I think the main ‘problem’ with this movie is (and I use the term problem in its loosest sense) that if you are not excited by the prospect of watching a modern western alone, this movie might not do a lot for you. I found this film to be more of a homage to Americana westerns and the original film in general than anything else. The story is very simple and does not correct the flaws of the original and that is, that the characters might be interesting to some extent (primarily Rooster J. R. Cogburn of course) but they are not properly explored. While we can witness the ‘turn’ of the Marshall from careless drunkard to caring drunkard, we all have to admit that we saw it from a mile coming. Matt Damon, Josh Brolin and Steinfeld all do good jobs in filling out their roles but alas, I feel they are not adding anything to the script in terms of underlying torrents of emotions and back story.
The typical dry Coen humour is lacking a bit (although the caretaker in the very beginning is hilarious) and I can see how this film, with all its streamlines, in your face, simplicity and pragmatic approach is their most successful yet.
Bridges steals the show, but this is his parade role (dude style) and there is not surprise in that, Matt Damon is bland and his character is rather dull and uninteresting and I would have tried to give him more of an edge or ulterior motive.
The sets and especially the soundtrack are good, the ending feels a bit to poignant for what it says and it could have been done with less.
Still, a better than average movie but far from being a relaunch of the Western genre and not a masterpiece (like Open Range for example)