It seems folly to discuss Wonder Woman outside of the greater context of the DC Extended Universe, but Patty Jenkins’s film begs to be discussed in isolation – it’s simply in another stratosphere. So, that’s it; that’s all the comparison to the DCEU that will be contained in this review. The rest of the time will be spent heralding Wonder Woman as a superhero film that knows precisely how to tell a refreshing origin story, establish stakes and pathos in a fantastic world, and champion a powerful theme of heroism, strength, and love. With a stunning performance from Gal Gadot, a brilliant fish-out-of-water skeleton, and action sequences that contain spectacle and depth, Wonder Woman is potent storytelling.
David Mackenzie’s Hell or High Water is a wonderful modern Western film with the added flavor of a noir-heist. It is also wildly funny in subtle and smart ways but isn’t above low-brow pot shots, either. The performances from all four leads are superb and myriad character actors flesh out the environment. Finally, the film sports a fantastic plot that unravels at a deliberate pace and has a lot of surprises up its sleeves. It is like a slice of West Texas on screen, from the cattle wranglers to the gun-toting vigilantes. Hell or High Water is a potent piece of cinema, and will likely end up as one of the strongest films of 2016.