Christmas is a time of peace on Earth, good will toward men -- except at the movies, where it's a weekend of violent cowboys, broken-down country singers, hedonistic Hollywood hermits, paranoid fathers-in-law, tiny armies and lonely magicians.


'True Grit' (PG-13)

Starring: Jeff Bridges, Josh Brolin, Matt Damon, Hailee Steinfeld, Barry Pepper
Directed by: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen
Genre(s): Western
What's It About? This remake of the classic 1969 John Wayne western reportedly hews closer to the original Charles Portis novel. It's still the tale of a fierce-willed 14-year-old girl (Steinfeld) who teams up with drunken, one-eyed marshal Rooster Cogburn (Bridges) and a green Texas ranger (Damon) to hunt down the outlaw (Brolin) who killed her father.
Why Should You See It? After their modern-day western 'No Country for Old Men,' the Coens prove just as adept at the traditional kind. Bridges, who is on a roll these days, imbues Rooster Cogburn with so much snarling, cranky charisma that he banishes the memory of Wayne's Oscar-winning performance. And Steinfeld, in a debut performance to be reckoned with, easily holds her own opposite vets like Bridges and Damon and pretty much carries the movie on her slender shoulders.
You Might Like It If You Like: The original 'True Grit,' 'The Searchers,' 'Miller's Crossing'