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Hell or High Water
Not everything is what it seems in this deceptively simple story. Two brothers are robbing banks. The local Sheriff is out to get them. We’ve seen this before. But we’ve never quite seen it like this.
A thoughtful Chris Pine is the “good” brother, the one who seems just in it for the money. A dazzlingly jittery Ben Foster, the ex-con, can’t stop his trigger finger. Together, they are emptying out cash drawers all over West Texas, some jobs going more smoothly than others. Are they just looking for quick cash? Or is something more going on here? That’s what the law thinks and, in one of his best performances in years, Jeff Bridges follows, figures and finally nails the twosome. Or does he?
Yes, the cinematography is breathtaking. Yes, the acting is universally excellent. And yes, the spine of the story is one that’s been used a zillion times before. What makes this modern day Western really crackle are the spot on references to modern day life in parts of the USA. Ripped off by predatory bankers, just about all the locals want to not just get what’s owed to them back, they also wouldn’t mind seeing the banking bad guys get theirs, either. These characters may or may not be the kind who want to make America Great Again, but watching them struggle, you can sure feel their pain. Savvy, poignant work from writer Taylor Sheridan (Sicario) and director David Mackenzie, making the backdrop and its context every bit as vital as every artistic choice in this smartly entertaining movie.