Hell or High Water is a critically acclaimed crime drama film released in 2016. Directed by David Mackenzie and written by Taylor Sheridan, the film explores themes of family, desperation, and the consequences of the financial crisis in rural Texas.
Widely praised by critics and audiences alike, Hell or High Water earned four Academy Award nominations for Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor (Jeff Bridges), Best Original Screenplay, and Best Film Editing.
It also received several other accolades, including nominations for the Golden Globe Awards and the British Academy Film Awards.
So what is it all about and is it worth watching?
What Is Hell or High Water About?
The story revolves around two brothers, Toby Howard (Chris Pine) and Tanner Howard (Ben Foster), who resort to a series of bank robberies in West Texas in order to save their family ranch from foreclosure.
Toby is a divorced father struggling to provide for his children, while Tanner is an ex-convict with a reckless and impulsive nature.
Texas Ranger Marcus Hamilton (Jeff Bridges) and his partner, Alberto Parker (Gil Birmingham), are assigned to investigate the bank robberies. Marcus is nearing retirement and takes a personal interest in the case, determined to catch the criminals before he steps down.
As the brothers continue their spree, they meticulously select small-town branches of the same bank to target. They launder the stolen money through a casino, aiming to pay off the mortgage on their ranch using their ill-gotten gains.
The brothers' actions attract the attention of law enforcement and the media, turning them into folk heroes among the struggling locals.
So can Toby and Tanner evade the law and save the family's farm? Watch Hell or High Water to find out!
Hell or High Water Official Trailer
Is Hell or High Water Worth Watching?
Hell or High Water is an excellent addition to the Western genre. It highlights the economic hardships faced by many working-class Americans in the aftermath of the financial crisis.
Toby and Tanner's desperate acts reflect the frustration and anger felt by individuals who just want a better life but feel abandoned by the system.
The central full-bodied characters are driven by their love for their families. Toby's motivation to rob banks stems from his desire to secure a future for his children, while Tanner's loyalty to his brother leads him down a destructive path.
This solidly crafted film explores the blurred lines between right and wrong. It raises questions about the financial system's fairness and its consequences on ordinary people.
Considered one of the best films of 2016, Hell or High Water offers a blend of intense action, crime thriller elements, and powerful drama, all set against the backdrop of the Texas landscape.
It effectively explores economic struggle, family bonds, and moral ambiguity, providing audiences with a captivating and thought-provoking experience.
Hell or High Water is a well-crafted drama with confident pacing. With strong performances, and themes that delve into the human condition, it is definitely a film you should consider watching.
Cast Of The Movie
Chris Pine (All The Old Knives) as Toby Howard, one of the brothers at the centre of the story. He is a divorced father who resorts to bank robberies in order to save his family ranch from foreclosure.
Ben Foster as Tanner Howard, Toby's reckless and impulsive older brother. With a short temper, he is an ex-convict and acts as the muscle during their bank robberies.
Jeff Bridges (The Old Man) as Marcus Hamilton, a Texas Ranger who is nearing retirement. He takes a personal interest in the bank robbery case and is determined to catch the criminals.
Gil Birmingham (Under the Banner of Heaven) as Alberto Parker, Marcus' partner. He provides a comedic counterpoint to Marcus' gruff demeanour and brings cultural insight to their investigations.
Is Hell or High Water Based On A True Story?
No, the film is not based on a true story. It is a work of fiction written by Taylor Sheridan.
Sheridan has also penned the hit shows 1883, 1923, Yellowstone, Mayor of Kingstown and Tulsa King.
What Does ‘Hell or High Water' Mean?
The title Hell or High Water is an idiomatic expression. It signifies an unwavering determination to achieve a goal, no matter the obstacles faced.
It reflects the determination of the characters in the film to do whatever it takes to save their family and overcome their circumstances.
Did Hell or High Water Win Any Awards?
Yes, the movie received critical acclaim and was nominated for several awards. It received four Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor (Jeff Bridges), Best Original Screenplay, and Best Film Editing.
The film also received nominations for the Golden Globe Awards and the British Academy Film Awards, among others.
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