Writer: Taylor Sheridan (Screenplay)
Starring: Chris Pine, Ben Foster, Jeff Bridges, Gil Birmingham
Plot: A divorced father and his ex-con older brother resort to a desperate scheme in order to save their family’s ranch in West Texas.
There may be spoilers the rest of the review
Verdict: Gritty Crime Thriller
Story: Hell or High Water starts as we meet our bank robbers Tanner (Foster) and Toby (Pine) Howard who are targeting small Texan banks to get minimum attention to themselves. The amount taken doesn’t grab the FBI’s attention but soon to be retiring Texas Ranger Marcus Hamilton (Bridges) and his partner Alberto Parker (Birmingham) start look into the case.
As the crime heist continues across Texas we learn the reason behind Toby’s decision to rob the banks being to support his family while his brother is happier just to enjoy the ride. As the motives come through the race between rangers and robbers gets closer and we are left to see what will happen when they all finally clash.
Hell or High Water is a slow moving crime thriller that pulls you into every single scene between the characters, you understand the reasons behind the robberies, as well as the determined ranger wanting his last chance of glory before he faces an unknown future. The story is what shines through in the end because we never see too much of the robbery and focus on the human decisions behind the choices.
Pine, Foster, Bridges and Birmingham all give great performance that are their own bests for this year with each pairing coming off perfectly natural. This will end up being in Pine’s and Foster’s top five performances of their career while Bridges continues to show he can pull off anything. It is easy to see why people have enjoyed this film this year because it is up there with the very best.
Overall: One of the best of the year, gritty, intense and pulse pounding.