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True Grit Review

Movies.com Critics

2.0

Dave White Profile

Thou Shalt Not Ask Why Read full review

Other Critics provided by Metacritic.com

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 4.0
    80

    out of 100

    Metascore®
    Generally favorable reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 50

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    Remaking a cherished movie is not, to borrow a fancy phrase from the dialogue, malum in se - wrong in itself - but there are always losses along with the changes and gains.

    Read Full Review

  • 80

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Todd McCarthy

    Well-made and acted Coen Brothers remake lacks the humor and resonance that might have made it memorable.

    Read Full Review

  • 83

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Lisa Schwarzbaum

    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 Full Review

  • 88

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    The original "True Grit" might have been eclipsed by John Wayne's larger-than-life persona, but the Coen brothers' remake is an ensemble piece that feels freshly their own.

    Read Full Review

  • See all True Grit reviews at Metacritic.com

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 15+

Coen brothers tackle classic Western with wit and brutality.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that the Coen brothers' adaptation of Charles Portis’ novel -- which also inspired the 1969 John Wayne classic -- is impressive and forceful, but it's also full of brutal (and sometimes bloody) gunfight sequences and other violent moments that aren’t appropriate for younger viewers, as well as some language and drinking (one character is perpetually soused). That said, mature teens are likely to feel a kinship with the lead character, 14-year-old Mattie Ross, who faces challenges that would break many adults. They might even learn from her adventure -- and not small-potatoes lessons, either, but ones dealing with loyalty, courage, and determination.

  • Families can talk about the movie's characters. Are they role models? Are they intended to be? Who's the most admirable character here? The least?
  • Do you think Mattie is a realistic teen character? For the time period, was she acting her age?
  • How does this film adhere to (or not) the Western genre’s basic characteristics? How does it compare to other Coen brothers movies?

The good stuff
  • message true2

    Messages: The movie's message is that justice can be served in the right hands. Also, that you shouldn't write off a person unless you've truly given him a chance. In this case, Rooster Cogburn proves to be a good bet.

  • rolemodels true2

    Role models: Mattie Ross is a tough, no-nonsense teenager, and she holds her own among both outlaws and lawmen. Rooster Cogburn might have a very rough exterior, but, when necessary, he's able to tap into a cache of empathy. And LeBeouf is principled, even if his job involves possibly killing (usually villains). That said, there are merciless types here, too.

What to watch for
  • violence false4

    Violence: Three men are hanged in a public square while a crowd watches; later, another man’s body is shown hanging from a tree (the corpse is cut down and falls heavily to the ground). In one brutal scene, a man's fingers are cut off with a knife and another man is shot in the head at very close range. Lots and lots of additional gunfights, some of which are bloody; slain bodies are on full display. A man is rough with a teenage girl. Lots of peril; some falls and near-falls.

  • sex false1

    Sex: In one brief scene, a man makes an iffy comment to a teenage girl.

  • language false2

    Language: Infrequent use of words like “son of a bitch,” “damn,” "goddamn," and “hell.”

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not an issue

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false2

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: A U.S. marshal is almost always soused, even when he’s gunslinging.

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