True Grit (The Coen Bros, 2010)

What's it about? When her father is murdered, 14-year-old Mattie Ross (Hailee Steinfeld) hires gruff, boozy, one-eyed US Marshal Rooster Cogburn (Jeff Bridges) to bring the killer to justice. Striking up an uneasy partnership with a dandy Texas Ranger (Matt Damon), they head off into Indian territory to track their quarry.


Is it any good? A solid revenge Western, elevated by fine performances from the three leads and sprinkled with some trademark moments of Coen oddness, such as a man dressed as a bear on horseback. The awkward-sounding, but somehow authentic and fitting dialogue lends it all a distinctive, almost lyrical quality, which makes a nice contrast to the sudden bursts of violence. Not the Coens' best movie, but more proof that they can pretty much turn their hand to any genre and succeed.

Anything else I should know? It's based on the novel by Charles Portis, from which much of the dialogue is lifted verbatim, and is a fresh adaptation rather than a remake of the John Wayne film True Grit, which won The Duke his only Oscar. They're obviously completely different; Rooster's eyepatch has switched eyes.

What does the Fonz think? The Dude becomes The Duke! He still abides.

Buy it on Amazon

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