Ben Foster and Chris Pine in ĎHell or High Water.í

British director David Mackenzie knows how to deliver a rip-roaring crime thriller, and he †has an ear for West Texas idioms, too.

The movie stars Chris Pine as Toby, a divorced father of two boys, who has taken care of his mother before she died. Heís a good guy, but the ranch and home had to be mortgaged to cover her care, and the ďkindlyĒ bank has set a deadline to pay off the debt. But hereís the catch: Oil companies have discovered oil on the ranch, and Toby wants to make sure he can pass the land along to his kids in a trust so that theyíll escape the familyís cycle of poverty.

Enter brother Tanner (Ben Foster), who has just gotten out of prison and is ready to help. They decide to rob various branches of the bank that holds the mortgage, then give the money back to the bank by paying off the debt.

Itís sort of like Bonnie and Clyde, but itís a brother act. And wow, is Tanner the brother. Heís a wild man, and heís way too eager to use a gun. Toby, meanwhile, tries to keep him in check, with little success.

Naturally, the Law has to make an entrance, as the bank robberies multiply. And thatís where Texas Ranger Marcus (Jeff Bridges) comes in. Heís old and wily and near retirement, and the spree of robberies gives him a chance to have a last bit of fun.

All three actors are fantastic, but Foster and Bridges have the showiest roles. Even then, they donít own the movie. Itís pretty much stolen by a sassy waitress at a steakhouse, who asks the visiting Rangers what ďthey donít want.Ē Turns out youíre gonna get a T-bone medium rare, and you need to decide whether you donít want the corn or the beans. Itís hilarious. And I donít have the name of the actress available, but sheís quite something.

The movie is scheduled to open in late summer in Austin, probably in August. Itís worth your time.

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