A divorced dad and his ex-con brother resort to a desperate scheme in order to save their family's farm in West Texas.
|Title||:||Hell or High Water|
|Release Date||:||August 12, 2016|
|Genres||:||Western, Crime, Drama|
|Production Co.||:||Sidney Kimmel Entertainment, Film 44, OddLot Entertainment|
|Production Countries||:||United States of America|
|Director||:||David Mackenzie, Jean-Paul Chreky, John Navarro|
|Casts||:||Jeff Bridges, Chris Pine, Ben Foster, Gil Birmingham, Marin Ireland, Katy Mixon, Dale Dickey, Kevin Rankin, Melanie Papalia, John-Paul Howard, Christopher W. Garcia, Buck Taylor, Amber Midthunder, Alma Sisneros, Gregory Cruz, Debrianna Mansini, Dylan Kenin, Terry Dale Parks, Martin Palmer, Lora Martinez-Cunningham, Richard Beal, Taylor Sheridan, Margaret Bowman, J. Nathan Simmons, Ricky Lee, Crystal Gonzales, Howard Ferguson Jr., Danny Winn, William Sterchi|
|Plot Keywords||:||texas, bank robber, brother, shooting, car set on fire, gun battle, police officer killed, criminal, held at gunpoint, police car, small western town, saying goodbye, bullet hole in windscreen|
Hell or High Water Reviews
- Gritty and Engaging - Great Addition to the Crime Drama Genre!by 26 July 2016on
138 out of 164 people found the following review useful:
With Taylor Sheridan as the writer and David MacKenzie at the helm, I had high hopes for this movie. Both of their last respective projects (Sheridan - Sicario, MacKenzie - Starred Up) were gritty, violent, and engaging. All of those hold true for Hell or High Water.
The main characters, Chris Pine and Ben Foster turn in great performances. Ben Foster plays the ex-con brother. And as usual, he turns in what I think was the best performance of the movie. He has a knack for playing a top notch supporting role, and often times gets overlooked. Chris Pine also nails it as the more straight laced brother. For a pretty boy of Hollywood, his portrayal is authentic. Jeff Bridges also compliments these two well as the older, sort of jaded officer. Both him and Foster even provide a good amount of laughs, but neither overdo it.
The setting of the movie really sets it above others in the genre. I would say this movie is more crime/drama or heist film than Western, but it definitely has a Western vibe due to its northwest Texas setting. The area has been hit hard by the recession, a failing farm industry, and big oil. It all makes the recklessness and danger Foster and Pine engage in that much more enjoyable, and even sort of relatable. The audience can at least sympathize with them as they do what they think is right.
Overall, this film is well worth a watch. It can be put in a league with more recent films like The Town, Drive, and The Place Beyond the Pines.
- Refreshingly original, brilliantly acted, thoughtful western/crime filmby 13 August 2016on
137 out of 174 people found the following review useful:
In a summer (or should that be year or decade) of vapid sequels, remakes, and overblown superhero catastrophes, who would have expected an entertaining, intelligent, well-crafted, suspenseful, character- driven, modern-day western with a brain. Riding on Taylor Sheridan's razor-sharp script and David Mackenzie's nuanced direction, Jeff Bridges, Chris Pine, and (especially) Ben Foster (along with everyone else who appears on the screen) inhabit this film as wryly humorous, heartfelt, vicious, painfully tragic, and realistic members of a society reaping the fruits it has tragically sown. Best film so far this year.
- So entertaining!by 21 June 2016on
114 out of 149 people found the following review useful:
The American western seems to be slowly making a comeback in recent years. With films such as The Rover, Slow West and True Grit there have been some interesting and unique approaches to this old genre. Hell or High Water fits right in with these mentioned films by containing a lot of comedy, engaging characters, and no holds barred violence.
Chris Pine and Ben Foster as the bank-robbing brothers share great chemistry and draw sympathy from the audience with compelling performances. Jeff Bridges stands out however as the hardened cop tasked to track down the brothers. His racist slurs and aggravated man persona works perfectly with his gravely, yet genuine voice and he finds perfect timing in his comedic delivery.
