Ben Foster and Chris Pine in Hell or High Water.

Jeff Bridges, Chris Pine and Ben Foster are simply amazing in Hell or High Water, a terrific modern Western from director David Mackenzie.

Pine and Foster play two brothers who devise a bank-robbing scheme to save the family farm; Bridges is the soon-to-be-retired sheriff trying to stop them. Pine takes his career to a whole new level with his work here; he disappears into his part, making us forget he’s Captain Kirk. Foster, an actor I couldn’t stand when he was younger, gets better and better with each film; this is his best work yet. Pine’s Toby is supposedly the more sensible brother, while Foster’s Tanner is the nut. However, 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 Hell or High Water further cements that fact.

Mackenzie, whose most notable prior film was the underrated Starred Up, takes a step into an elite class with this one. His staging of car chases and manhunts is nerve-shredding.

This is a movie without a bad frame in it. It’s a masterpiece—one of only a few to be released so far this year.

Hell or High Water is now playing at the Century Theatres at The River (71800 Highway 111, Rancho Mirage; 760-836-1940).