Cinema Clips: Hell or High Water

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Jeff Bridges, Chris Pine and Ben Foster all destroy their parts in this absolutely terrific modern western from director David Mackenzie.

Pine and Foster play two brothers who come up with a bank-robbing scheme to save the family farm, and Bridges is the soon-to-be-retired sheriff trying to stop them. Pine takes his career into all new territories with his work here, making you forget he’s Captain Kirk and totally disappearing into his part. Foster, an actor I couldn’t stand when he was younger, just gets better and better with each film, with this being his best work yet. Pine’s brother is supposedly the more sensible one, while Foster’s is the nut. What’s great about the writing here is how those roles sometime switch, and the acting by both makes it mesmerizing to watch.

What else can you say about Bridges at this point? He’s one of the best actors to have ever walked the Earth, and this further cements that fact. Mackenzie, whose most notorious prior film was the underrated Starred Up, takes a step into the elite class with this one. His staging of car chases and manhunts is nerve shredding. It’s simply a movie without a bad frame in in it.

It’s a masterpiece, one of only a few to be released so far this year.

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