True Grit is a 2010 American Western film written and directed by the Coen brothers. It is the second adaptation of Charles Portis' 1968 novel of the same name, which was previously filmed in 1969 starring John Wayne. This version stars Hailee Steinfeld as Mattie Ross and Jeff Bridges as U.S. Marshal Reuben J. "Rooster" Cogburn along with Matt Damon, Josh Brolin, and Barry Pepper. Filming began in March 2010, and True Grit was officially released on December 22, 2010, in the US, after advance screenings earlier that month. The film opened the 61st Berlin International Film Festival on February 10, 2011. It was nominated for ten Academy Awards: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Actor in a Leading Role (Jeff Bridges), Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Hailee Steinfeld), Best Art Direction, Best Cinematography, Best Costume Design, Best Sound Mixing, and Best Sound Editing. The film was released on Blu-ray and DVD on June 7, 2011.
The film is narrated by the adult Mattie Ross (Elizabeth Marvel), who explains that her father was murdered by one of his hired hands, Tom Chaney (Josh Brolin), when she was 14. Chaney made off with her father's horse and his two California gold pieces. While collecting her father's body, 14-year old Mattie (Hailee Steinfeld) queries the local sheriff about the search for Chaney. After being told that Chaney has fled into the Indian Territory and that the sheriff has no authority to track a fugitive there, she inquires about hiring a Deputy U.S. Marshal. The sheriff gives three recommendations, and Mattie chooses to hire Rooster Cogburn (Jeff Bridges), as he is described as having "true grit." The gruff, one-eyed Cogburn repeatedly rebuffs her attempts to talk with him. She offers him $50, but he doesn't believe she has the money and refuses. She raises the money by aggressively horse-trading with Colonel Stonehill (Dakin Matthews), who did business with her father. Meanwhile, Texas Ranger LaBoeuf (Matt Damon) arrives on the trail of Chaney. LaBoeuf has been pursuing him for the murder of a state senator in Texas. After meeting Mattie, he proposes that he team up with Cogburn, who knows the Choctaw terrain where Chaney is hiding, while LaBoeuf knows how Chaney is most likely to behave, but Mattie refuses his offer. After finally securing Cogburn's services for $100, Mattie insists on meeting him the following morning to begin the search for Chaney. However, instead of meeting her, Cogburn leaves a train ticket and a note telling Mattie to go home while he apprehends Chaney. Refused passage on the ferry that conveyed Cogburn and LaBoeuf, Mattie's horse swims her across the river. Cogburn reluctantly allows her to come. LaBoeuf's expresses his displeasure by birching Mattie with a switch rod, but Cogburn stops him at gunpoint. The next day, she learns Cogburn and LaBoeuf have agreed to split the Texas reward on Chaney and return him to Texas, rather than to Arkansas, and Mattie accuses him of fraud. After a dispute, Cogburn ends his and LaBoeuf's deal and the ranger leaves. Later, while in pursuit of the "Lucky" Ned Pepper (Barry Pepper) gang, with whom Chaney is supposedly traveling, the two meet a trail doctor who directs them to an empty dugout for shelter. They find two outlaws occupying the cabin, Quincey (Paul Rae) and Moon (Domhnall Gleeson). As Cogburn questions them, Moon is fatally stabbed by Quincey, whom Cogburn then kills. Before he dies, Moon explains that Pepper and his gang were planning to return to the shack later that night. LaBoeuf arrives at the shack ahead of the gang, but they arrive before he can be warned. Cogburn kills two members of the gang, as well as Pepper's horse, but accidentally wounds LaBoeuf in the process. Cogburn drinks a great deal of whiskey during the next day and gets in an argument with LaBoeuf, who departs once more. The next morning, while getting water from a nearby river, Mattie encounters Chaney. She shoots him, but he survives. The pistol misfires as she tries to shoot him again, and he drags her back to Ned, who forces Cogburn to leave by threatening to kill her. Being short a horse, Ned leaves her with Chaney. Ned orders Chaney not to harm her or he will not get paid, and to take her to safety after his remount arrives. Once alone, Chaney disobeys Ned and tries to kill Mattie. LaBoeuf appears and knocks Chaney out, explaining that when he heard the shots he rode back, and he and Cogburn devised a plan. They watch as Cogburn takes on the remaining members of Ned's gang, killing two and mortally wounding Ned, before his horse is struck and falls, trapping Cogburn's leg. Before Pepper can kill Cogburn, LaBoeuf shoots and kills Pepper from roughly four hundred yards away. Chaney comes to and attacks LaBoeuf, knocking him out. Mattie seizes LaBoeuf's rifle and shoots Chaney in the chest, knocking him over the edge of the cliff to his death. The recoil, however, knocks her into a deep pit, where she unwittingly disturbs a ball of rattlesnakes. Cogburn arrives, but she is bitten before he can get to her. Cogburn rides day and night to get Mattie to a doctor, carrying her on foot after euthanizing Mattie's exhausted horse. Twenty-five years later, Mattie now 40 and with only one arm, the result of an amputation necessitated by gangrene from the snakebite receives a note from Cogburn with a flyer enclosed, inviting her to meet him at the traveling Wild West show with which he is performing. When she arrives at the site, she learns that Cogburn has died three days earlier. She has his body moved into her family farm plot. She also states that she never heard from LaBoeuf again and that if he was still alive, she would be pleased to. The film ends with her standing over Cogburn's grave and reflecting on her decision to move his remains, how she has never married, and how time catches up with everyone.