Hell or High Water
Released August 12th 2016
1 hr 43 mins
Director: David Mackenzie
Writer: Taylor Sheridan
Jeff Bridges as Marcus Hamilton
Chris Pine as Toby Howard
Ben Foster as Tanner Howard
Gil Birmingham as Alberto Parker
Katy Mixon as Jenny Ann
Dale Dickey as Elsie
Kevin Rankin as Billy Rayburn
Melanie Papalia as Emily
John Paul Howard as Justin Howard
Christopher W. Garcia as Randy Howard
Review by Mister Goodfella's Reviews
David Mackenzie proceeds to wow us with a small yet stellar cast in his riveting neo crime western "Hell or High Water". Before diving into every detail about the film I must confess that it is truly inspiring to see a film of this level of simplicity, in a theater. This film screams "Indie Filmmaking" in the best way possible yet still packs enough punch to make you feel like it deserves the "Blockbuster" presentation. "Hell Or High Water" follows two brothers who carry out a series of bank robberies to save their family farm, and stars Chris Pine, Ben Foster and Jeff Bridges. Again simple enough yet the film has its ways of getting you on the edge of your seat rooting for the bad guys!
To shine a spotlight, Chris Pine really shows us here that he's not just the pretty face to look at or just "Captain Kirk" but rather a fantastic actor just dying to burst out of his shell. Pine plays the cool, calm and collected Brother in the film which really takes effort on his part to not look so cocky in a role. Alongside Pine, Ben Foster compliments his performance With the Crazy and wild brother looking to live life on the edge. It's no surprise that these two actors complement each other; however Jeff Bridges resurfaces and joins this stellar cast as the cop on their tale.
Bridges performance is probably the most natural in the film as he is playing the older, near retiree kind of sheriff, which in my opinion took the least effort and was the most natural. I was very impressed with the writing, Taylor Sheridan who formerly wrote the screenplay for Denis Villeneuve's "Sicario", Shows us he has a knack for making the simplest of things interesting. The film doesn’t have much of a score however whatever music it does have is soundtrack and fits perfectly in the scenes used in. My main point of interest is the ability the film has to get its audience attached to Pine and Foster and even Bridges. It's very rare these days to have characters that not only have that dialogue that makes them loveable, but they have a sense of purpose that you actually care if something happens to them.
In my book all the bases are covered here from good writing, to great performances to some very innovative directing on Mackenzie's behalf. Seeing this film has truly inspired me once again to want to write and direct "Indie" films, reminding me of just how close and intimate you can get with your material. I hope that the film gets a recognition for something in this year’s "Academy Awards", however if it doesn’t it is still a great addition to this year’s lineup of films.
Rating: 3.5 Out Of 4