The tale told in True Grit, with screenplay by Coen Brothers, is a relatively simple one, but it is still carried off well. Fourteen-year-old Mattie is on a trip to pick up her father's body, and upon learning that the law in town has no intention of pursuing his killer, Tom Chaney (Josh Brolin), she hires Marshall Cogburn to do the job. They are joined on their journey by LaBoeuf (Matt Damon), a Texas Ranger who doesn't see eye to eye with either Cogburn or Mattie. The trio, separately and together, doggedly pursue their prey and the outlaws, led by Ned Pepper (Barry Pepper), with whom Chaney is riding.
It is an out-and-out tale of revenge. Mattie wants justice for the murder of her father and hires Cogburn not because he's fair, but because he's tough and is sure to not let Chaney off lightly. Although the way Mattie opts to pursue justice could make her seem a less than likable individual, her matter of fact manner and clear sense of right and wrong only enhance her appeal to the audience. The issue of how she wants justice carried out does come up on more than one occasion, but her responses never make her appear cold or heartless, just self-confident and with a wisdom beyond her years.
The stark scenery, washed out colors, and gorgeous cinematography appear spectacularly on this new Blu-ray release. The black levels are superb and while there are a number of dark scenes in the film, everything within them is visible. The costume designs feature a lot of textures and stripes, and all of those details are evident in fine fashion in this transfer. There are no rich colors in the film too fill your screen, but the Blu-ray offers a beautiful array of browns, grays, greens, and blacks. The 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio track delivers just as well as any other aspect of the film. The sound design places you squarely into town or the middle of the wilderness, and when bullets fly the whiz right past you. The music is beautiful, clear and haunting and the dialogue is perfectly balanced with the music and effects. Both the visual and audio aspects of the release are, like the film itself, truly top notch.