rather than the other way round

The best thing about the movie was the acting of Hailee Steinfeld who plays the determined 14 year old girl, Mattie Ross. You hang on her every word in the first part of the movie as she pushes it single-handed with her crisp, confident delivery and amusing refusal to be fobbed off or cheated by anyone.

Matt Damon really shines as the windbag ranger from Texas; a character you can really believe in and laugh at at the same time.

Jeff Bridges as the one-eyed drunken marshal, Rooster Cogburn, is great as he always is, but be warned, his southern accent is so strong and he mumbles so much its often quite difficult to understand what he is saying. Being from the UK I missed a lot of his best lines, but it never hinders comprehension of the plot which is as basic as they come anyway

The minor parts are all played well, especially the villains, but don't expect too much screen time from them. The opening narration makes clear that the whole film is from the girl's point-of-view. We aren't going to see any bad guys until she does, and then, only what she sees and knows.

In summary, be prepared for a beautiful-looking, slow-moving, well-acted, dialogue-heavy, often quirky Coen Brothers Film. Above all be prepared for, what is, in the end, a truly moving story. For it is not until the last 10 minutes that I realised what it is really about and I wondered if I should have known it all along. Like the characters I became so wrapped up in the importance of the quest to the exclusion of everything else. At the end of the movie I was reminded of the John Lennon line 'life is something that happens to you when you are making other plans.' Just like that line, this film has stayed with me.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Coen's True Grit, 12 Nov 2011
By 
Brawny Withed (Leeds, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: True Grit [DVD] (2010) (DVD)
True Grit is a fantastic poetic film from the Coen Brothers. Set in the old west it follows a fourteen year old girl Mattie (Hailee Steinfield) whose father has been killed in cold blood by outlaw Chaney (Josh Brolin). Mattie seeks retribution and tracks down hard-drinking, trigger happy Deputy U.S. Marshal Rooster Cogburn (Jeff Bridges)a man with 'True Grit'to find Chaney and kill him. Along the way they are joined by Texas Ranger LaBouef (Matt Damon)who has been pursuing Chaney for other crimes.

The films plot is told and played out in a unhurried manner and character development is given priority over action and tempo which is a refreshing change to most films.

Jeff Bridges is brilliant in his role as Cogburn, but for me the star of the film is Hailee Steinfield who steals the film.

I would highly recommend this film and if you have any doubts about it being another western film or being a remake of the awful John Wayne movie then don't let those things put you off.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars True Grit, 3 July 2011
By 
Spider Monkey (UK) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
I have to start by saying `True Grit' is another excellent film from the Coen brothers. Some of their films can miss the mark, but when they get it right they hit the target dead on and with full force.

This film follows a 14 year old girl called Mattie as she goes about finding the man who murdered her father. She is quick thinking, highly intelligent and full of sass. She hires the grizzly old Rooster Cogburn (played by Bridges) to help her in her endeavours and together they make an unlikely, but effective duo. There are also interactions with a Texas Ranger (played by Matt Damon) and gun fights and horse chases a-plenty.

The dialogue in this film is excellent and some of the lines Mattie and Cogburn come out with will have you roaring with laughter and appreciative of their eloquence. This film has quite a gentle pace and yet this is juxtaposed with the odd gun fight which adds the needed spark to the film.

Everyone acts very well in this and I adore the accents of all involved. Damon is great as the self righteous Texas Ranger and Bridges is simply wonderful as the time worn and hardened Cogburn. I haven't seen Hailee Steinfeld, the actress who plays Mattie, act in a film before, but I have to say I was highly impressed. The direction is superb, with plenty of artistic shots of the wide landscapes that will leave you breathless and the gun fights and scenes with drama and action are tight and full of excitement.

Overall I have to say I enjoyed this more than I anticipated I would and it made for just under 2 hours highly entertaining viewing. It's easily a film you could watch more than once and I am already looking forward to the next time when I will.

Feel free to check out my blog which can be found on my profile page.
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Western tale from the Coen brothers, 7 Mar 2011
By 
This review is from: True Grit [DVD] (2010) (DVD)
I haven't seen the original "True Grit" version starring John Wayne so I won't comment on any similarities or differences in the two movies. I have read that the Coen version is truer to the novel on which the two movies are based.

The story begins as Mattie Ross (Haillee Steinfeld) arrives in Fort Smith, Arkansas not long after her father has been murdered there. It is thought that she is merely collecting the body but this is no ordinary fourteen year old. She is determined to avenge his death by bringing the murderer to justice. He is thought to have escaped into a nearby Indian territory and the local sheriff has no interest in pursuing him.

He suggests that she hire a US Marshall to help her. She chooses Rooster Cogburn (Jeff Bridges), the Marshall with the most ruthless reputation. The youngster is determined to accompany the Marshall in the pursuit. Their cause is complicated by the presence of a Texas Ranger (Matt Damon) who has been pursuing the same man for a murder he committed in that state.

The Coens are nothing if not consummate filmmakers and "True Grit" is another well crafted, entertaining film from them. It is quite conventional in many ways. The characters of Cogburn and Ross are revealed us in two set piece scenes near the beginning of the movie. We see Hattie playing hardball as she negotiates with a trader over her father's affairs. Cogburn's modus operandi is shown as he testifies in the trial of one of the few men he didn't kill during a recent pursuit.

