Keeping up with all of the movies that have come out 2016 has been no easy task. However, I’d heard such good things about Hell or Highwater I bought it as soon as it was available on digital. I can safely say that I don’t regret buying this movie. It’s great and possible for my top ten for the year. I give Hell or Highwater the Must See rating.
Toby Howard (Chris Pine) and his brother Tanner (Ben Foster) have decided to rob banks in order to pay off a loan owed to the bank. If they can’t raise the money to pay off the lean to their land they lose everything. Texas Ranger Marcus Hamilton (Jeff Bridges) is set to retire, but takes on this case as his big send off.
I’m a fan of Chris Pine for the most part. I don’t actively seek out his films, but I like what I’ve seen him in. I think this is probably his best performance so far. I’m finding I really love when an actor can convey emotion and thoughts without spoon feeding me exposition. He excels as this subtle approach in this film. Ben Foster is the talker in this movie, but he adds a bit of comic relief. I really felt for both characters and their situation. It’s established early that Tanner is a bit more impulsive than Toby. Robbing banks is completely out of character for Toby, but Tanner fits right into the role.
Then there is Jeff Bridges and a familiar performance. I really like when he plays a western lawman. True Grit brought to the modern century in many ways. A Texas Ranger on a man hunt with a sidekick that he gives a hard time. Gil Birmingham plays Texas Ranger Alberto Parker who is the target of Hamilton’s jokes. Director David MacKenzie and writer Taylor Sheridan do an excellent job of showing their relationship. While Hamilton consistently annoys Alberto, it’s clear that he values their relationship. It’s hinted that Hamilton’s wife has passed away, and the job is all he has.
I’m going to highly recommend you buy or rent this film as soon as possible. It’s a modern day western in many ways that features some commentary on the banking system. The characters are excellent and the story is extremely compelling. The cinematography is also top notch. Yeah, I don’t think I can oversell this movie. Check it out!