Hell or High Water is a modern western, as well as a nuanced morality tale.
Just when you thought the entire summer was lost to disappointing comedies and superhero movies, along comes Hell or High Water. It's a chase movie, modern western, and an astute character study of desperate people in Texas doing what they can to survive, even if that means robbing banks. It's also one of 2016's best movies - a taut and suspenseful tale filled with rich performances from top to bottom.
There are no black hats or white hats in this script. The bank-robbing brothers driving the story are relatable and sympathetic, and Chris Pine and Ben Foster portray them as complex antiheroes. Equally as nuanced are the Texas lawmen, played by Jeff Bridges and Gil Birmingham, talking smack with each other while hot on the brothers' trail. Taylor Sheridan's character-driven script and David Mackenzie's mindful direction bring a decimated America, still reeling from the 2008 banking crisis, to vivid life onscreen.