True Grit (2010) – Film Review


Directors: Joel & Ethan Coen
Cast: Jeff Bridges, Matt Damon, Hailee Steinfeld

Certificate: 18

by Joss Spry

The Coens; always dependable, never predictable. The Brothers are back and rocking Oscar’s boat with this bite of weird and beautiful Americana.

An adaptation of Charles Portis’ 1964 novel, it centres on Mattie (Hailee Steinfeld), a headstrong and uptight 13-year old girl. She’s out to avenge her murdered father with the help of ageing, booze-bloated gunslinger, Reuben ‘Rooster’ Cogburn (Jeff Bridges) and Texas Ranger-cum-bounty hunter LaBoeuf (Matt Damon).

true grit film review coen

“Dark, suspenseful and sometimes disturbing”

So far, so much standard western fare. But in the hands of Joel and Ethan Coen, along with trusty cinematographer Roger Deakins, the film becomes something more. It’s a dark, suspenseful and sometimes disturbing picture. The fact that it’s leavened with poker-faced humour only adds to the rich film gravy served up here.

The performances are uniformly excellent, although special mention must surely go to newcomer Steinfeld, outstanding amongst a cast of veterans. Joel and Ethan’s glorious assault on the mainstream continues. A must-see.


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