The Highwaymen

The Highwaymen

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As movies based on real-life events go, The Highwaymen is up there as one of the best. It's 1934 and Agents Hamer and Gault must track down the elusive Bonnie & Clyde and stop their murderous crime spree. A really solid movie that is both interesting and entertaining in equal measure.

The Highwaymen is a really engaging crime movie starring Kevin Costner and Woody Harrelson. They play the roles of real-life Texas Rangers Frank Hamer and Maney Gault who tracked down Bonnie and Clyde. The point at which we are introduced to the characters, Bonnie and Clyde have been on a crime spree for two years.

The Governor of Texas, “Ma” Ferguson (played by Katy Bates) has already disbanded the Texas Rangers. But following the latest spree of violence, she is persuaded to reinstate the two agents. With the FBI getting nowhere, it's left to Frank and Maney to employ old-school thinking and tactics to track down the criminals.

On every level, The Highwaymen is a great film. Costner and Harrelson are great together and really work as two guys who have been sidelined for a long time. And interestingly, though we do get glimpses of Bonnie & Clyde, this movie isn't about them. It's about the dogged determination of two previously out-to-pasture detectives and their dedication to stopping the murder spree.

They are scoffed by younger FBI agents. Clearly have no working knowledge of the mod-cons being used to track the duo. And they are definitely not fit enough to be chasing down suspects. But they are smart and sharp and their knowledge of criminal behaviour is almost unparalleled.

1934 America was a difficult time. Poverty was rife and there was mass unemployment. Bonnie and Clyde were hailed as heroes by the public. They were adored. So tracking them down was never going to be easy. The Highwaymen could have been an all dancing, all singing interpretation of events but it sticks very closely to the truth of what happened. There is even film footage played alongside real-life footage of events from 1934 showing how closely the movie mirrors reality.

If you're looking for a solid crime drama with a terrific cast and impeccable story-telling, check out The Highwaymen on Netflix.


  • Costner and Harrelson
  • Excellent story-telling
  • Very close to the real life story


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