Here we have another movie where Jeff Bridges gets to be awesome. He portrays Rooster Cogburn completely realistically-he's a drunk, he's cocky, and he's got a bit of a dark side. At the same time, he's dedicated, hard-working, and has a softer side as well. Rooster is hired by Mattie Ross (Hailee Steinfeld) to avenge the death of her father. Mattie is just as determined and hard-working as Cogburn, and she's tough and intelligent to boot. It's extremely entertaining watching Mattie negotiate with a shopkeeper in town, as it's thoroughly enjoyable watching Mattie and Rooster have a battle of wits.
True Grit is a classic western through-and-through, with moments of Coen Brothers genius seeping through. Here I think they've outsmarted most of their audience, as the story being told is very simple to follow, but the message isn't quite as clear. I won't pretend to be an expert on the film or on the Coen's intentions, but I'm sure there's more to this movie than most people are giving it credit for.
That being said, even without an extra level of depth, it's a great movie. The direction is fantastic, the cinematography and scenery are beautiful (I can't wait to pick this up on blu-ray), the story is great, and the actors are all on top of their game. You can't go wrong here.