It's all about justice. Texas justice. Brothers Toby (Chris Pine) and Tanner (Ben Foster) after years of separation, reunite to get back the money their deceased mother paid in a reverse mortgage agreement. If the bank is not repaid, it will take the family farm. So Toby and Tanner set out to rob the branches of the bank in question, get enough to then repay the bank (using the stolen money) and free the farm of debt for Toby's children who were bequeathed the property. The plan seems completely justifiable in the cowboys' minds. The problem is that on the verge of retiring Texas Ranger, Marcus (Jeff Bridges) and his partner Alberto (Gil Birmingham) see the robberies as breaking the law.
Hell or High Water is not a bad movie. It's just no reason to see it. It's mildly entertaining but so is a lot of what's on TV or on the internet. It very much resembles a 1950s Western – except for the language and more graphic violence.
But in the 50s, this type of film worked because there was so much less entertainment competition. Now watching your favorite videos on YouTube alone would be a better use of your time.
The story is not especially thrilling, switching back and forth between Toby and Chris reminiscing about their childhood or strategizing over the next bank heist.
You find Marcus and Alberto debating how to best catch the brothers and Marcus taking shots at Alberto's half Comanche/half Mexican ethnicity.
The film drags through much of time. Small town Texas isn't that interesting, at least as portrayed in this movie.
Hell or High Water gets a D for cast diversity. Texas is a place where more than half the population is black and Hispanic. Other than Gil Birmingham who is in real life a Comanche, there are few people of color in this film.
So come Hell or High Water, pass on this film. It gets a Dead on Arrival rating. Not because it's a bad movie, it's not worth seeing or renting.
Hell or High Water is rated R for strong violence, language, and brief sexuality. And is 102 minutes in length.