“In some ways, much like Charles Laughton‘s Night of the Hunter, which the Coens quote both musically and visually, True Grit is a parable about good and evil,” writes N.Y. Times critic Manohla Dargis. “Only here, the lines between the two are so blurred as to be indistinguishable, making this a true picture of how the West was won, or — depending on your view — lost.”

Blurred indeed. As in “what’s going on here, if anything?” As I said in my original review, True Grit is “indisputably solid and grade-A as far as those attributes go, but it’s essentially a cold and mannered art western that matters not.”