Hell Or High Water Movie Review
Two brothers rob a series of banks—for a reason other than money—and a nearly retired and certainly tired sheriff seeks to stop them in their tracks in the modern day western Hell or High Water (now on Blu-ray and DVD), an intoxicating, engaging and gripping drama-thriller from director David Mackenzie and Taylor Sheridan, the writer of Sicario.
Chris Pine, Ben Foster, Jeff Bridges and Gil Birmingham star in this must-see movie, which works on nearly every front. Beautifully shot, tightly edited and superbly written, Hell or High Water is a movie that presents two sides of the law—and even in the film’s tense final minutes, it leaves you unsure of who you want to win. After all, in real life, the line between good and bad is often blurry.
The cast is terrific, with Pine immersing himself so much into his role he’s nearly unrecognizable and Foster, as is common with the actor, giving it his all. We’ve seen similar performances from Bridges in the past—old, tired, weathered and snarky—but it doesn’t get old, and he’s certainly at the top of his game here.
Hell or High Water is the movie we rarely see these days, a crime thriller that is patient and as interested in its characters and their morals as it is in story and action. The movie features bursts of violence, but Mackenzie and Sheridan aren’t afraid to step back from the overt plot—a sheriff hunting, two men stealing—to let the audience get to know their characters and why they are doing what they’re doing. The result: a third act that is compelling and sneakily emotional, one that features both a fantastic shootout and an equally absorbing showdown of a completely different breed.
Hell or High Water is a terrific movie, an absorbing thriller that is as deep as it is gripping.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.