Title: Hell or High Water
MPAA Rating: R
Director: David Mackenzie
Starring: Chris Pine, Ben Foster, Jeff Bridges
Runtime: 1 hr 42 mins
What It Is: When a divorced father Toby (Pine) teams with his criminal brother Tanner (Foster) to rob banks they are being chased by Texas Rangers Marcus Hamilton (Bridges) and Alberto Parker (Gil Birmingham). As the two brothers make their way through various branches of Texas Midland Banks in order to have the money to buy their mothers farm back from the very same bank they are robbing. As the Rangers tighten their grip on finding them the boys will work to get to the golden number they need all while dealing with various other personal demons.
What We Think: This is perhaps one of 2016’s best films. Not only do Pine and Foster give absolutely stunning performances here but Bridges and Birmingham equal them. This film works almost like watch four characters that are each a pair side of the same coin. Neither really sure which side of the fence each will fall on. Mackenzie lets the film breathe and is never too heavy-handed with his direction. It has a subtle charm about it that you would not normally associate with a heist film. There’s a family dichotomy that seems to run throughout this and it works beautifully.
Our Grade: A+, Not too many films this year can claim an A+ rating this year and this film certainly earned it. I’m totally convinced that Ben Foster is the most underrated character actor of this generation. Almost a Harry Dean Stanton or Paul Giamatti of the modern era. Look at a film like The Program or The Messenger and you’ll see a guy who is at the top of his game. Likewise, Pine is killing it. Films like The Finest Hours which also has Foster ironically and Star Trek: Beyond and you’ll find he’s more than just a pretty face. Keep up the excellent work guys! I recommend that everyone see this, immediately.