True Grit 2010

Critics score:
96 / 100

Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes

Christy Lemire, Associated Press: It's sort of a screwball Western, if you will, with vivid performances and strikingly vast, picturesque vistas, the always gorgeous work of the always great Roger Deakins, the Coens' frequent cinematographer. Read more

Glenn Kenny, MSN Movies: This is a visually and sonically beautiful movie that uses space, distance and time to immerse you in a very particular world of mystery, awe and brutality. Read more

Manohla Dargis, New York Times: 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. Read more

David Fear, Time Out: The directors' propensity for verbiage and ironic violence fits the story like a fringed suede glove. Welcome to the first stoic screwball Western. Read more

David Edelstein, New York Magazine/Vulture: The Coens' True Grit isn't as momentous an event as you might hope, but once you adjust to its deliberate rhythms (it starts slowly), it's a charming, deadpan Western comedy. Read more

Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal: 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. Read more

Roger Moore, Orlando Sentinel: Kind of a victory lap for Jeff Bridges. Dark. And not as much fun as the original. Read more

Moira MacDonald, Seattle Times: Bridges, that most natural of actors, gives an entirely different kind of performance: loose and playful, not worrying too much about whether we can understand him (often we can't, but never mind). Read more

Keith Phipps, AV Club: The Coens direct True Grit with a light touch, but like Portis' stark, funny novel, their adventure tale shaves off none of the rough edges. It's simultaneously rollicking and grave. Read more

Bill Goodykoontz, Arizona Republic: True Grit is a gorgeously shot, well-acted Western that resonates more the more you let it settle. Read more

Wesley Morris, Boston Globe: The brothers prove they can play it straight, but they're preferred, for better and worse, at a sharp angle. Read more

J. R. Jones, Chicago Reader: 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. Read more

Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune: 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. Read more

Peter Rainer, Christian Science Monitor: On its own conventional terms, the film succeeds -- maybe not as a "Coen Brothers" movie, but as a tall tale well told. Read more

Chris Vognar, Dallas Morning News: 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. Read more

Lisa Kennedy, Denver Post: This True Grit makes the original almost unwatchable except as a curio. Read more

Tom Long, Detroit News: True Grit isn't so much a major film as a good time, and there's nothing wrong with that. Maybe this movie can get westerns back in the saddle again. Read more

Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly: Truer than the John Wayne showpiece and less gritty than the book, this True Grit is just tasty enough to leave movie lovers hungry for a missing spice. Read more

Laremy Legel, A great film that will stand the test of time. Read more

Todd McCarthy, Hollywood Reporter: Well-made and acted Coen Brothers remake lacks the humor and resonance that might have made it memorable. Read more

Amy Nicholson, Boxoffice Magazine: The Bible argues an eye for an eye. But as Rooster Cogburn doesn't have an eye to spare, the movie needs to ask if their death quest is worth the risk. Read more

Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times: The big names in the cast all do excellent work, but the biggest surprise is all but unknown Steinfeld. Read more

Rene Rodriguez, Miami Herald: Once you settle in with the film that's in front of you, instead of the one you were expecting, True Grit draws you in as fully as the Coens' best work... Read more

David Denby, New Yorker: 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. Read more

Stephen Whitty, Newark Star-Ledger: If anyone ever needed a quick lesson in the difference between being a great star and being a great actor, a new "True Grit" arrives to give a master's class. Read more

Joe Neumaier, New York Daily News: "True Grit" proves to be as funny and heroic as any other legend, and tells an expert tale to boot. Read more

Kyle Smith, New York Post: The purity of Steinfeld's ability to convey Mattie's guileless sense of justice gives the film plenty of emotional ballast, particularly in the last 20 minutes or so. Read more

Rex Reed, New York Observer: If there's one thing I don't need in my Christmas stocking this year, it's a sorry, lumbering and unasked-for remake of the 1969 sagebrush saga True Grit. Read more

Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer: 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. Read more

James Berardinelli, ReelViews: True Grit, one of the best films of 2010, is a reminder of why remakes are not always bad. Read more

Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times: I'm surprised the Coens made this film, so unlike their other work, except in quality. Read more

Peter Travers, Rolling Stone: The Coens have crafted a vastly entertaining Wild West show that is memorable in every particular. Read more

Andrew O'Hehir, Some people are expressing amazement that Joel and Ethan Coen would set out to make a classic western in the first place, and then that they'd accomplish it. All I can say is that those folks haven't been paying attention. Read more

Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle: My only reservation about the movie, not a serious one but a nagging one, is that watching the film it's hard to see why the Coens wanted to make it. Read more

Dana Stevens, Slate: Just saddle up and see it yourself. Read more

Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune: 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." Read more

Joe Williams, St. Louis Post-Dispatch: In overtaking a legend, this True Grit earns its spurs. Read more

Christopher Orr, The Atlantic: The real reason to see the film is the work of the Coens' regular collaborators, cinematographer Roger Deakins and composer Carter Burwell, who supply the visual and auditory landscapes that are True Grit's most notable achievement. Read more

Liam Lacey, Globe and Mail: Though handsomely made and well acted, the film never completely escapes the sense that it's an exercise in genre excavation. Read more

Peter Howell, Toronto Star: In choosing not to reinvent the wagon wheel with True Grit, the Coens ironically seem radical by being conformists. There's truth and beauty in their faithfulness, though, and a reminder never to presume too much about these sibling ciphers. Read more

Richard Corliss, TIME Magazine: The tense verbal comedy of Mattie's early negotiation with a Fort Smith merchant should win you over to this movie's high linguistic wit. Read more

Dave Calhoun, Time Out: It could be the Coens' most straightforward film, but it's also one of their best. Read more

Claudia Puig, USA Today: 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. Read more

Peter Debruge, Variety: It's hard to imagine bigger boots to fill than the ones that earned John Wayne his Oscar in True Grit, and yet Jeff Bridges handily reinvents the iconic role of Rooster Cogburn in the Coen brothers' back-to-the-book remake. Read more

J. Hoberman, Village Voice: 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 Read more

Ann Hornaday, Washington Post: True Grit has sweep and scope and entertainment value to burn, but it's Mattie who invests even the grandest aesthetic elements with meaning. Read more