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First, True Grit being a picture about justice and all, let’s set the record straight: Joel and Ethan Coen’s version is not a remake of the 1969 film that won John Wayne his only Oscar. Rather, it’s a re-adaptation of Charles Portis’ novel, which drew the Coens in with its witty dialogue and its themes of toughness and retribution. Throw in a chopped-off finger here and crazy-as-a-loon character there, and True Grit is indeed a true Coen brothers movie, a Blood Simple-meets-No Country for Old Men mashup set in the old-time West. Jeff Bridges reunites with his Big Lebowski helmsmen to portray Rooster Cogburn, an unkempt, eye-patched, drunken U.S. marshal who’s so grizzled and grumbly, some of his lines should have subtitles. He’s hired by the film’s true star, 14-year-old Mattie Ross (brilliant newcomer Hailee Steinfeld), a girl who sets out to capture her father’s murderer and watch him die, even —or perhaps especially—if it’s at her own hand. Helping them, at least whenever he’s not in a huff, is a Texas Ranger named LaBoeuf (Matt Damon, equal parts puffed chest and goofiness), who’s chasing the same “half-wit” (Josh Brolin, sidelined but memorable) for a Texas offense. The trio’s quest is full of squabbles, inebriated showing-off, and close calls, all set to the gorgeously vast browns and grays of cinematographer Roger Deakins’ palette. Bridges, Damon, and Brolin (who gives the half-wit his full commitment) are amusing, but Steinfeld is a marvel. Her no-nonsense fast-talk and resolute if shaky gun-slinging believably imbue Mattie with the, yes, true grit that makes her character come to be respected by her older, more experienced hunting partners. Meanwhile, the conversation is funny without being overtly knee-slapping, such as an exchange Mattie and Rooster have when they come across a corpse hanging on a tree. “Why did they hang him so high?” Mattie pants as she tries to cut him down. “I do not know,” Cockburn replies. “Possibly in the belief that it would make him more dead.”