Hell or High Waters
This was a solid and very good movie and I am happy (well probably not the best choice of words) to have seen it but during the film, I kept waiting for that big shocker, the great twist, the big unravel of something we totally did not see coming. And maybe that is an intentional way of storytelling which Taylor Sheridan chose for his script - and truthfully said, this linear and subtle pace does fit the movie. But for me, the film was nothing which I will remember for years to come (I think) but a movie which I saw, liked and lived on happily ever after without looking back too much.
Acting
Directing
Cinematography
Script
Timeless
The Good
  • Jeff Bridges is just so hick and cool
  • Movie greatly hits the current Zeitgeist of today's Americana
  • Amazing cinematography of the vast lands of Texas
The Bad
  • Movie was a little too "linear" for me
  • Chris Pine's performance could have been a little more authentic
4.1Overall Score
Reader Rating: (0 Votes)

Checked off another one – and maybe I should stop checking the RT score too much before watching the movie – aside from a certain level of quality control, it sets expectations. With a whopping 98% and the subsequent four Oscar nominations (including best movie), I was expecting nothing short of new age masterpiece. And to be fair, it most certainly was an extremely good movie and hit the Zeitgeist of today’s America oh too well but in the end, I walked away thinking: This was pretty darn good, it was a really good drama with some great acting but was it 98% and was it really a masterpiece – not so sure!”

Courtesy of http://fandango.com

Courtesy of http://fandango.com

So what were the likes and the dislikes – on the plus side, we have the cast, a solid script and some very confident filmmaking but most of all, we have atmosphere and the mentioned Zeitgeist. This is a movie about two bank robbers who are doing this for a “greater good” but have been screwed by life so badly already that they are left with no other choice but the outlaw option of bank robbery to achieve their goal. And whereas, we normally watch movies taking place in the big beautiful metropolitan areas of the US and/or the world, this movie chooses rural Texas and Oklahoma as their focal locations. And I felt the movie did an awesome job in capturing the Texas flair – big cars, cowboy hats, lots of guns and small town Americana. It also conveyed an interesting message to the gun nut fraction (if they were watching) – private citizens owning firearms does not necessarily make us safer because it can (and it did in this film) significantly backfire if you are faced with a ruthless enemy who is ready to kill and who may have an even bigger gun. Sticking to the whole Zeitgeist aspect, it is interesting that such a movie hits the road just as we are entering the darker ages of the upcoming Trump presidency – this movie clearly is a portrait of those “forgotten ones” and which measures they end up having to resort to, to make ends meet. In addition to the dark, bleak and Texan atmosphere of the film, I enjoyed first and foremost Jeff Bridges’ grumpy yet determinded performance as a Texas Ranger who seems like a hick at first glance but is really good at what he does – and cracks lots of Indian jokes. On the other side, I was a big fan of Ben Foster’s performance as the gung-ho bank robber whose strong suit was not to think but to execute (sometimes in the most literal way). Chris Pine’s performance was good – but for some reason, I felt that he is just a bit too pretty for this role and his ruggedness thus seemed a little unauthentic.

So this all sounds quite positive when you read it and as said in the beginning, this was a solid and very good movie and I am happy (well probably not the best choice of words) to have seen it but during the film, I kept waiting for that big shocker, the great twist, the big unravel of something we totally did not see coming. And maybe that is an intentional way of storytelling which Taylor Sheridan chose for his script – and truthfully said, this linear and subtle pace does fit the movie. But for me, the film was nothing which I will remember for years to come (I think) but a movie which I saw, liked and lived on happily ever after without looking back too much.

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