The music, done by Nick Cave is also perfect. After crafting one of the greatest scores with Assassination of Jesse James, he gets pretty close to that here with very foreboding and meditative music. Especially right before the big showdown.
And when it all goes down, the film will have you on the edge of your seat. It doesn't hold anything back and people die out of nowhere. It's very realistic and is worth the tension filed build up.
Hell or High Water is a surprisingly great American western.
Hell or High Water (2016) Directed by: David Mackenzie Screenplay by: Taylor Sheridan Starring: Jeff Bridges, Chris Pine, Ben Foster Run Time: 1 hour 42 minutes
- Best Film This Yearby 21 August 2016on
134 out of 190 people found the following review useful:
You need to see this movie. That could be this entire review, but I think I should describe how amazing this film is. Unlike most summer movies, the writing is fantastic, keeping me and the rest of the people watching with me attached to the movie and its characters even when they are just talking in a diner or something. Also unlike most other summer movies, the movie does not attempt to create artificial tension in the form of fast cuts or stupid action scenes, it creates tension in the form of dialogue and sometimes in the form of brilliantly filmed action. It should be noted that the cinematography in this film is truly amazing. The cinematography captures the desolateness and sadness of the area of West Texas that the movie is set in. There are also many wide shots, which looked like they were filmed with drones which also added to the beauty of the filming. The music also adds to the western feel of this movie. The writing of this film is where it really shines. The writing is captivating and it is so natural, for the area. The banter between both pairs of characters (the brothers and the rangers) is very entertaining in that you can almost feel their relationship and the history of it. Also, I have to say, the writing for the side characters, who are only in the film for their respective scenes is even better. This is the first time I have ever cared about some random waitress who is only in the film for 90 seconds because their writing is masterful. Also, the acting is definitely some of the best I have seen, Ben Foster and Jeff Bridges both really shine in the film because of their stunning acting. The acting helps in that when Chris Pine and Ben Foster are mid- heist you can really feel the stress when they get into situations that one or both of them are not comfortable with. In closing, this film has amazing writing, cinematography, acting, pacing, everything. This film is just beautiful and you really need to see it, like yesterday, it is easily the best film this year and a major contender for Best Picture, Best Director, etc.
- An Acting Clinic ... and a Great Filmby 10 November 2016on
86 out of 113 people found the following review useful:
Jeff Bridges and Chris Pine put on an acting clinic.
Bridges at 66 has enough swagger, 'tude and testosterone to be an action figure.
Pine, always reliable as a A-lister, takes his craft to a whole new level. He is as far from Captain Kirk as the earth is from the moon. Superb work. And unforgettable.
The script is to die for. Intelligent to a degree that makes you wonder aloud how the constant stream of B and C movies out of Hollywood ever get funded. Solid from the first line of dialog to the last.
West Texas is the unbilled co-star. You feel like you are there.
One of the best releases of the year.
- A Terrific Movie!by 16 August 2016on
74 out of 98 people found the following review useful:
David Mackenzie's 'Hell or High Water' is A Terrific Movie, that turns out to be an unexpected delight of the Summer. With underwhelming superhero movies or reboots doing the rounds, this Heist/Crime Motion-Picture offers a Solid Story, that is Sharply Written, Expertly Directed & Very Strongly Acted.
'Hell or High Water' Synopsis: A divorced dad and his ex-con brother resort to a desperate scheme in order to save their family's farm in West Texas.
'Hell or High Water' is a story of family & crime. You watch the 2 brothers rob banks, as they are tired of being poor & they indulge in aggression. And then you have Two Texas Rangers, after them, because they're wearing a uniform & they serve for the protection of the people. Its the difference of dynamics between its characters that make 'Hell or High Water' a solid watch. I wan engrossed by the camaraderie of the 4 characters, they are interesting to watch & hear.
