Hell or High WaterAdam Cook
Scottish director David Mackenzie has quietly put together an impressive filmography of intense dramas and with this award-winning breakout, brings his unique vision onto American soil. A neo-Western crime thriller full of twists and turns led by Jeff Bridges in top-tier form as a Texas Ranger obsessed with tracking down two bank robbers. There’s no shortage of excitement but the film is most remarkable for its sharply drawn characters.
Texas brothers Toby (Chris Pine), and Tanner (Ben Foster), come together after years divided to rob branches of the bank threatening to foreclose on their family land. For them, the hold-ups are just part of a last-ditch scheme to take back a future that seemed to have been stolen from under them. Justice seems to be theirs, until they find themselves on the radar of Texas Ranger, Marcus (Jeff Bridges) looking for one last grand pursuit on the eve of his retirement, and his half-Comanche partner, Alberto (Gil Birmingham). As the brothers plot a final bank heist to complete their scheme, and with the Rangers on their heels, a showdown looms at the crossroads where the values of the Old and New West murderously collide.
All of the performers in this film, right down to the bit players, are quite good, but Bridges demonstrates yet again that he is one of the finest actors in America.