Speaking of slow, the film's pace was not what I expected from a hunt-'em-down-shoot-'em-up Western. I was on the verge of restlessness near the end and if the film had been just five minutes longer, it would've been too much. But ... it wasn't. The Coen Brothers are expert filmmakers. They know when to push and when to edit. Granted, True Grit was not as eccentric or quirky as other Coen Brothers films, but their trademark storytelling style remains. One of the final scenes shows Cogburn rushing to save Mattie's life and riding her horse into exhaustion. At the time, this was the point where I felt the movie was on the edge of "too long." However, when the horse becomes too fatigued to continue on, Cogburn pulls out his knife and stabs the horse in the hindquarter to spur it along. This small act injects a fervent energy into the scene and shifts the action at just the right moment.
Overall, I enjoyed the movie. I don't fully understand all the Oscar buzz but I do think it's worth a trip to the theater.