Hell or High Water

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Hell or High Water

Director: David Mackenzie

Grade: A

When this movie came out last year I have to admit I was not the least bit interested in it. I don’t think I even paid attention to the trailers but it got great reviews and is one of the Best Picture nominees this year so I finally, finally watched a trailer and I was like, “Okay, watch this!”

I’m so glad I did!

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Hell or High Water is about two brothers (Chris Pine and the seriously amazing Ben Foster) who are about to lose the family ranch due to a bank friendly loan and some back taxes. To complicate matters oil was recently found on the land. So the brothers undertake a series of small bank robberies in order to get the money before foreclosure. This leads them right into the path of two Texas Rangers (Jeff Bridges and Gil Birmingham.)

Both Pine and Foster and Bridges and Birmingham work really well together. The first really felt like brothers and the second partners. Though several times I wanted to slap Bridges character. Great dialogue to build these relationships. And you got a lot of history with the brothers without it feeling bogged down.

Foster is especially fantastic though as Tanner who is just got out of jail when they start the robberies. He definitely should have been in the Best Supporting Actor race.

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Just great acting and performances all around in this film. Which I also thought was strangely beautiful. I say strangely because it’s a lot of run down small desperate towns but I’m a sucker for the wide open plains and the big blue skies which they have in plenty. It creates this mix to me of both what’s being lost and what’s people are struggling to save.

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I was kind of surprised through a lot of the movie how quiet it was. Up until that last bank robbery I was rooting for the brothers but when it goes to hell it goes hard and gets very violent. There is one death that didn’t entirely surprise me but really broke my heart.

I think my two little personal nitpicks with this movie would be we barely see Pines characters children (which is his main motivation for doing this) and his ex-wife was a real winner. She’s only in two scenes but honestly I wanted to be like, “Wow, was this really worth it?” My other issue is a spoiler so warning…

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I’m torn on the one brother essentially getting away with it. I don’t think they would have just thrown up their hands. I do get why the witnesses didn’t talk but I think they could have made a case anyway. So that kind of bugged me but on the other hand it lead to the great scene with him and Bridges so… six and one right?

Recommend: Yes. There’s no way this is going to stop La La Land (at this point I doubt anything will) but it definitely deserved it’s Best Picture nod.

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