'Hell or High Water' is perfectly paced, as the narrative hits the nail & culminates in a crisp 101-minutes. The film begins with a punch & ends on the very same note. I was thoroughly engrossed by the story & how well it progressed. Taylor Sheridan's Screenplay is Sharp. His Writing is tops, allowing us to get into the story & have an interesting experience. David Mackenzie's Direction is expertly done. He's handled the film, with command. Giles Nuttgens' Cinematography is fantastic. West Texas has been captured beautifully. Jake Roberts' Editing is crisp. Art & Costume Design are perfect. Nick Cave & Warren Ellis's Score is good. Action-Sequences are well-done, as well.
Performance-Wise: 'Hell or High Water' is filled with superior performances. Jeff Bridges steals the show as the senior Texas ranger, who's sly sense of humor with his Indian partner (a fabulous Gil Birmingham) & skill to put things together & get to the criminals, is delightful. Bridges gets his character spot-on & proves once again, that he's among the Greatest we've ever had. As the 2-brothers who go on bank-robbing spree, Chris Pine & Ben Foster are in top-form. Pine is a revelation, delivering a mature, restrained performance, while Foster, an actor who's potential isn't new to know, continues to astonish, with his enviable talent for playing unpredictable, unlikable characters. Also, the on-screen chemistry between Pine & Foster, appears real & affecting.
On the whole, 'Hell or High Water' is a Winner! Don't Miss It!
- Nothing like a real great modern day western movie!by 15 August 2016on
77 out of 105 people found the following review useful:
Look at Chris Pine trying to prove he's not just a pretty face doing these small films that show his range, and show how he can do accents, but seriously, Pine was totally in his element here.
Jeff bridges gave a great performance that matches his cowboy ethics in True Grit, playing a very old school Texas Ranger hunting down Pine and Ben Foster who play brothers robbing banks. A little in the Archie Bunker Territory when dealing with his Mexican, Native American partner, but all the way likable.
Ben Foster was fantastic as well,as the bad apple big brother looking for redemption. Very dynamic acting, by all three main actors.
The music really adds to the cool western feel, putting me in the cowboy mode. I thought it was interesting that they had one scene in the movie in which real life cowboys herding cattle appear, in a movie about the movie style cowboys, and it's some real cowboy stuff going on here.
It's very macho without turning off the indi crowd that would love this film. There's a scene in the movie when Jeff Daniels Character confronts one of the bank robbers and it was like Eastwood and Wayne back in the day, man. It just wraps up the whole vibe of the movie in one swoop. I feel like it's the type of movie everyone in Texas should love.
And it's very Texas (or rather what I expect from Texas): every dinner only sells streak, It's hard to be a armed bank robber because at least two people in the bank carry a gun. The film does use Texas as a perfect pocket for all American life with the bank robbers having a bigger agenda to save the land they own and secure a future for their family, screwing over the bank that's screwing them.
It has the same appeal of the Timber when it comes to today's Westerns, but it's setting in contemporary times but with that old fashion tone gives it an edge.
- A film worth seeking out.by 21 August 2016on
61 out of 83 people found the following review useful:
'Hell or High Water' is a bit of an odd duck. Mainly because it got a wide release. This is the only great film that has released in 2016 that got a wide release. I mean, there are only four or five films that I thought have been really great and all of them have either got basically no theater release or a limited viewing. I truly hope that this spurs more films like it though. More well crafted movies that actually have characters you can get invested in. There have been so many films this year that have completely failed due to poor character writing. Now, this film isn't perfect. So lets just get the negatives out of the way before we get into what makes this great.
There aren't many problems here. The only big issue for me lies in the films story. It's really not that good. Once you step back to examine it, it's actually pretty by the numbers. If you've seen any heist movie ever than you probably know where this film is going. It follows a very standard formula that rarely deviates from it's by the numbers approach.
But it wasn't until I took a step back that I noticed it. That's due to how well executed it is. It's one of those films that's so finely crafted that you don't really notice it's issues. That's what I loved about the film. It has such great characters that the familiar beats it hits actually feel genuine. Because you get to know these people and you feel like their choices matter to what's happening on screen.
Which came as a breath of fresh air in a time when films have become so predictable and convenient. Our three main characters are played by Jeff Bridges, Chris Pine, and Ben Foster. Who were all at their very best for this movie. Foster was the weakest of all but when acting across from Bridges, is hard to really stand out. Yet, that is exactly what Chris Pine does. I have never seen him give this kind of performance.
