In David Mackenzie’s crime thriller Hell or High Water, two brothers in modern-day west Texas set off on a spree of low-skilled bank robberies, hitting little branch banks in small towns and bypassing the safes to scoop up whatever cash the tellers have on hand. Tanner Howard (Ben Foster), a loose cannon just released from prison, has thrown in with his more responsible younger brother, Toby (Chris Pine), to steal $43,000 so they can pay off a lien on their late mother’s ranch. There’s something anachronistic about all this—as one robbery witness notes, we’re long past “the days of robbing banks and living to spend the money.” Hell or High Water feels like something from the depths of the Great Depression, when farm and ranch foreclosures swept over the plains states and popular wrath against the banking industry in Texas and Oklahoma protected such desperadoes as Machine Gun Kelly, Pretty Boy Floyd, and Bonnie and Clyde. Continue reading >>