Hell or High Water

So what can a pair of poverty-stricken brothers do when they learn that the reverse mortgage their mother signed with a predatory lender, threatens their ownership of the family ranch now that she has died?

Oh, I know. Rob banks! (This is not a spoiler if you've seen the previews.)

Director David Mackenzie ("Perfect Sense"), working with writer Taylor Sheridan ("Sicario") takes us to Texas (but shot in New Mexico) for a well-thought-out (and justifiable) solution that ranges from scenes "jest settin' on the porch chewin' the fat," to a tension-filled shoot-em-up, complete with car chases, a bit of blowie uppie stuff, and some sex.

The award-winning cast:
  • Chris Pine ("Star Trek" and "Into the Woods") Toby is a divorced father of two. He has limited skills but unlimited ambitions where his boys are concerned. He has a plan... Pine has matured as an actor and is brave enough to try unusual roles; this one is neither a comedy nor a musical. I think Pine is in it for the long haul.
  • Ben Foster ("The Finest Hours") Tanner just got out of the penitentiary, but he LOVES Toby's plan! He wants his brother to stay out of trouble, but not enough to be careful. Foster seems typecast as a loose cannon. That's too bad because I'm sure he can do other sorts of characters.
  • Jeff Bridges ("Seventh Son") Texas Ranger Marcus Hamilton has amazing intuition when it comes to criminal behavior. He's been doing this job for so long he can think like a crook. I've been a fan of this actor for a long time, but in his last five or six movies, he mumbles like he has a chaw of tobacco tucked between his gum and his lip. Is it poor dental work or just carelessness? C'mon Jeff....
  • Gil Birmingham ("House of Cards") Alberto shows extraordinary patience with the constant teasing he gets from his partner, but he says he'll be lonely when Marcus retires.
  • Margaret Bowman ("No Country for Old Men") This crabby waitress at the T-Bone Cafe will stay with you long after the rest of the movie fades from memory. She steals the film from an otherwise stellar cast! "So what don't cha wont?"
This has a well-earned R rating but the dreary setup is leavened by memorable comic scenes and a couple of terrific monologues. It's not the sort of movie I personally would recommend, but I can think of many reasons why you might like it.
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Here is a trailer:
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