Hell or High Water

Critics Consensus

Hell or High Water offers a solidly crafted, well-acted Western heist thriller that eschews mindless gunplay in favor of confident pacing and full-bodied characters.



Total Count: 272


Audience Score

User Ratings: 39,634
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Movie Info

Texas brothers--Toby (Chris Pine), and Tanner (Ben Foster), come together after years divided to rob branches of the bank threatening to foreclose on their family land. For them, the hold-ups are just part of a last-ditch scheme to take back a future that seemed to have been stolen from under them. Justice seems to be theirs, until they find themselves on the radar of Texas Ranger, Marcus (Jeff Bridges) looking for one last grand pursuit on the eve of his retirement, and his half-Comanche partner, Alberto (Gil Birmingham). As the brothers plot a final bank heist to complete their scheme, and with the Rangers on their heels, a showdown looms at the crossroads where the values of the Old and New West murderously collide.

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Ben Foster
as Tanner
Gil Birmingham
as Alberto Parker
Katy Mixon
as Jenny Ann
William Sterchi
as Mr. Clauson
Buck Taylor
as Old Man
Kristin Berg
as Olney Teller
Jackamoe Buzzell
as Archer City Deputy
Amber Midthunder
as Vernon Teller
Joe Berryman
as Bank Manager
Debrianna Mansini
as Vernon Diner Waitress
Nathaniel Augustson
as Gas Station Thug #1
Arielle Holmes
as Gas Station Thug #2
Marie A.K. McMaster
as Casino Window Teller
Kim Gleason
as Casino Window teller #2
Kevin Rankin
as Billy Rayburn
Margaret Bowman
as T-Bone Waitress
Marin Ireland
as Debbie Howard
JP Howard
as Justin Howard
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Critic Reviews for Hell or High Water

All Critics (272) | Top Critics (51) | Fresh (264) | Rotten (8)

  • Just as it taps into a dying corner of American society, Hell or High Water resurrects the power of western mayhem done right.

    Dec 31, 2016 | Rating: B+ | Full Review…

    Eric Kohn

    Top Critic
  • This neo-Western works splendidly as a self-contained tale of loyalty, loss and redemption, with polished turns from a smoldering Chris Pine and spunky Ben Foster.

    Dec 14, 2016 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • Hell or High Water is a contemporary western with pick-up trucks instead of horses. But some things never change.

    Oct 28, 2016 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • There's not a moment out of place, not a shot that stays too long. If [David McKenzie] makes a better film in his career, he'll be lucky.

    Oct 28, 2016 | Rating: 4.5/5 | Full Review…
  • A smartly crafted heist thriller that quietly peels back the layers from its macho male characters to reveal the pain and tenderness inside.

    Sep 9, 2016 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

    Kate Muir

    Times (UK)
    Top Critic
  • As with Starred Up, Mackenzie's family-centric prison drama, Hell or High Water is full of grim nooks and crannies.

    Sep 9, 2016 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Hell or High Water

  • Feb 03, 2018
    Fantastic neo-western with stellar acting performances, especially by Jeff Bridges. Each of his scenes is an absolute delight, from the hilarious humorous parts to the darker second half. The plot, dialogs and cinematography complete the engaging near-perfect picture of bank robbing and law-enforcement in Texas. Probably the most Texan film ever, I imagine.
    Jens S Super Reviewer
  • Aug 29, 2017
    A original crime thriller with a western edge to it. Pine and Foster give nuanced performances as two brother bank robbers. And the film features great supporting actors throughout. But, the film belongs to Jeff Bridges who proves again he is one of our greatest living actors. A great screenplay which does not create a conventional plot but an effective one. Also, well directed. A must see! 08-27-2017
    Christopher O Super Reviewer
  • Apr 06, 2017
    Writer Taylor Sheridan pens another impressive story in Hell Or High Water. Led by solid performances by Jeff Bridges, Chris Pine & Ben Foster, the film is an intimate and striking tale that can hit home easily and keep the audience engaged. 4/5
    Eugene B Super Reviewer
  • Mar 29, 2017
    This is definitely right up there with some of the best films of the year. It isn't in the same league as something like Love, Manchester by the Sea or Moonlight but as an entertaining neo western thriller, this film had me glued to the screen. This film is visually stunning and the relentless storytelling never lets up, the ending is offbeat and gripping. Bridges steals the show as always but Pine and Foster have a connection that maintains the film away from the confronting action.
    Brendan N Super Reviewer

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