Reviews for Hell or High Water (2016), a “neo-Western” starring Chris Pine and Ben Foster, are emerging as very positive. Neo-Western is a form of the genre in which a film set in the contemporary West echoes behaviors and ideas typically associated with Westerns taking place in the Old West (1865-1890) era.

Actors Ben Foster & Chris Pine / Image –

Set in the West Texas of today, brothers Toby Howard (Pine) and Tanner (Foster) face losing the family ranch left to them by their mother. Toby, a divorced father, and Tanner, an ex-con, have always been poor and with mortgage payments and back taxes owing, the local bank will take their land in two weeks….unless they do something about it.  

That something will be robbing the very bank that is set to steal their land. With the recent discovery of oil on their property, if the brothers can stave off foreclosure, the oil rights can at least secure a future for Toby’s sons. However, two skilled Texas Rangers, played by Jeff Bridges and Gil Birmingham, take up the brothers’ trail. Ranger Hamilton (Bridges), set to retire, says that he may have “one hunt left” in him. Alberto Parker, partner to Hamilton and of Comanche and Mexican heritage, reflects that the land that was taken from his ancestors is now being taken again by the banking system. Here is one trailer for this complex and timely film:

Hell or High Water was released on August 11th and is directed by David Mackenzie. Among the favorable reviews for the film, The Guardian called it a “sharp Western for the Occupy generation”.

(Copyright – Chad Beharriell)

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