Director David Mackenzie’s Hell or High Water is a masterfully made film of Screenwriter Taylor Sheridan’s bleak story of modern-day West Texas, an arid plain of decaying towns around which cowboys still exist.
Chris Pine and Ben Foster play Toby and Tanner Howard, two brothers, who rob small banks to raise money in order to save Toby’s farm from foreclosure. Toby is doing this for his young sons, so they don’t have to grow up poor. And Tanner, recently out of prison, is doing it half out of loyalty to his younger brother, but just as much because he has nothing else to do with his life.
Paralleling their relationship is that of two Texas Rangers, the about-to-retire Marcus Hamilton (Jeff Bridges) and the stoic, mixed-blood Alberto Parker (Gil Birmingham), who is the butt of Hamilton’s tiresome ethnic jokes.
The acting is superb and the technical side of this production is superb, as well.
It’s not a pretty tale, but, if nothing else, you will learn a slick way to launder money.
I give Hell or High Water a 4 out of 5.