Wait till Netflix to see Hell or High Water

What would you do to give the people you love better lives? In the movie Hell or High Water, one-half of a cowboy duo commits himself to a life of crime in a last ditch effort to help his son. While this movie is extremely well-written and acted, it doesn’t have that extra special something that will give it an edge over the other Oscar Best Picture candidates.

This movie’s strengths lie in the script that effectively blurs the line between right and wrong and manipulates the viewer into feeling sorry for the criminals.

Brothers Tanner Howard (Ben Foster) and Toby Howard (Chris Pine), go on a week-long joyride robbing small banks across the state of Texas while Marcus Hamilton (Jeff Bridges), a police officer nearing retirement, tries to hunt them down by predicting their next move.

Toby convinces Tanner to assist him in robbing banks because this is the only way he can think of to pay off his debt, due to the 2008 recession, and give his sons a better future.

“I’ve been poor my whole life, like a disease passing from generation to generation. But not my boys, not anymore,” said Toby.

It also forces the viewer to ponder uncomfortable questions such as: How do I handle loss? Do I put others above myself? How should my career and family life be separate?

As you watch them cruise down the highway, you’ll be guessing if the Howard brothers get caught and you won’t see the plot twist at the end coming.

The realistic setting makes the story even easier to believe. It should be realistic considering that it was set in Texas and it’s even more impressive because the director of the film, David Mackenzie, is Scottish.

The country music that occasionally plays in the background is just enough to set the tone for the movie without being annoying and helped the movie bridge the genres of American Western and bank-robbing crime-drama to create something unique.

“I wasn’t trying to be an outsider. I wanted to embrace and respect the world we were trying to represent,” said Mackenzie in an interview at the Cannes Film Festival.

If you’re still hesitant about watching this movie and think it’s just a remake of Bonnie and Clyde, consider that only one half of the bank robbing duo is certifiably insane. The story doesn’t focus on Tanner and its depth lies in Toby and Marcus’ story.

Even though I don’t think it should win the best picture award, it’s worth a watch but wait for Netflix.