The Coen brothers don’t do this film justice. The original 1969 version with John Wayne is, in my opinion, the better film. I was trying to put my finger on what it is that makes the original a more enjoyable watch. The original is a classic – fantastic music, incredible scenery and plenty of good guy / bad guy action. The remake does nothing new – there is no enhancement, no making the film better. Even some of the scenes have been recreated almost identically frame for frame but I guess some might say that is part of the skill of the director. One noticable difference is that Rooster Cogburn wears his eye patch on different eyes – left the original and right in the remake. Hailee Steinfeld is very good as the young Mattie Ross and Jeff Bridges does make a good Rooster Cogburn but he is just not the same as John Wayne. John Wayne IS cowboy / marshall / lone ranger to the core something that Bridges just doesn’t have. Maybe it’s our exposure to him in so many other roles that makes him less marshall more actor.
If you enjoyed the remake, watch the original for some good ole fashioned entertainment.