I really wanted to like Hell or High Water more than I actually did. It has a phenomenal cast, amazing cinematography, and immerses you in the film. Some viewers will be bored by the slow-burn pacing of the film, though. When this movie hits, it hits hard. When it drags, though, it really drags.
Following two brothers, Toby (Chris Pine) and Tanner (Ben Foster), who rob businesses to save their family ranch, and the cops (Jeff Bridges and Gil Birmingham) on their trail, this film has a gritty, dark undercurrent of emotion roiling beneath the surface. The performances are incredible, in particular Chris Pine.
The pacing is where the movie falters for me. There were stretches where I lost interest, and then there were moments where I couldn’t tear my eyes off the screen. There are visceral, tough to watch moments that make this film worth seeing, but some people will definitely be turned off just by the slow burn.
The cinematography is stunning. It really feels like you’re in Texas with the brothers, riding along with them in beat up cars and feeling the sun bake your skin. I loved the color palette of Hell or High Water, and the location was perfect.
The story has some original aspects, but you can definitely feel the influence of other films in the DNA of this movie. Overall, it’s a worthwhile watch if you like story-driven character studies and/or revenge films.
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