“I am about to embark on a great adventure,” intones the preteen desperado played by newcomer Hailee Steinfeld at the opening of the new trailer for the Coen brothers’ “True Grit.” You got that right, pardner.

“True Grit”


In the breathtaking one-minute spot for the remake of the 1969 John Wayne classic, due in theaters this Christmas, images of rustic, unforgiving Manifest Destiny wilderness pop with the unmistakable visual aesthetic of the greatest filmmakers working today. An eyepatched Jeff Bridges wields a pair of old-timey pistols on horseback, while a mustachioed and scary-looking Josh Brolin glowers from his porch and a blink-and-you’ll-miss-him Matt Damon lurks from afar. And all the while, the haunting melody of a bluegrass children’s choir takes the creepiest parts of “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” and makes them awesome.

Joel and Ethan Coen are on an unprecidented winning streak — like Woody Allen, they’ve been putting out one film a year for four years now. Unlike Woody Allen, these movies are actually worth watching. Does “True Grit” seem, on first impression, to hew a little too close to the formula of the Coen’s 2007 Best Picture winner “No Country for Old Men”? Yes. And your point is?

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