2016 #2 – Hell or High Water (dir. David Mackenzie)

“Little brother, let’s go get that money.” – Ben Foster as Tanner Howard in Hell or High Water.

Hell or High Water (2016)
Director:
David Mackenzie
Starring: jeffbridgeschrispinebenfoster.pnggilbirmingham
Jeff Bridges, Chris Pine, Ben Foster, Gil Birmingham
Written By: Taylor Sheridan
Running Time: 102 minutes (1 hour, 42 minutes)
Genre(s): Crime, Drama, Western

Hell or High Water tells the story of two brothers, Toby (Chris Pine) and Tanner (Ben Foster) Howard who go on a bank robbing spree in order to provide a better life for Toby’s two sons.

It just needs to be said that this film does so many things right. In many ways, writer Taylor Sheridan is the MVP of the cast. The script is aces and helps take this film way the beyond generic thriller/crime heist territory that this movie could have easily wandered into.

Throughout Hell or High Water, there are two pairs at odds against one another – Chris Pine and Ben Foster & Jeff Bridges and Gil Birmingham. Both pairs play off against one another to perfection, carrying the film all the way to its powerful conclusion.

Enough can’t be said about the acting. Chris Pine proves to be a very capable actor, Jeff Bridges delivers what can only be described as career-best work towards the end of the film, Ben Foster is absolute dynamite in what is the most memorable role of the entire cast and he takes full control of his character and Gil Birmingham is gives a true breakout performance. Special shout-out to the cameos from Dale Dickey, Katy Mixon and Margaret Bowman as well. All perfectly cast for their small, but memorable, roles.

Told through a stylish, minimalist approach, Mackenzie provides an ample amount of direction that helps bring the cinematography, editing, score, performances and script all together seamlessly. Hell or High Water is a tight and concise film that is well worth a watch. 4.5/5.


2016 Personal Ballot (updates are in bold)

Best Picture
1.
Hell or High Water
2.
Loving
3.
4.
5.

Best Director
1. David Mackenzie – Hell or High Water
2.
Jeff Nichols – Loving
3.
4.
5.

Best Actor in a Leading Role
1. Joel Edgerton – Loving
2. Chris Pine – Hell or High Water
3.
4.
5.

Best Actress in a Leading Role
1. Ruth Negga – Loving
2.
3.
4.
5.

Best Actor in a Supporting Role
1. Ben Foster – Hell or High Water
2. Jeff Bridges – Hell or High Water
3.
4.
5.

Best Actress in a Supporting Role
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.

Best Original Screenplay
1. Hell or High Water – Taylor Sheridan
2.
3.
4.
5.

Best Adapted Screenplay
1. Loving – Jeff Nichols
2.
3.
4.
5.

Best Film Ensemble
1. Hell or High Water – Jeff Bridges, Chris Pine, Ben Foster, Gil Birmingham, Marin Ireland, Katy Mixon, Dale Dickey, Kevin Rankin, Katy Mixon, Margaret Bowman
2.
3.
4.
5.

Best Original Score
1. Loving – David Wingo
2. Hell or High Water – Nick Cave, Warren Ellis
3.
4.
5.

Best Production Design
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.

Best Cinematography
1. Hell or High Water – Giles Nuttgens
2.
3.
4.
5.

Best Makeup and Hairstyling
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.

Best Costume Design
1. Loving – Erin Benach
2.
3.
4.
5.

Best Film Editing
1. Hell or High Water – Jake Roberts
2.
3.
4.
5.

Best Visual Effects
1. Hell or High Water – Jeremy Cox, Scott Hastings, Daniel Holt, Michael Prawitz
2.
3.
4.
5.


2016 Ranked (updates are in bold)
1. Hell or High Water (dir. David Mackenzie)
2.
Loving (dir. Jeff Nichols)

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