True Grit (2010) This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

August 26, 2012
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The Coen Brothers have done it again. That being said, let’s start with the review.

This film is about a girl, Mattie Ross, who seeks revenge toward her father’s cold-blooded killer Tom Cheney. She then finds Rooster Cogburn who is a one-eyed, soulless, drunkard. LaBeouf, a by the book Texas Ranger, tags along because he is in pursuit of Cheney as well, because he killed the Texas senator. An adventure ensues as they cross miles and miles to find one man and make him pay with his blood.

This remake of the 1969 film stars Jeff Bridges as Cogburn, Hailee Steinfeld as Mattie Ross, and Matt Damon as LeBeouf. This of course is a western and like most westerns, it takes a while to get started but once it does, it really gets started. Let me talk about the acting first. Steinfeld is fantastic as Mattie Ross. She makes her character cold and sharp. She doesn’t want anything other than her killer hanged. She does not smile, laugh, cry, or feel remorse. She just wants to kill Tom Cheney. What I love about her character is that she is so different than other leading women. That also brings me to another point: Why did the Academy make put her in the category as a “Best Supporting Actress?!?!” She was the main character and you know it!!! Oh, well.

Jeff Bridges as Cogburn is also fantastic. He is not just the good guy that likes to drink a little. It’s a little more complicated than that. If you didn’t know he was a marshal, you would probably think he is a villain. When you see him with Mattie and LaBeouf, you realize that he is an unpredictable drunk mess. You don’t know how he will respond to the sentence that you say. He might curse at you, or pop a bullet through your head. LaBeouf on the other hand is a no-nonsense, from the book type person. You can see that he wants to be taken seriously and with respect by others but they just don’t.

I really liked how they portrayed the villains too. Instead of a mastermind, Tom Cheney (played by Josh Brolin) is just a part of a posse that straggled off and killed others while he was drunk. He is not a leader. He is a pathetic part of a gang who make him carry horses, nothing more. While Ned Pepper (played by Barry Pepper) is the smart leader. I love how they make him seem like a guy from another movie, but he was just brought up by what one of his men did.

So in the end I thought this was a great movie. I love how dark and sad and different this is to other films. This is a movie everyone should see. Not only because of the great characters, but great directing, screenplay, and great acting. The end though, left me empty and cold. After you see these characters go through hell and back, I asked myself was it worth it. And that’s the big unanswered question. Was it worth it?

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