The film is ultimately about the characters rather than the plot. Almost all the characters are shown in a sympathetic light, even the "bad guys". For that reason the film could be accused of being sentimental

However the excellent script, direction and acting means that, sentimental or not, "True Grit" is a highly entertaining film.
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19 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars True Grit rides again, 15 Feb 2011
By 
Ben Kane (Nr Bristol, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: True Grit [DVD] (2010) (DVD)
As many of the other reviews describe the plot, I won't go into it. In essence, however, this is a pursuit film, and in my opinion, it's excellent. I'm also surprised by some of the poor reviews it's received here. Sure, it's not a complete shoot 'em up western, but it's flawlessly filmed, well produced and a fulfilling way to spend two hours. Whether the script is the same as the original or not, it's very well delivered by the three central characters.

Bridges is wonderful as the drunk Cogburn, Damon is solid as the smug Texas Ranger, but without doubt the star of the film is the absolutely magnificent Hailee Steinfeld. What a future that girl has as an actor! Her performance in this film is easily worthy of an Oscar.

In short, while this is not quite in the league of Miller's Crossing, Fargo, or No Country For Old Men, some of the Coen brothers' best films, it is by no means their worst film, and is still deserving of a solid four stars. (Having said that, I'm going to go back and watch The Duke's version, as I haven't seen that in many years.)

Ben Kane, author of The Forgotten Legion.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Go West!, 29 Sep 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: True Grit [DVD] (2010) (DVD)
John Wayne was always going to be a hard act to follow in a role which he had made his own, gaining a best-actor
Oscar in the process. Perhaps his performance as the ageing Captain Brittles in "She Wore A Yellow Ribbon" was
more deserving but whose complaining?
Jeff Bridges is always value for money in the roles he chooses and this is no exception. His interpretation of the
one-eyed rascally US deputy marshal Cogburn has a lot going for it...a tad more serious than the Wayne
version but both entertaining and believable...especially in his dealings with "Mattie", the headstrong heroine
of the story. I also like the way the Coen Brothers' film ends - with the older Mattie still giving lowlife the verbal
lash before visiting Cogburn's grave for a final farewell.
This film also has excellent sets, some fine photography and a suitably elegiac music score to add to its pleasures.
They can still almost make them like they used to.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superbly acted classy Western, 25 Oct 2012
This review is from: True Grit [DVD] (2010) (DVD)
Everything from the costumes, the set design and the ingrained dirt on the clothing makes this film feel very authentic, and draws you in to Mattie Ross' (a standout performance from Hailee Steinfeld) world. I loved watching the relationship between Mattie Ross and Rooster Cogburn (Jeff Bridges) develop and unfold, as a gruff but affectionate bond buids up between the two of them. The action is drawn out, but this is what makes the film tick - there's not constant gun-toting action but some good set pieces that build up the drama and help with the story's and characters' narratives. I loved this film, and can't wait to watch it again.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good movie, 29 Sep 2012
This review is from: True Grit [DVD] (2010) (DVD)
I bought this for a family member. It's a good movie and based on the novel and not on the original movie. So a bit unfair to call it a remake. Just another version of the novel in film form.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 'True Grit' - True Class!, 15 April 2012
By 
D. S. Leyman (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: True Grit [DVD] (2010) (DVD)
One of my all time favourite films was the version of 'True Grit' starring Johm Wayne. When I heard that there was a remake in the offing I was appalled; nothing should be done to this classic film. Any remake was sure to be an abomination.
I was wrong. Completely wrong. The 2010 version starring Jeff Bridges, Matt Damon, Josh Brolin et al, is a masterpiece. It has eclipsed the original in all respects. The young lady who plays Mattie Ross (Hailee Steinfeld) makes a tremenduous debut. This is entertainment par excellence; film making at its superlative best.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Superior Western, 25 Mar 2012
By 
This review is from: True Grit [DVD] (2010) (DVD)
This Coen Brothers Western is a wonderful film and superior to the older film starring John Wayne.

Although the earlier, Henry Hathaway film was definitely good, the Coen Brothers film is definitely better - in just about every way, if fact. Acting, cinematography, script, and score are all clearly superior and fit in better, for example.

Importantly, though, the Coen Brothers' version has an artistry, atmosphere, and themes the original lacks. It captures the lonely feel of the West uniquely well, has a darker, more human feel, and is more consistent - coming together into a tighter, more cohesive film that makes more sense. It is more exciting and we feel more attached to the characters, and their relationships are more fleshed out. The characters in the Hathaway version are strangely lively, which clashes with the story's "grit" theme. There is a comic element, in fact. The characters in the Coen Brothers' version are realistic and believable. The are serious and have emotional depth. Their lives are not easy, and they reflect their difficult experiences. They have grit.

The climax in the Coen Brothers' version is much better, and the end is much more powerful. The Hathaway version had a somewhat inconsistent script, while the Coen Brothers' version has a solid script. Overall, the Coen Brothers' True Grit is a much more polished film.

The Coen Brothers claim it is another adaption of the book, but not a remake. This claim is upheld by the strong differences in character, plot, and style between the two. Also worth mentioning is that the Coen Brothers' version is more faithful to the book, which, in this case, results in a bolder story with more integrity. It also provides their version with additional justification, as a reasonably accurate version of the story is now available on film.

This is one of the great westerns and one of the Coen Brothers best films.
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True Grit [DVD] (2010)
True Grit [DVD] (2010) by Joel Coen (DVD - 2011)
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