HELL OR HIGH WATER (2016) 4-STARS out of 5


Will HELL OR HIGH WATER be destined for a Best Picture of the Year nomination? Many critics seemed to think so when it was first shown at Cannes. This outstanding modified western is successful due to the strong directing of David McKenzie and the screenplay by Taylor Sheridan. Sheridan was responsible for last year’s script for SICARIO. Set in West Texas, this dark, humorous and quite violent film has a theme that will resonate with today’s movie audience — mortgages and foreclosures.

Like so many of this year’s new films, the cinematography (Giles Nuttgens) and the music (Warren Ellison) captures all of the emotions as well as the conflicts. I think HELL OR HIGH WATER is also a cut above because of the four lead actors who are at the top of their game. Chris Pine (as Toby) and Ben Foster (as Tanner) and two brothers. Jeff Bridges (as Marcus) and Gil Birmingham (as Alberto) are state troopers.

This is a solid film and all levels, but again, there is graphic violence.

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