I finally caught True Grit in the theaters yesterday and I saw firsthand why it is getting critical acclaim.
Directors Joel and Ethan Coen, the film is a gritty Western take on the revenge genre. The story-telling is compelling, with a rich set of characters. There's Mattie Ross (played by 14-year old Hailee Steinfeld), a headstrong young lady who is out to avenge her father. There's also bounty hunter "Rooster" Cogburn (Jeff Bridges), a drunkard who is way past his prime, but shows a lot of determination. Then there's Texas Ranger LaBeouf (Matt Damon), a vain but indecisive marshal.
All three are bound by their quest to catch Tom Chaney (Josh Brolin) and the movie is a quest of how the odd group clashes and eventually gets it together. Good performances of the lead actors are the drivers of the film, supported by great story-telling by the Coen Brothers. The film has a few dull stretches and the language of the characters takes a lot of getting used to, but over-all a solid film.
True Grit may be too gritty for its own good, but it's a Western classic full of noteworthy performances.
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