True Grit Reviews
The Coens, who like to play with genre, often with giggles and winks, haven't mounted an assault on the western. But in Mattie they have created a character whose single-minded pursuit of vengeance has unmistakable resonance.
Joel and Ethan Coen have pulled off an impressive feat: repurposing a classic film with their idiosyncratic blend of dark, deadpan humor and palpable suspense, while remaining ultra-faithful to the novel.
True Grit is well-wrought, if overly talkative, and seriously ambitious, returning the Coens to the all-American sagebrush and gun smoke landscape that has best nourished their wise-guy sensibility
Joel Coen and Ethan Coen fill the film with self-conscious good humor-hey, it's the Coen brothers-and the charmingly old-fashioned locutions of the Charles Portis novel.
If Laura Ingalls Wilder took a detour through Cormac McCarthy country on the way to her Little House, she might stumble upon True Grit, a classic Western tale livened up by a few Coen brothers tweaks.
Nothing very startling happens, but the Coens have a sure hand, and Bridges, in the old John Wayne role, plays a man, not a myth; you can sense Rooster's stink and his nasty intelligence, too.
It feels more like an assignment fulfilled than a passion pursued. But craft this strong - and, despite the tonal uncertainty, true - should not be taken for granted.
This remake by Joel and Ethan Coen is being positioned as a truer True Grit, and though they take their own liberties with the plot and tone, they preserve Portis's impeccably authentic dialogue.
True Grit is probably the least ironic picture in the Coen Brothers' worthy canon, but that doesn't mean it's devoid of their signature oddities, that it doesn't take a few dark, strange turns.
It's a tonal mash-up no one but the Coens could deliver, the finest, most intelligent Western since "Unforgiven," with the funniest public hanging since "Blazing Saddles."