Hell or High Water

On Saturday my husband and I decided to go to the movies. We settled on “Hell or High Water.

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The biggest reason we picked this movie is because of all of the buzz saying that it was the best role of Chris Pine’s career.

The film is very good. It is the story of two men (Chris Pine and Ben Foster) in West Texas who rob a string of banks to try to pay off the reverse mortgage and back taxes their late mother accumulated in order to survive.

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Along the way they get a veteran cop (Jeff Bridges) who is on the verge of retirement on their tails.

The film has elements we’ve seen before, such as the copy nearing retirement, two brothers who are quite different despite their blood relations and bank robberies that don’t always go the way the robbers planned.

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However, there are some added elements to the film that don’t make it a hundred percent by the book. It is very timely in how it explores the idea that banks are the new villains in American society. There is a great line from Toby (Chris Pine) when he says that being poor is like a disease, one that is passed from generation from generation. I thought this line was very profound because despite race, gender or geographic location it seems over the course of hundreds and thousands of years of human history the number one thing that will decide the course of your life is the social class into which you are born. I also liked a moment when the partner of Jeff Bridges’ character, who is Native American, laments on how the land was taken from his ancestors and how it is now being taken from the white people from the banks, it seems that the robbers names may have changed but the fact that people are being swindled out of what is theirs has not. Not to mention the silent commentary on Texas and it’s very liberal gun laws.

The casting of the film was perfect. Jeff Bridges is very effective in his role.

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His character isn’t likable and constantly flirts with crossing over into a full racist territory but there isn’t a false not in Bridge’s performance. I really thought that Gil Birmingham was excellent as Bridges’ partner Alberto. There were a few moments when Chris Pine seemed a little too pretty to be playing the role he plays but in terms of the emotion he gives there is no doubt that this is possibly the best performance he’s ever given. Ben Foster is also fantastic in his role. I could see Bridges, Foster, and possibly Pine, in the conversation for Oscar nominations in a few months.

“Hell or High Water” has been doing good business in limited release. If it is playing near you and you like a movie that has a brain I highly recommend checking it out.

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Here is a description:

Justin Gomez and his sister, Terri, have never been close. Separated by nine years and distant in adulthood, Justin and Terri have little in common, except for the love of her three children. In the days before they embark on a road trip to visit the father that once abandoned them and their now deceased mother, both Terri and Justin are dealing with unexpected changes in their lives. Justin surprisingly realizes he might want more than a series of one night stands after a first date goes unexpectedly well. After a lifetime of being a strong type A personality, Terri is forced to confront the reality of the end of her marriage. As they hit the road, with Terri’s children in tow, they find themselves forced to rely on and confide in each other following a devastating event. Confronted with memories from the past and challenges from the present, Terri and Justin must dig deep and unearth the truth about themselves and their parents in order to build a new family based on their love for each other.

 

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