True Grit (2010)

The Coen's award-winning western looks set to pick up even more accolades on BD

True Grit represents another notch on the belt for filmmaking brothers Joel and Ethan Coen, marking a return to the pinnacle of contemporary American filmmakers after the rather sleight Burn After Reading and A Serious Man.

Based on the novel by Charles Portis (previously adapted for the screen as John Wayne vehicle in 1969) this remarkable western eschews the epic scope favoured by so many of the genre’s filmmakers for a more intimate, affecting and often witty tale of courage, humanity and vengeance. Newcomer Hailee Steinfeld plays 14-year old Mattie Ross, a young girl whose father was recently gunned down. After settling her father’s affairs in order she hires one-eyed US Marshall ‘Rooster’ Cogburn to hunt down the man responsible, but only on the condition that she rides with him.

Picture: Right from its opening shot, Paramount’s Blu-ray treatment of True Grit wows you with the intricacy of its detailing, the lifelike nature of its textures, the depth and solidity of its blacks and its impeccably rendered colour palette. On top of that, the hi-def image also looks and feels incredibly filmic, thanks to an accurately rendered light grain structure evident in every shot. In other words, the studio has delivered a faultless AVC 2.40:1 1080p encode for the Coen Brothers’ latest masterpiece, one that immediately stands out as a contender for one of the best you’ll see all year.
Picture rating: 5/5

Audio: While it’s not always flashy, True Grit’s DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix is every bit as accomplished as the film’s video presentation. Ambient effects ensure that the soundstage always feels three-dimensional and perfectly balanced, while gunshots and other dynamic material boasts potency, steering and sharpness that puts many action movie soundtracks to shame. Finishing the audio package is the richness of the dialogue (right down to the mumbled depth’s of Jeff Bridges’ slurred speech) and the tonal perfection of Carter Burwell’s score.
Audio rating: 5/5

Extras: The Coen Brothers have never been the type to pontificate endlessly about their work, and as such fans have traditionally had to settle for enjoyable if unspectacular bonus features accompanying their films on disc. True Grit is no different, foregoing any kind of audio commentary or picture-in-picture mode for a collection of six featurettes covering actress Hailee Steinfeld, costume design, replica weapons, building the Fort Smith setting, the rest of the cast and a profile of author Charles Portis. The disc also includes the film’s trailer and is accompanied by a DVD and Digital Copy of the film.
Extras rating: 3/5

We say: This is one western you’ll definitely want to rustle up for your Blu-ray collection

Paramount, All-region BD/R2 DVD, £25 approx, On sale now