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Hell or High Water (2016)

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A divorced father and his ex-con older brother resort to a desperate scheme in order to save their family's ranch in West Texas.

Director:

David Mackenzie

Writer:

Taylor Sheridan
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Popularity
335 ( 255)
Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 46 wins & 162 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Dale Dickey ... Elsie
Ben Foster ... Tanner Howard
Chris Pine ... Toby Howard
William Sterchi ... Mr. Clauson
Buck Taylor ... Old Man
Kristin Berg ... Olney Teller
Jeff Bridges ... Marcus Hamilton
Gil Birmingham ... Alberto Parker
Jackamoe Buzzell ... Archer City Deputy
Katy Mixon ... Jenny Ann
Keith Meriweather ... Rancher
Amber Midthunder ... Vernon Teller
Joe Berryman ... Bank Manager
Howard Ferguson Jr. ... Vernon PD Officer
Debrianna Mansini ... Vernon Diner Waitress
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Storyline

In Texas, after the death of his mother, the unemployed oil and gas worker Toby Howard is losing his ranch to the Texas Midlands Bank. Toby is divorced from his wife who lives with their two sons. When his brother Tanner Howard is released from the prison, they team up to rob agencies of the Texas Midlands Bank to raise money to pay the loan so that Toby may leave the real estate to his sons. Meanwhile the Texas Ranger Marcus Hamilton who is near retirement and his Indian descendant partner Alberto Parker try to anticipate the next move of the thieves. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Justice isn't a crime. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some strong violence, language throughout and brief sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

26 August 2016 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Comancheria See more »

Filming Locations:

Clovis, New Mexico, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$12,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$621,329, 12 August 2016, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$26,862,450, 6 November 2016

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$26,749,794, 30 October 2016
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film is dedicated to David John Mackenzie (1929-2015) and Ursula Sybil Mackenzie (1940-2015), the parents of director David Mackenzie. Both died while he was making this film. See more »

Goofs

When Alberto and Marcus are in the hotel room, Marcus puts his beer into the six pack case. The other five bottles clearly have red caps on them. When the scene changes position, none of the bottles have caps on them. See more »

Quotes

Marcus Hamilton: I know their faces was covered, but could you tell their race? Black, white?
Elsie: Their skin or their souls?
See more »

Crazy Credits

Credit misspelled: There are credits for a "Technocrane Operator," a "Technorane Tech" and a "Technocrane". The second one is misspelled. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Xbox E3 2017 Briefing (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

I'm Not Afraid To Die
Written by Gillian Welch & David Rawlings
Performed by Gillian Welch
Courtesy of Acony Records
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A film worth seeking out.
21 August 2016 | by RendanlovellSee all my reviews

'Hell or High Water' is a bit of an odd duck. Mainly because it got a wide release. This is the only great film that has released in 2016 that got a wide release. I mean, there are only four or five films that I thought have been really great and all of them have either got basically no theater release or a limited viewing. I truly hope that this spurs more films like it though. More well crafted movies that actually have characters you can get invested in. There have been so many films this year that have completely failed due to poor character writing. Now, this film isn't perfect. So lets just get the negatives out of the way before we get into what makes this great.

There aren't many problems here. The only big issue for me lies in the films story. It's really not that good. Once you step back to examine it, it's actually pretty by the numbers. If you've seen any heist movie ever than you probably know where this film is going. It follows a very standard formula that rarely deviates from it's by the numbers approach.

But it wasn't until I took a step back that I noticed it. That's due to how well executed it is. It's one of those films that's so finely crafted that you don't really notice it's issues. That's what I loved about the film. It has such great characters that the familiar beats it hits actually feel genuine. Because you get to know these people and you feel like their choices matter to what's happening on screen.

Which came as a breath of fresh air in a time when films have become so predictable and convenient. Our three main characters are played by Jeff Bridges, Chris Pine, and Ben Foster. Who were all at their very best for this movie. Foster was the weakest of all but when acting across from Bridges, is hard to really stand out. Yet, that is exactly what Chris Pine does. I have never seen him give this kind of performance.

I'm glad to see him taking on nuanced roles that legitimately show his range. It felt almost like his performance in 'Z for Zachariah' but he's far more compelling to watch here. Which really adds to his character. He is the one that you have to feel for most. And his sad yet determined personality really pushed you through the film.

On the other end, Ben fosters character introduced the most conflict to the film. To avoid spoilers, I won't go into his character much but the film respected him enough to not make him the bad guy. It's so easy to make a character like that the films bad guy but he never becomes that person. It respects its characters enough to make them humans with problems instead of saying this guys the bad one and this guy is the good one.

And it's all shot and directed with the utter most care and effort. With nearly every shot you can feel the attention to detail and the work put into making this the way it is. It may not be Alejandro Inarritu levels of ingenuity but I loved seeing effort being put into making the film. It's very rare to see great directing and inventive cinematography in wide release films like this.

'Hell or High Water' is rare breed. It's a great film that got a wide release. There is a lot of love and care put into this and it shows. It's well shot, directed nicely, has a solid score, is brilliantly acted, and offers excellent characters. This is definitely worth going out and seeing. That being said, It falls just short of being amazing. The story is pretty by the numbers and it's ending doesn't really seem to know what it wants to do. However, it remains a great film and is definitely worth supporting in theaters.


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