Hell or High Water is a thrillingly good movie — a crackerjack drama of crime, fear, and brotherly love set in a sun-roasted, deceptively sleepy West Texas that feels completely exotic for being so authentic.
Grounded in lively performances by Chris Pine and Ben Foster as a pair of bank-robbing brothers, with a capable assist from a no-nonsense Jeff Bridges as the sheriff on their tail, Hell or High Water tries nothing new but delivers a fun ride.
Despite treading some familiar territory, British director David Mackenzie's new film Hell or High Water proves itself a brilliantly executed, sharply written genre gem.
It’s an action-thriller with punch; Bridges gives the characterisation ballast and heft and Pine and Foster bring a new, grizzled maturity to their performances.
It has a straight-down-the-highway momentum, interesting stakes, and more textured character work than you can shake a stick at.
The Hollywood Reporter
As much as all four men are familiar types, the director, writer and actors imbue them with humanity, steering their arcs through tense action — including a nice throwback Western shootout on rocky terrain — to a quietly moving conclusion.
The film’s ace card is its intertwining of not one but two mismatched buddy relationships.
The Film Stage
David McKenzie’s Hell or High Water is a gritty, darkly humorous, and fiendishly violent neo-western.
Hell or High Water might walk over familiar ground with second-hand boots in terms of character development and structural beats, but it does so with great personality and zero pretension of wanting to be anything more.
As with Sicario, the broad strokes of the film's Southwestern stereotypes gradually sharpen into focus as the story pivots to a look at the systemic forces that shape the characters.