Short version: A simple story, wonderfully told. Highly recommended.
Jeff Bridges, Matt Damon, Josh Brolin. Directed by the Coen Brothers. True Grit is the story of a US Marshall and a Texas Ranger, teamed up to hunt down the killer of a little girl’s father (at the insistence of the girl). Hailee Steinfeld does wonderfully in the role of the mature-beyond-her-years 14 year old, Mattie Ross. Bridges and Damon are both wonderful as the drunken Marshall and rogue Ranger (respectively). Brolin does well in a small role as the killer, and the underrated Barry Pepper has a good role as the leader of an outlaw gang.
What I personally loved about True Grit is that it simply told its own story. No ‘shocking’ twists or plot devices. We get time to learn about each of the three main characters (Steinfeld, Bridges, and Damon) so that we actually care about them as they get to hunting down Brolin, who’s travelling with Pepper’s gang. The dialogue and pacing are great, and the movie is very visually appealing, set in the Arkansas wilderness in Winter. The few scenes shot in the snow looked especially good to me.
It’s as simple as that for me. If you like a good Western, or even just a good story, True Grit is absolutely for you.