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Snoogans's Movie Reviews (3276)

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Hell or High Water 
Riveting, Moralistic, and Fun!
4/4 stars

'Hell or High Water' is far above your typical "cops and robbers" flick. This masterwork of character humanizes our pro and antagonists to the point where neither are really hero nor villain. Both sides of the struggle are shown in equal measure, giving us insight into the criminals' and investigators' perspectives. The reasonings behind the robberies are substantial. They manifest an underlying topical message about the over controlling greedy nature of corporate banking. This naturally woven subtext is all in service to story and can be embraced as much as the viewer pleases. The main focus here is character. These four main players are absolutely terrific in their respected roles. We feel the same amount of sympathy and determination for each pair of opposing forces. The two criminal brothers actions are never glorified. Their intricate planning is upended by the unpredictability of real-life, making the proceedings messy and complicated. Realistic violence gives an edge of danger to the events. There's a harsh outcome to most of the choices made by everyone at play. However, despite the realistic lean, there is a hefty amount of situational/dialogue driven comedy perfectly melded with the action and drama. It all comes naturally out of the situations given to these characters. This upbeat blend of elements levels off the harsh tone just a bit to create an experience that is fun and riveting, while at the same time bleak, moralistic, and thoughtful. It all comes down to a satifying resolution that ends on a note of continued tensity. The more I thought about this film, the more I realized I couldn't find any faults with it and wanted to see it again. Didn't hit me till a week later, but 'Hell or High Water' is one of the best films of the year!


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