True Grit (2010)

true grit 2010 movie poster
9.5 Overall Score
Story: 9/10
Acting: 10/10
Visuals: 9/10

Great acted, great looking movie with a good story

A great remake of a great classic is a tough sell

Movie Info

Movie Name:  True Grit

Studio:  Paramount Pictures

Genre(s):  Western/Drama/Action/Adventure

Release Date(s):  December 22, 2010

MPAA Rating:  PG-13


I will badger you until you do my bidding…everyone does!

Mattie Ross (Hailee Steinfeld) is fourteen years old and out to avenge her murdered father.  Hiring a marshal named Reuben J. “Rooster” Cogburn (Jeff Bridges), Mattie and Rooster head into the dangerous territory to bring back Mattie’s father’s murderer Tom Chaney (Josh Brolin) dead or alive.  Learning that Chaney is running with the gang of “Lucky” Ned Pepper (Barry Pepper), Rooster and Mattie find themselves teamed with a Texas Ranger named LeBoeuf (Matt Damon).  As Rooster, LeBoeuf, and Mattie get closer to their prey, a showdown that could mean death rapidly approaches.


Seriously, is this girl for real?

Directed by the Coen Brothers, True Grit adapted the 1968 novel by Charles Portis (which first appeared as a serial in the Saturday Evening Post) and is considered a remake of the popular John Wayne 1969 film for which Wayne won a Best Actor Oscar.  Following in that film’s footsteps, True Grit was nominated for Academy Awards for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor (Jeff Bridges), Best Supporting Actress (Hailee Steinfeld), Best Cinematography, Best Art Direction, Best Costume Design, Best Sound Editing, and Best Sound Mixing, but won none of the ten awards.

True Grit is an enjoyable Western.  It is too bad that the first version of this film was also enjoyable. Opposed to many “remakes” (I guess you could just consider this another adaptation and a bit closer to the story), True Grit doesn’t feel like it is treading as heavily on sacred ground.  Sure, True Grit was Wayne’s Oscar winning role, but most would argue that The Searchers was his actual best film, so Bridges stepping into the role doesn’t hurt as much.  The movie despite retelling a tale that was told quite well the first time, does has its own feel.


I must admit that I have been in better situations.

Part of the movie’s success does come from the great performances from its actors.  Hailee Steinfeld is really the star of the film (despite a Supporting Actress nod) and has more screen time than Bridges.  I never liked Kim Darby in the original True Grit, but Steinfeld is great as the driven daughter.  As mentioned, Bridges also gives great depth to the character of Rooster.  He grunts and drinks his way through the movie, but is shown to be driven in his own way…much like the unlucky sidekick LeBoeuf in Matt Damon who also does a nice job despite a role without much room for development.  In their few short scenes, both Barry Pepper and Josh Brolin make great villains that still somehow seem real and not entirely villainous…It leaves you wishing that you got to know them better.


Pepper…no, I am talking to the actor Pepper…not the character!!!

A lot of attention was given to the strange flowy dialogue of this film.  The reason it sounds so strange is that none of the characters use contractions.  This wasn’t indicative of language back when the characters lived, but was simply a choice by Joel and Ethan Coen.  It gives the film a sing-songy feel and transports the viewers into an almost otherworldly realm with a simple everyday change.

The Coen Bros continue to demonstrate that they know how to make a film look great.  The bleak winter landscape of the movie is a great contrast to their hot deserts of No Country for Old Men and the cinematography is top-notch.  I love how this film looks and feels.

True Grit is a great Western or action or drama…It has a little something for everyone.  For purists who love Wayne’s version, give this movie a shot because it is a strong film with a great story that continues to evolve from Wayne’s version.  True Grit is worth the price of admission, so check it out!

Related Links:

True Grit (1969)

Rooster Cogburn (1975)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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