“God, I love West Texas.”

Hell or High Water – ☆☆

Director: David Mackenzie

Writer: Taylor Sheridan

Starring: Chris Pine, Ben Foster, Jeff Bridges

Nominated for 4 Academy Awards

Summary: Two brothers in West Texas carry out elaborate heists to save their family ranch.

To even begin to describe watching this film would task me with the effort of trying to relive that experience. Truthfully, Hell or High Water was never my kind of film, however walking into this I decided to go with an open mind and see what it was all about. What a mistake.

I can’t even begin to explain how the story line of this film failed to even leave an impression on me, much like 2016’s Spotlight, I felt as if it was uneventful and just dry of an enriching plot. Perhaps the few better sides of this film was regarding areas far away from the actual plot and characters, and rather the general aesthetic instead. From the start it gives off this vibe of a good old western cowboy film, but maybe that’s because it’s set in Texas, however it’s more of a play of the cowboy film as its brought into the modern day, and the colour in this film helps with that aesthetic too, keeping it consistent with its yellowy/orange/brown hues that gives it an old-timey feel, as well as it’s rather impressive score, which is probably the highlight of this film.

If I focused on how aesthetically pleasing the film was the entire time I watched it, it helped me forget just how unlikeable every character truly was, specifically Ben Foster’s. In this male dominated film, hardly any character shown to me was something memorable, and yes, not even Chris Pine’s devilishly rugged appearance could save this film.

Mirroring Manchester by the Sea’s post-film feeling, I felt as though I hardly watched anything at all during this hour and a half. What did I just see? I can’t even recall the story line. It was that uninteresting to follow. We could have been spared of the long drawn out scenes of the rangers, and maybe then more focus could have been placed on how to make the rest of the film more interesting. If I was made to choose what scenes could have been the highlight, it probably was the scenes featuring heists, which were the only form of movement for this film.

Perhaps it is due to personal preference of films, but Hell or High Water unfortunately is not making the high ranks for me, it’s the Spotlight of 2017, and Spotlight won best picture last year, so heavens help us all.


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