Now the disappointing summer season is over, it’s time for the smaller budget masterpieces to make their way to theaters. A rough round the edges plot, beautiful camera work and some die hard performances make Hell or High Water exactly what we need as we enter the latter part of the year.
After the local bank begin foreclose procedures on their family ranch, brothers Tanner and Toby Howard turn to the other side of the law in order to get their land back.
After taking on the hugely entertaining Starred up in 2013, director David Mackenzie has gone in a completely different direction but with a similarly interesting story. Setting the story perfectly we are taken on a beautiful journey through West Texas. The sleep-easy approach to the pacing sets the tone perfectly while the buddy cop design to the leads characters anchors the plot nicely. This blending of both storytelling and cinematography work in tandem to create a film that will not only keep you hooked but thoroughly entertain you throughout.
From a screenplay point of view, writer Taylor Sheridan has emulated the intensity of his previous effort, Sicario, to great effect. Taking on similar themes, it could be argued that there is a certain lack of originality, but the events taking place on screen thankfully do enough to make it feel fresh.
The most effective tool at this films disposal though is the sheer strength of the performances. Chris Pine’s turn as one of the young brothers is easily one of his best while Ben Foster plays his easily dislikeable sibling with a heart of gold. Jeff Bridges without a doubt gives one of the best and most endearing performances to date, playing the ever professional but surprisingly relatable Texas Ranger, Marcus Hamilton. Although all 3 rarely appear on screen together as a threesome, each one brings something both different but equally significant.
Overall, Hell or High Water is easily one of the better films of the year so far. With a skilled bit of direction, an intense, gripping story and some astounding performances, this is definitely not one that you will not be wanting to miss. 4.5 out of 5.