If you’re a fan of Spaghetti Westerns, then you won’t be disappointed. This is one of the best Westerns I’ve seen since Clint Eastwood’s “Unforgiven”. Jeff Bridges playing Rooster Cogburn brings the same drunken redneck charm as he did in “Crazy Heart” with a bit more humor thrown in for good measure. You would thing I would go on and on about Jeff Bridges roll in this film, or even Matt Damon’s portrayal of a over the top Texas Ranger La Boeuf, but you’d be wrong, because
the true brake out star of this film was Hailee Steinfield. She plays the stern Hard Header teenager (Mattie Rose) with a flair for negotiation and a burning desire to avenge her father’s murder. The way she takes apart a horse trading business man with her ability to negotiate is simply amazing. Hailee’s not new to acting with credits on TV shows “Sons of Tucson” and “Back to you” as well as movies “Grand Cru” and “She’s A Fox”. She could very well receive an Oscar for this role. Her performance was that good.
Mattie Rose hires Rooster Cogburn, with some difficulty, to track down her father’s killer, Tom Chaney (Josh Brolin), and bring him to justice. Texas Ranger La Boeuf has been tracking Chaney from Texas and joins the hunt. In the first scene with La Boeuf, I didn’t even realize that he was played by Matt Damon. Watching him leaned back in a chair in the dark on a dimly lit porch with his spurred boots up on the porch rail; I couldn’t help but think he was another actor. His western disguise was almost perfectly masking his true identity. The witty insulting banter between Cogburn and La Boeuf is hilarious. This movie is in my Top 10 Best Westerns. This was such a surprisingly wonderful movie and I recommend it to anyone who loves great acting.