Hell Or High Water is a modern Western film directed by David Mackenzie and written by Taylor Sheridan. It takes the Southern Gothic tale and places it in the setting of West Texas.
Divorced father Toby Howard (Chris Pine) and his recently released from prison brother Tanner (Ben Foster) are robbing branches of the Texas Midlands Bank. They are using the stolen bank’s own funds to pay back the debt they owe after their now-deceased mother took a predatory from the bank so they do not lose their farm. Retiring Texas Ranger Marcus Hamilton (Jeff Bridges) and his partner Alberto Parker (Gil Birmingham) are chasing the brothers down and will stop at nothing to see justice done.
This one of the best Western movie to take place in modern times. Movies that take a look at the brutal side of Texas life usually paint the character in a stereotypical fashion. Not so in this case. The characters have a depth to them where you feel empathy for both the brothers and the Texas Rangers after them. Four brothers, two by blood and two by duty who are mirror images of each other. One side could have been the other if certain decisions had been made in the past. That is good story-telling.
I want to praise the performances of Chris Prince and Jeff Bridges. Both of them portray two men who grew up in Texas and are trying to figure out their futures. Pine’s characters with his ex-wife and sons. Bridges’ characters facing retirement after a stellar career in law enforcement.
Bottom line, the movie grips you from beginning to end. Mackenzie shows the dark side of human nature and discusses problems of today in the old setting in small towns across Texas. You will not want to miss a single moment as you watch each bank robbery and every crime scene investigation before the movie climaxes in a powerful way.
FAVORITE QUOTE: I’ve been poor my whole life, like a disease passing from generation to generation. But not my boys, not anymore.
PARENTAL CONCERNS: Violence, Strong Foul Language, Some sexual content
Check out the trailer below:
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This article has been updated from a previous version.