Hell or High Water is a Western, set in the poor, basic-industrial landscape of present-day West Texas. It follows Toby and Tanner Howard (Chris Pine and Ben Foster), bank-robbing brothers, trying to gather money for a family in need of freedom from the big oppressive banks – this film’s silent villain. On their tail are police officers Marcus and Alberto (Jeff Bridges and Gil Birmingham).
This is a tight, precisely-directed, and terrifically-acted film. The characters feel lived-in, such that they have a depth beyond their screen time. I really believe that Bridge’s detective has been working this job for fifty years. Like its characters, Hell or High Water appears at first simple, but it has hidden depths that allow it to transcend those genre-film trappings.
[Under construction – 1/3/17 – I can’t access my drafts on the free version? So I’m just publishing unfinished articles to be safe]