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Featured Movie Reviews

Hell or High Water

Updated: Apr 12, 2023

An excellent crime drama, tragic family story and slam bang action thriller all rolled into one and shoved into Jeff Bridges cheek like his perfect west Texas drawl, HELL OR HIGH WATER is a terrific film.

Ben Foster (Inferno, Lone Survivor) and Chris Pine (our current Captain Kirk) are excellent as Tanner and Toby Howard. As the film opens, fresh out of prison Tanner and much more gentle Toby are robbing a Texas bank in the middle of a downtrodden ghost of a downtown, taking only the money in the tills and getting in and out as fast as they can.

The brothers are stealing specifically from Texas Midland Bank for reasons better left to you discover as the viewer. Their styles differ and their motivations are even more unique from each other, but the brothers display a singular focus in getting enough money from Texas Midland to right a wrong.

Hot on their trail is Jeff Bridges in another incredible performance as Texas Ranger Marcus Hamilton. Days from retirement and chasing what will very likely be his last case, Marcus thrives on the hunt. His partner is Alberto, played perfectly by Gil Birmingham. Suffering never ending cowboys and Indians jokes and barbs, Alberto is clearly hurt by the casual racist jokes, but loyal to a fault to his old school but brilliant boss.

This movie oozes Texas Americana. Not big city Texas, but small town, vast empty and dying spaces forgotten by the masses and hanging on by a thread in search of an oil reserve or another month's rent.

You can feel the dust and the desolation in every scene, beautifully photographed throughout.

The film is written by Taylor Sheridan, who wrote one of the best scripts of last year in "Sicario". He brings the same intensity here.

Bridges is fantastic, Foster is very good and Pine matches Bridges with unexpected dramatic talent here, a long way removed from the terrific, fun job he does as Kirk in the new Trek films.

Every frame of HELL OR HIGH WATER feels authentic, playing more like a documentary than a feature film.

It's interesting, suspenseful, often fun and explosively violent. The robberies and the confrontations feel all too real and you will be invested in the folks on both sides of the law.

The final scene between two of our leads is just as smartly staged as it is well written, leaving me hungry for more well written thrillers.

I dont know much about new director David Mackenzie, but based on this movie, look forward to what he does next.

If you like superb action, acting and writing all in one package, see this one come HELL OR HIGH WATER. It gets an appreciative A+ and a solid spot very near my all time Top 100.

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