The Coen Brothers show both class and grit in their new film, based on a novel by Charles Portis, which was turned into a film in 1969 starring John Wayne. True Grit is a great revival of a classic Western film by possibly the greatest team of brothers in film history.
Mattie Ross (Hailie Steinfeld) is a thirteen year old girl who was raised in the eye-for-an-eye old west. After the death of her father she takes it upon herself to see to it that his murderer, Tom Cheney (Josh Brolin). In a small town in Arkansas Mattie hires herself a US Marshall, Rooster Cogburn (Jeff Bridges). She follows him out across the river into Indian territory to hunt down Tom Cheney.
Thrown into the mix is a Texas Ranger, LaBoeuf (Matt Damon). LaBoeuf has been trailing Cheney for months and is less than enthused when an old man and a young girl begin in the search for Cheney. He wishes to bring Tom Cheney back to Texas to be punished for murder, while Mattie wants him to be punished back in her hometown, to properly avenge her father. LaBoeuf weaves in and out of the story until right when all hope is lost, Mattie finds Cheney getting water from a nearby river.
For Hailie Steinfeld's first major film she is brilliant. Her performance is astounding for someone with hardly any experience, or actually for anyone with experience in acting. Mattie Ross shows true gumption, as well as intelligence in fields which most 14 year olds have little knowledge in. Jeff Bridges is great, but he's sometimes a little hard to understand as he grunts Cogburn's lines. Matt Damon is also good in his role. Josh Brolin has a small role, but he's good too.
The Coen Brothers have created another modern classic with True Grit, a modern version of the classic Western story. The script is written with skillful precision and some of the large camera shots of the Wild West are beautiful, making it seem less wild. However, True Grit does have it's share of violence, both in the modern sense and in the old western film sense. Overall, the Coen Brothers have created yet another great film, exploring a new genre with the craftsmanship of someone who has been making movies for years.