Hell or High Water (movie review)

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This may or may not count as a Sunday Sermonette.

Overview: 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. It has a strong TEXAS theme.

It’s dangerous to attend movies that aren’t the fifteenth remake of the original film, but I soldiered forward to view/screen the first version of Hell or High Water, without any preconceived notions except that “Rotten Tomatoes” gave it a 98% positive rating. That’s almost unheard of.

No spoilers but high marks. 9 out of 10. Go see the film.

The sub rosa message of the film is an interesting one that people who live in rural Texas may understand — and some of the rest of us as well.

23 thoughts on “Hell or High Water (movie review)

  1. That looks like my kinda movie. A 9 out of 10 is a good mark there! What's that version of 'Knocking on Heavens door?' in the trailer? I like it a lot and never thought someone could knock Dylan off his spot.

  2. I had to drive a ways to see it in a theater that I usually don't go to, but it was worth the trip.

  3. You caused me to cast about. It's not listed in the movie score/sound track, and it's not the rendition done by Guns and Roses (which was good in itself). Clearly not the Dylan version, which is iconic. I didn't find out who sang it. I may have to wait for it to come out on TV to look for it in the credits. Or if you see the movie, check for it and let me know as well.

  4. I've also been roped in by the trailers of this flick, I'm planning on a big screen viewing. It smecks of 'No Country for Old Men,' which I loved. Does it have any scenes which involve compressed air?

  5. Thanks for the recommendation. I was thinking of seeing this one. I'll take the bait now.

  6. Since I'm trapped VERY far from Texas, I'm not even sure I can find it in theaters, but I'll try. I've been waiting for this for a very long time, being a fan of the rebellious-but-virtuous history of the Basset family of Brown's Hole, Butch Cassidy, recent BLM (Bureau of LM) land wars, etc. Thanks for the review!

  7. I think that theaters outside Texas may show the film. Then again, you're in what used to be Free America, but Progs took it over, so it's difficult to predict how wide the release will be.

  8. What theater do you go to that only charges $5????? No, don't answer that. The prospects of an answer are too depressing.

  9. Every time I see that title, I think about the old Richard Widmark movie….

    I know, that movie was called "Hell AND High Water", but I still think of it.

    I'll have to get the wife to go see this new one.

  10. The Ranchman's Steak House in Ponder, Texas would be a good place to go before you see the movie, if you happen to be in the neighborhood. I swear, they featured it in the movie.

    There is an old bank at the Corner of Hwy 156 and W. Bailey Street, next door to the steakhouse. Bonnie and Clyde robbed it. Just a bit of historical context to the meal, should you ever go there for supper. They serve t-bone, a baked potato, corn and green beans. Apple or peach cobbler for desert.

  11. The film has a strong message. Not a progressive message at all, which is a strange thing since it came out of Hollywood.

    Today a lot of the films have to be politically correct. There is a new film coming out, a re-make of The Magnificent Seven. It's a film about the old west. The boss is a woman, who hires a black man, who hires a white man, an Indian, an Asian and a couple other white men to do something. It's very progressive. They are missing a Jew and a dwarf (could have been case as a 'black female Jewish dwarf'), but they have the rest covered. Naturally they go out with guns and shoot up or blow up everything they see, glorifying gun violence. THAT is what I expect from Hollywood, Tarentino, etc.

  12. You must mean a one, legged man, because people are born with two thais…Trying to learn to "talk country".

  13. This is how Hell or High Water is one of my favorite movie that had enjoy this movie in theaters 3 times and now a days i also used to enjoy this movie by Watch Full Movie on netflix and now i am waiting to enjoy for its another installment. did you know when its another installment will be released?

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