3.5 stars out of 5
The Coen Brothers (No Country For Old Men, A Serious Man) are back, with a remake of the 1969 film that starred John Wayne is his penultimate performance. This True Grit is clever and witty, in classic Coen Brothers fashion - ornate dialogue, stylized subtle touches (facial hair, speech impediments, etc.), chillingly graphic blood-letting, and elegant art direction and cinematography. Jeff Bridges (Crazy Heart) is a great Rooster Cogburn, mumbly and gruff, hard-boiled with a soft heart. But the film is stolen by Hallee Steinfeld in her feature film debut as the feisty, precocious Mattie Ross, wrangling with the best of them. True Grit is a little long and a bit strained by the end, but nonetheless a fun addition to the Coens' oeuvre.