What Is 'True Grit' About? 'True Grit' is a Western with plenty of comedy that follows the spirited Mattie Ross (Hailee Steinfeld), a sharp-witted 14-year-old girl whose father was shot to death by Tom Chaney (Josh Brolin). Mattie hires Rooster Cogburn (Jeff Bridges), the meanest U.S. Marshal in town, and sets off into the Indian Nations to track down her father's killer. They're joined by a Texas Ranger named LeBoeuf (Matt Damon) who is also tracking Tom Chaney.
How does 'True Grit' compare to the original? John Wayne's portrayal of Rooster Cogburn earned him an Oscar and the film itself has been described as a masterpiece. So this film had a lot to live up to. The short answer is the modern version of 'True Grit' is grittier. The characters are dirtier, the dialogue more authentic and the comedy less hammy.