Hell Or High Water (15)



Thriller (2016)
102mins US

Starring: Gil Birmingham, Jeff Bridges, Chris Pine, Ben Foster
Director: David Mackenzie
Writer(s): Taylor Sheridan
Listings: London | Rest of UK and Ireland

Toby Howard is determined to save his family's Texas ranch from foreclosure by robbing banks with his fiery-tempered brother, Tanner. They plan to hit several branches of Texas Midland, which they hold responsible for their financial woes. The siblings' larcenous activities pique the interest of cantankerous Texas Ranger Marcus Hamilton and his half-Comanche partner, Alberto Parker. The case gathers momentum and Hamilton and Parker edge closer to their prey.

Seen that movie? Leave a comment / review here >>

LondonNet Film Review
Hell Or High Water (15)

Harsh times call for desperate measures in David Mackenzie's riveting crime thriller set in contemporary West Texas, where avaricious, corporate-driven America has ravaged close-knit communities. Hell Or High Water cranks up tension with deceptive ease courtesy of a lean script by Taylor Sheridan, who had us biting our nails down to the cuticles last year with the Oscar-nominated action thriller Sicario. Sheridan should expect similar plaudits for his exemplary work here, underpinning a familiar morality tale of world-weary cops and robbers with a touching portrait of brotherly love in dire straits...

Hell Or High Water. Copyright: StudioCanal. Caption: Chris Pine and Ben Foster star in Hell Or High Water, directed by David Mackenzie. Photo: Lorey Sebastian. All Rights Reserved.Northumberland-born director Mackenzie, who made the extraordinary prison drama Starred Up, skilfully orchestrates propulsive action sequences and scenes of aching introspection. He immerses us in the daily sweat-soaked grind of richly drawn characters, who believe their only course of action is to don ski masks and strike back at financial institutions, which have crippled friends and God-fearing neighbours. These men might flout the law and occasionally spill innocent blood, but Sheridan's script repeatedly emphasises the rigorous moral code that the thieves follow on behalf of the disadvantaged people they love.

Toby Howard (Chris Pine) is determined to save his family's Texas ranch from foreclosure by robbing banks with his fiery-tempered brother, Tanner (Ben Foster). They plan to hit several branches of Texas Midland, which they hold responsible for their financial woes, and use the ill-gotten gains to secure a legacy for Toby's embittered ex-wife Debbie (Marin Ireland) and two sons. "Planning and doing are two different things," Toby cautions Tanner, who is prone to reckless acts of violence. The opening heist of a branch managed by Mr Clauson (William Sterci) goes smoothly, but as the deadline for foreclosure looms, the siblings take risks to reach their target. Their larcenous activities pique the interest of cantankerous Texas Ranger Marcus Hamilton (Jeff Bridges), who is poised to retire after years of dedicated service. "I don't know how you are going to survive without somebody to outsmart," quips Hamilton's half-Comanche partner Alberto Parker (Gil Birmingham), who suffers a barrage of playful jibes on account of his mixed heritage. The case gathers momentum and Hamilton and Parker edge closer to their prey.

Hell Or High Water is another triumph for Mackenzie, who expertly navigates the shifting relationships between men of shared blood and purpose. Pine is a revelation in a role that ignores his pretty boy good looks, while Foster burrows beneath the chapped skin of his hot-headed ex-con. Bridges delivers a masterclass in gruff cynicism and his verbal jousting with Birmingham is peppered with cracking one-liners ("Sometimes a blind pig finds a truffle!") Delicate shades of grey separating heroes and villains compel us to ignore our own moral compasses and root for hunters and the hunted. Crime pays only those willing to risk everything.

- Sam Cannon

Hell Or High Water. Copyright: StudioCanal. Caption: Chris Pine and Ben Foster star in Hell Or High Water, directed by David Mackenzie. Photo: Lorey Sebastian. All Rights Reserved.


London Cinemas

From Friday 17th March
To Thursday 23rd March

Not showing at any
London cinemas this week.
From Friday 24th March
To Thursday 30th March

Not showing at any
London cinemas this week.


« Back to Index

Rest of UK and Irish Cinemas

Listed in alphabetical order by city/place name followed by cinema name.

From Friday 17th March
To Thursday 23rd March

- Cockermouth, Kirkgate Centre
- Thame, The Players Theatre
From Friday 24th March
To Thursday 30th March

Not showing at any
UK cinemas this week.


« Back to Index