The film’s story is deceivingly simple but delivers an emotional punch. Taylor Sheridan -who penned last year’s Sicario- does not disappoint with this follow-up. His characters are deeply layered and act out unexpectedly. The narrative is a memorable one that is compelling all the way to the end and then some. It’s powerful finale will stick with you long after the credits. Much of the movie’s success can be attributed to the writing and several standout performances. The sharp dialogue is riveting and the three leads are nothing short of extraordinary. The frayed relationship between Toby and Tanner is the film’s driving force while Marcus is our moral compass. It is a testament to the pacing that transitions flow smoothly and never kill the momentum. The particular choice of music adds to the rising tension. The movie’s score is fitting as it underscores the brutality that transpires.
My only gripe with the movie is that some of the interchange is on the nose. It’s this lack of subtlety that instantly foretold the fate of certain characters in my eyes. It’s a minor complaint but one that lessens the poignancy of the film’s more salient moments. Despite this, there are still plenty of twists and turns that take the story to interesting places. I was also pleasantly surprised by the amount of genuine humor in this formidable tale. These comedic moments act as a nice reprieve and give the story some room to breathe in the midst of the violence.
Hell or High Water is definitely worth your time so catch it while it’s still in theaters. I like to think of it as a story of economic misfortune masquerading as a heist film. The actors commit themselves to these characters who are desperately clinging on to their way of life. With a runtime under two hours, the movie never seems to fly by as it builds to its explosive but moving resolution.