My wife took me to see True Grit last weekend for my birthday. I went into it with high expectations, since it was 1.) a western 2.) starring Jeff Bridges 3.) directed by the Coen brothers.
It did not disappoint. If you are not familiar with the Coen brothers, they are responsible for probably the greatest movies of the past 20 years, and I'm not exaggerating. Just to give you a short rundown of their work... 1984 Blood Simple. 1987 Raising Arizona, 1990 Miller's Crossing (my favorite), 1991 Barton Fink, 1996 Fargo, 1998 The Big Lebowski, 2000 O Brother, Where Are Thou, and 2007 No Country for Old Men. Sure, they made a couple that I didn't care for (Burn After Reading), but overall, top quality films.
As for being a western, I would rank it right up there with Open Range and Tombstone. It doesn't knock Unforgiven off the top of the charts, but it's right up there. It sure beats the heck out of Appaloosa (a good effort, but just didn't live up to the amazing spartan feel of the book written by the late Robert B. Parker).
And finally, Jeff Bridges... "The Dude" to those who live to quote the movie The Big Lebowski. He was the absolutely perfect choice to play Rooster Cogburn. If he doesn't win something for this, it will be as big a travesty as when Annie Hall beat Star Wars for best picture in 1977. Thankfully geeks everwhere got their revenge when Lord of the Rings won the award in 2003.
In short, go see it. Even if you never saw or disliked the original, I would encourage you to experience the Coen Brothers take on the story. This one will earn a place on the DVD shelf.