Hell or High Water
David Mackenzie, 2016, USA, 102mins, Certificate: 15
Nominated for 4 Oscars for Best Film, Editing, Cinematography and a powerful Supporting Actor performance by the fabulous Jeff Bridges, this modern Western is far from making idols and heroes out of its characters. It is a poignant, understated but exquisitely written character heist drama, featuring impressive performances not only from Bridges but also from Chris Pine and particularly Ben Foster, who play two brothers who revert to a life of crime to save their home ranch from being seized by the bank. An important, masterful American indie film, directed by Scottish filmmaker David Mackenzie (“Young Adam, “Hallam Foe”, “Starred Up”), the perfect antidote to the poorly written dialogues and repetitive, uninspired scripts that plague modern American cinema, from screenplay writer Taylor Sheridan (“Sicario”).
“★★★★ Part heist, part western for the Occupy generation, this sharply plotted thriller is a triumph for both director David Mackenzie and writer Taylor Sheridan.” Wendy Ide, The Observer
“★★★★ Those dusty west Texas back roads and those one-horse towns where the horse has died provide dramatic scenery for Hell or High Water, a smartly crafted heist thriller that quietly peels back the layers from its macho male characters to reveal the pain and tenderness inside.” Kate Muir, The Times UK
“Just as it taps into a dying corner of American society, “Hell or High Water” resurrects the power of western mayhem done right.” Eric Kohn, www.indiewire.com
“[Mackenzie]’s a filmmaker who has worked his way through an array of genres and honed his skills as he’s progressed, and the whole movie offers ample evidence that this oft-undervalued Scot has stealthily achieved an unassuming but utterly genuine mastery of his craft.”