I’m not big on westerns, but this one won me over. At least, as much as a western can win me over. It did take a while for me to warm up to it though. it did start off rather slow and meandering (in other words, normal Western pace). But what holds this film apart is the great performances by Jeff Bridges, Hailee Steinfeld, and Matt Damon.
True Grit is full of fantastic photography and production design. It feels authentic while still having enough old west glamour to be very visually appealing. The film looks crisp and is visually stunning.
But really, its the three main performances which make True Grit a worthwhile piece of entertainment. Steinfeld has gotten a lot of deserved buzz as her role as the cold, calculating daughter of a murdered man. Damon is also great in his own way as LaBoeuf, a Texas Ranger who has a lot of dorkiness in his personality. But Jeff Bridges is the load-bearing performance here which makes it all work. Its great fun watching his gruff Rooster Cogburn interact with the girl and the ranger. Good stuff.