Overall Rating: 5/5
August 12, 2016
Dir. David Mackenzie
Rated R (for some strong violence, language throughout and brief sexuality)
I cannot give this film enough praise. Hell or High Water, nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars this year, is also one of my top films for the year. There’s something inspiring about watching professionals kick ass at what they do best, and as far as film-making goes, watching this film is like that.
The film is part heist, part western and appropriately has its fair share of excitement. Intelligently choreographed scenes illicit genuine intensity. However, the action takes a back seat to the human drama that unfolds: one of this film’s qualities that make it so effective and memorable.
There are three central characters in the story and they are all written and acted superbly. Chris Pine, Ben Foster, and Jeff Bridges (Best Supporting Actor nominee) all turn in (some of) the best performances of their respective careers. The Oscar-nominated original screenplay (deserving of a win) creates a fully fleshed out cast of characters all the way down to the minor characters with little or no dialogue. There’s actually a lot of subtle attention to detail in this film, and the Oscar-nominated editing is no exception to this (pay attention to the work done here).
Come for the intense story and action, and stay for the top-notch acting and writing. It’s a ride you won’t regret taking.