Review: Hell or High Water

I saw the trailer in the theater and it seemed really interesting. It seems as though Westerns are coming back and I really like that. I grew up watching Westerns with my dad. He’s a fan of Gene Autry, John Wayne and Clint Eastwood. Those were the days when we just sat in the living room and watched them as a family. I have a sort of soft spot for them because they were a part of my childhood as I was growing up.


Hell or High Water stars Dale Dickey, Ben Foster and Chris Pine. The movie is about two brothers who had lost their mother and they try to save their family ranch from the Texas Midlands bank. It’s a sort of revenge movie. The boys rob the Texas Midlands banks because they issued a loan for the ranch that placed the ranch in debt. If they don’t pay the loan, the ranch will be foreclosed.


The movie moved a little slow in the beginning and I couldn’t figure out why they were robbing the banks until halfway through the film. Once you find out, the film moves pretty quickly. It’s a bittersweet tale and it really made me feel for their family. I also noticed that there is a closeness that people feel towards one another when it comes to justice. I see this a lot in other films where there is a small town. People stand up for each other.


I really liked this film and the direction is great. Making a Western work in a modern film is tough because some people in the audience might not have seen a Western before. They don’t have that connection with the genre like the older demographic. They really made it work with this movie. Movies like these don’t have very many loud musical scores in ever scene. You don’t have to have loud scenes to make a powerful impact on the audience. You can make people feel even though it’s a quiet scene. There is this one scene with Ben Foster that was so dramatic even though it only happened for a few seconds. The scene was effortless but I really felt for the character.

As you can already tell, I loved the film. Director David Mackenzie and writer Taylor Sheridan made a Western look cool in a time when loud action films prevail.

Audience: R
John Wayne Factor: 7
Acting: 10
Story: 9
Direction: 9
Would I recommend: Yes

*Note: Based on a scale from 1 to 10. 1 being the worst and 10 being the best you could get in a category.

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