By guest columnist David Leninhawk.
Hell or High Water at times feels like a film from the 1970s. It has a simple story, but that story is told with a focus on interesting and well-drawn characters and with the smallest amount of formula necessary. It is dark in tone while being bright and hot in visuals. The acting is about as superb as can be. The violence is abundant, but not gratuitous.
This is a film too smart and well-made for the modern era of American moviemaking. If it weren’t for the constant visual references to the 2008 financial crisis (a plot involving mortgages and predatory loans, constant billboards advertising payday loans and foreclosure notices), one would be forgiven for not knowing this was a modern film.