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3.5
1,108 Ratings

Hell or High Water

Directed by David Mackenzie
United States, 2016
Crime

Synopsis

A divorced dad and his ex-con brother resort to a desperate scheme in order to save their family’s farm in West Texas.

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Hell or High Water Directed by David Mackenzie

Awards & Festivals

Academy Awards

2017 | 4 nominations including: Best Motion Picture of the Year

Independent Spirit Awards

2017 | Winner: Best Supporting Male

2017 | 2 nominations including: Best Screenplay

Village Voice Film Poll

2016 | Nominee: Best Supporting Actor

What are people saying?

  • Duncan Gray's rating of the film Hell or High Water

    Solid western noir. There's an admirable fluidity to the action sequences, and the ending is graceful even if it's exactly what you'd expect. But the highly telegraphed messages of crime, punishment, and inequality in Recession Era America can't quite sustain the illusion—that is, all of the above feel like movie play-acting. But if you're going to play-act, you can't do much better than Jeff Bridges.

  • HKFanatic's rating of the film Hell or High Water

    Brings to mind Andrew Dominik's "Killing Them Softly," another subtle-as-a-jackhammer film that wore its politics on its sleeve. But unlike that 2012 effort, "Hell or High Water" is exceptionally well-written and executed. It's on the shortlist of movies that serve as some kind of signpost as to why millions of Americans decided to walk into a voting booth and flip a roulette wheel by voting for Trump last November.

  • Matthew Martens's rating of the film Hell or High Water

    A high two, mostly because I'm tired of threes. The vastly, vividly empty landscapes, shot with loving longing unless I put those there myself, are what impressed me most about this film, which otherwise grates a bit in its eagerness to please everyone but its banker bogeymen, in opposition to whom it imagines a romantic alliance of all non-moneylending races that's cool with a little well-meant white condescension.

  • Filipe F. Coutinho's rating of the film Hell or High Water

    Hell or High Wate is a low-concept, straight-to-the-point, quietly explosive Texan extravaganza. Mackenzie grounds viewers in a lawless world, one plagued by poverty, debt and the imminence of death, and rewards them with rich character drama and excellent performances.

  • msmichel's rating of the film Hell or High Water

    A satisfying genre film that attempts to be something more before becoming awash in cliché and character tropes. Another failed American dream story that points the finger at the black hats of the banking system may be satisfying for the audience but the undertone of the human cost sours it. Chris Pine surprises here but the film belongs to Ben Foster and Gil Birmingham who make up for Jeff Bridges' sleepwalk.

  • J. O.'s rating of the film Hell or High Water

    A modernized Wild West complete with desperate anti-heroes, bank-robbing, Texas Rangers, and old-fashioned showdowns. Though the real strength of this film is its ability to be subtle, hinting at the story rather than blurting it out. It's taut, with an atmosphere so heavy and dry you can almost feel the dusty breeze on your skin. Impressive - but not as gripping as Mackenzie's previous film, Starred Up.

  • Jason's rating of the film Hell or High Water

    Some truly marvelous stuff here, hampered by tone of self-seriousness, high-minded Greek tragedy overtones, and a score I truly dislike by two guys I truly love. And I want a bank robber movie set in West Texas that begins w/ a Townes Van Zandt song! I saw this movie wearing cowboy boots and countercultural hairdo, for Christ's sake. And I want more of Ben Foster. All the time. Dripping serious method, that one.

  • Michel's rating of the film Hell or High Water

    What do you get when you throw in together an "I did it for my kids" bank robber, his dickhead black sheep of a brother, an old "isn't my racism cute and funny" veteran cop on the verge of retirement, and his trusted ethnic sidekick/partner? An incredibly banal movie, lacking in both tension and subtlety,un-remarkably directed, poorly paced and blandly acted.