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May 21, 2016

HELL OR HIGH WATER — CANNES 2016

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ColeSmithey.comCannes, France —David Mackenzie’s Hell or High Water, a politically motivated neo-Western torn from the pages of Sam Shepherd’s playbook, took off like a firecracker. 

The film made a splash in Cannes when it screened in this year’s festival's Un Certain Regard section. It could easily have played in the main competition for its precise storytelling and rich social subtext. 

Ben Foster and Chris Pine play a duo of Texas-born brothers who go on a well-planned bank-robbing spree across West Texas. Their motivation is rooted in getting back what Texas Midland Bank has stolen from them, and many other Texas citizens, namely rights to their land and property.

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The fact that oil has been discovered on their tract only makes the robbing that much sweeter. Jeff Bridges gives a predictably powerful performance as the small town sheriff trying to bring the outlaws to justice before his upcoming retirement.

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Chris Pine's Toby is the mastermind, and Foster's Tanner is the ex-con badass. But that's not to say that Toby can't bring immediate ultra-violence when the situation demands. They are brothers after all is said and done. This film's secret weapon is the groovy chemistry between these two fine actors. These guys make movie magic happen in every scene they have together, and they have many.

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“Hell or High Water” is a real gem. Look for this entertaining drama to attract a hearty following in the States, and beyond.

Rated R. 102 mins. 

5 Stars ColeSmithey.com

Cozy Cole

Cole Smithey on Patreon

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