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Great performances (Bridges, Damon and Brolin are fun but this is definitely Hailee Steinfeld's film), amusing Coenesque dialogue, and a nice rambling, road movie feel. A shame then that the climax suddenly becomes melodramatic and more than a little silly. I'd have preferred a more subtle, restrained ending more in tune with the tone of the rest of the film.
Fine western in the old sence - Jeff Bridges is great as the old experienced hunter.
|Matt Damon||La Boeuf|
|Jeff Bridges||Marshal Reuben J. Cogburn|
|Hailee Steinfeld||Mattie Ross|
|Josh Brolin||Tom Chaney|
|Barry Pepper||Lucky Ned Pepper|
|Dakin Matthews||Col. Stonehill|
|Paul Rae||Emmett Quincy|
|Domhnall Gleeson||Moon (The Kid)|
|Elizabeth Marvel||40-Year-Old Mattie|
|Roy Lee Jones||Yarnell|
|Ed Lee Corbin||Bear Man|
|Bruce Green||Harold Parmalee|
|Candyce Hinkle||Boarding House Landlady|
|Peter Leung||Mr. Lee|
|Don Pirl||Cole Younger|
|Joe Stevens||Cross-examining Lawyer|
|David Lipman||First Lawyer|
|Jake Walker||Judge Parker|
|Nicholas Sadler||Repentant Condemned Man|
|Scott Sowers||Unrepentant Condemned Man|
|Jonathan Joss||Condemned Indian|
|Maggie A. Goodman||Woman at Hanging|
|Brandon Sanderson||Indian Youth at Bagby's|
|Ruben Nakai Campana||Indian Youth at Bagby's|
"Punishment Comes One Way or Another."
Mattie Ross (Hailee Steinfeld) explains that her father was murdered by one of his hired hands, Tom Chaney (Josh Brolin), when she was 14 years old. While collecting her father's body, Mattie queries the local sheriff about the search for Chaney. After being told that Chaney has fled with "Lucky" Ned Pepper (Barry Pepper) and his gang into Indian Territory, where the sheriff has no authority, she inquires about hiring a Deputy U.S. Marshal. The sheriff gives three recommendations, and Mattie chooses to hire Rooster Cogburn (Jeff Bridges), whom the sheriff had described as being the "meanest. " The taciturn, one-eyed Cogburn rebuffs her offer, not believing she has the reward money to hire him. She raises the money by aggressively horse-trading with Colonel Stonehill (Dakin Matthews), who did business with her father.Meanwhile, Texas Ranger LeBoeuf (Matt Damon) arrives on the trail of Chaney for the murder of a Texas state senator. LeBoeuf proposes to team up with Cogburn, who knows the Choctaw terrain where Chaney is hiding, but Mattie refuses his offer. Mattie wishes Chaney to be hanged in Arkansas for her father's murder, not in Texas for killing the senator. Mattie also insists on traveling with Cogburn to search for Chaney, but Cogburn later leaves without her, having gone with LeBoeuf to apprehend Chaney.After being refused passage on the ferry that conveyed Cogburn and LeBoeuf, Mattie crosses the river on horseback. LeBoeuf expresses his displeasure by birching Mattie with a switch rod, but Cogburn eventually stops him. After a dispute over their respective service with the Confederate States of America – Cogburn served with Quantrill's Raiders and LeBoeuf with Edmund Kirby Smith – Cogburn ends their arrangement and LeBoeuf leaves. Later, while pursuing the Pepper gang that Chaney is reportedly traveling with, the two meet a trail doctor who directs them to an empty dugout for shelter. There they find two outlaws, Quincey (Paul Rae) and Moon (Domhnall Gleeson), and interrogate them. As Moon acquiesces by divulging what he knows to Cogburn, Quincey fatally stabs Moon, before Cogburn shoots Quincey dead. Before dying, Moon says Pepper and his gang will be returning later that night.Just before the Pepper gang arrives, LeBoeuf arrives at the dugout and is taken hostage. Cogburn, hiding on the hillside with Mattie, shoots and kills two gang members, but Pepper escapes. The next day, Cogburn gets in a drunken argument with LeBoeuf, who departs once again. While getting water from a nearby stream, Mattie encounters Chaney. She shoots him, but he survives and drags her back to Ned, who forces Cogburn to leave by threatening to kill her. Being short a horse, Ned leaves Mattie with Chaney, ordering him not to harm her or he will not get paid after his remount arrives.Once alone, Chaney disobeys Ned and tries to kill Mattie. LeBoeuf appears and knocks Chaney out, explaining that he rode back when he heard the shots, and he and Cogburn devised a plan. They watch from a cliff as Cogburn takes on the remaining members of Ned's gang, killing two and wounding Ned, before his horse is struck and falls, trapping Cogburn's leg. Before Pepper can kill Cogburn, LeBoeuf shoots and kills Pepper from roughly four hundred yards away. Chaney regains consciousness and knocks LeBoeuf unconscious with a rock. Mattie seizes LeBoeuf's rifle and shoots Chaney dead in the chest. The recoil, however, knocks her into a deep pit containing rattlesnakes. Cogburn arrives, but Mattie is bitten on her hand before he can get to her. Cogburn cuts into her wound to suck out as much of the poison as he can, and then rides day and night to get Mattie to a doctor, carrying her on foot after her horse collapses from exhaustion, finally making his way to Bagby's store.Twenty-five years later, Mattie (Elizabeth Marvel) – now 40, reveals through narration that she had her left forearm amputated due to the gangrene from the snakebite. Cogburn stayed with her at Bagby's until she was out of danger, though he left the store before she regained consciousness. Mattie never saw Cogburn again, despite a letter she wrote to him inviting him to visit and to collect the $50 she still owed him the next time he was near Yell County. She receives a note from Cogburn inviting her to meet him at a traveling Wild West show in which he now performs. She arrives, only to learn that Cogburn died three days earlier. She has his body moved to her family cemetery. Standing over Cogburn's grave, she reflects on her decision to move his remains, and about never having married. She also reveals that she never saw LaBoeuf again, though she would like to, and imagines that some of the starch has probably gone out of his cowlick by now, observing that "time just gets away from us".
Theatrical : 2010-12-22 : United States of America
DVD : 2011-06-07