I'm glad to see him taking on nuanced roles that legitimately show his range. It felt almost like his performance in 'Z for Zachariah' but he's far more compelling to watch here. Which really adds to his character. He is the one that you have to feel for most. And his sad yet determined personality really pushed you through the film.
On the other end, Ben fosters character introduced the most conflict to the film. To avoid spoilers, I won't go into his character much but the film respected him enough to not make him the bad guy. It's so easy to make a character like that the films bad guy but he never becomes that person. It respects its characters enough to make them humans with problems instead of saying this guys the bad one and this guy is the good one.
And it's all shot and directed with the utter most care and effort. With nearly every shot you can feel the attention to detail and the work put into making this the way it is. It may not be Alejandro Inarritu levels of ingenuity but I loved seeing effort being put into making the film. It's very rare to see great directing and inventive cinematography in wide release films like this.
'Hell or High Water' is rare breed. It's a great film that got a wide release. There is a lot of love and care put into this and it shows. It's well shot, directed nicely, has a solid score, is brilliantly acted, and offers excellent characters. This is definitely worth going out and seeing. That being said, It falls just short of being amazing. The story is pretty by the numbers and it's ending doesn't really seem to know what it wants to do. However, it remains a great film and is definitely worth supporting in theaters.
- Flawless bank robbers vs Texas Rangers action-drama and characters studyby 19 August 2016on
67 out of 101 people found the following review useful:
"Hell or High Water" (2016 release; 105 min.) brings the story of two brothers, Toby and Tanner. As the movie opens, we see them rob two Texas Midlands Bank branches in rapid succession. It's only later that we learn why. After the second heist, the Texas Rangers are informed, and Marcus, who is going to retire in three weeks, wants to do one final case before going off into the sunset. At this point, we are 10 min. into the movie, but to tell you more of the plot would spoil your viewing experience, you'll just have to see for yourself how it all plays out.
Couple of comments: this is the latest movie from Scottish director David Mackenzie, and here he brings to the big screen the outstanding script by former actor Taylor Sheridan, who blew us away last year with "Sicario", my No.1 movie of the year in 2015. Here the story focuses on the two brothers, one a divorced dad and the other just released after a 7 year prison stint. The brothers are played by Chris Pine (MILES away from the recent Star Trek Beyond) and Ben Foster. But the best performance comes from Jeff Bridges as good ol' Marcus, always short on breath and "sitting on the porch, practicing my future", when his partner asks him why he is sitting outside his hotel room. Bridges has gotten many acclaims over his career, and I don't know that this one tops them all, but it sure comes close. Add in the beautiful landscape of the southwest (New Mexico standing in for Western Texas), plus a gorgeous soundtrack fro Nick Cave and Warren Ellis, and it all comes together like a perfect cocktail. I'm trying to think of any flaws in this movie, but I can't think of any, hence my rating of 5 stars (which I rarely give).
The movie opened this weekend at my local art-house theater here in Cincinnati, and I couldn't wait to see it. The Friday early evening screening where I saw this at was attended nicely, and I bet you with outstanding word-of-mouth a guarantee, this movie will gain strength at the box office in the weeks to come. Pretty sure this will pick up a lot of attention come the awards season at the end of the year. "Hell or High Water" is HIGHLY, HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
- Excellently-written and actedby 20 August 2016on
48 out of 65 people found the following review useful:
This is definitely the type of simple film that many might dismiss when first hearing about it or seeing the promotional footage of it. What's really surprising about it is the amount of emotional and dramatic weight that it carries. It's not primarily interested in gun fights or car chases. Instead, it's interested in exploring the dynamics of race and culture, and in depicting everyone as flawed individuals who you still feel empathy for. It gives you a portrayal of what poverty and the economy can do, even when never attempting to justify the horrible behavior on display or trying to make excuses for its characters. It's filled with wonderful, thoughtful dialogue while also playing out like a realistic morality tale. The three leads are also fantastic, especially Ben Foster, who deserves to get more roles as the talented character-actor he is. This is highly recommended.
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