Hell or High Water

Wild Wednesday

Director: 
David Mackenzie
Year: 
2016
Rating: 
R
Run Time: 
102 mins
Cast: 
Ben Foster, Chris Pine, Jeff Bridges
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Chris Pine and Ben Foster star in this blistering contemporary Western about two brothers who need cash in a hurry and can think of just one way to get it: rob the bank that is threatening to foreclose on their family ranch. Thus begins a dangerous cat-and-mouse game with a soon-to-be-retired Texas ranger played by a scene-stealing Jeff Bridges, chewing his Southern drawl for all it’s worth. With an intoxicating amoral ambiguity, the lament of these modern cowboys in search of their version of freedom plays out like a sunbaked punk rock Johnny Cash song—quietly mesmerizing and rivetingly humane. Taking cues from an unbelievably taut script by Taylor Sheridan (“Sicario”), the thrilling do-or-die, low-rent criminal drama and getaway action is both searingly funny and tense as hell, a welcome adrenaline boost to the heist genre and a serious awards contender.

"By turns funny, elegiac and thrilling, it’s a tale of brotherhood and family that takes in the harsh beauty of the land, the elusive nature of right and wrong and the quirky delights of human connections in a time of bewildering change." - Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal

"The year’s most exhilarating film." - Calvin Wilson, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

"'Hell or High Water' is a terrific piece of entertainment.... It isn't a highbrow indie but a gritty work of art. Mackenzie's movie thrills for all the right reasons and will be fondly remembered at year's end." - Steve Persall, Tampa Bay Times

"What Mackenzie has crafted here is a crowd-pleaser with undeniable art-house elements." - Walter Addiego, San Francisco Chronicle

"With electrifying, graceful direction by David Mackenzie...a rich, darkly humorous and deeply insightful screenplay by Taylor Sheridan...and no fewer than four performances as good as anything I’ve seen onscreen this year, 'Hell or High Water' is an instant classic modern-day Western, traveling down familiar roads but always, always with a fresh and original spin." - Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun-Times

"'Hell or High Water' is a thrillingly good movie — a crackerjack drama of crime, fear, and brotherly love set in a sun-roasted, deceptively sleepy West Texas that feels completely exotic for being so authentic." - Owen Glieberman, Variety