Hell or High Water (2016)

A brilliant, riveting, extraordinary modern Western. The performances are incredible. The dialogue is incredible. The characters are incredible. What don’t you want? It’s an incredible film.

The sibling relationship at the heart of the film feels so true to life. Brother relationships are so easy to make shlocky or shmaltzy in films, but this one feel so utterly true. Chris Pine and Ben Forster do fantastic work. Jeff Bridges and Gil Birmingham, as ranger partners, also make for a great relationship, quickly transcending what seems to be a conventional genre riff, and offering a different, but also powerful portrayal of a type of brotherhood.


The film is so confident, cohesive, and fully-formed, that I find it difficult to think of much to say on it. It excels, especially in dialogue. It feels like a Cormac McCarthy novel in character, setting, and tone, though it bites off less to chew. Perhaps it gets overly expositional at times in exploring its message around banks and ownership, but I feel like I’m just nitpicking if I go down that road.

I give it four t-bone steaks, and a side of green beans.


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