High Life (2009) - Rotten Tomatoes

High Life (2009)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

A handful of drug-addicted petty criminals discover their plan to pull off the perfect crime isn't quite perfect at all in this dark fusion of comedy and action from director Gary Yates. It's 1983, and Bug (Stephen Eric McIntyre) has just been released from prison. Bug meets up with his friend and former cellmate Dick (Timothy Olyphant), who is working as part of the cleaning crew at a hospital; it's Dick's first on-the-books job, and it provides him with a steady paycheck as well as an opportunity to steal drugs to feed his appetite for opiates. Thanks to Bug, Dick is quickly fired, but Bug soon gets an idea for a quick and lucrative score. Automated Teller Machines have become a common item while Bug was in stir, and he hatches a clever plot to rob a bank's ATM machines by posing as repairmen. Dick thinks Bug's scheme can actually work, and they recruit two guys to help pull the job, small-time thief Donnie (Joe Anderson) and Billy (Rossif Sutherland), a fellow junkie Dick meets at a twelve-step meeting. However good the plan looked on paper, once Dick and Bug meet up with Donnie and Billy to pull the job, it becomes obvious things aren't panning out and their partners in crime are even less dependable than they are. High Life was based on the play of the same name by Lee MacDougall, who also wrote the screenplay for the film. ~ Mark Deming, Rovimore
Rating: R (for drug use, pervasive language and some violence)
Genre: Comedy
Directed By:
Written By: Lee Macdougall, Gary Yates
In Theaters:
On DVD: Mar 16, 2010
Union Pictures - Official Site

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News & Interviews for High Life

Critic Reviews for High Life

All Critics (7) | Top Critics (3)

High Life is filled with surprising, artful flourishes.

Full Review… | January 15, 2010
Globe and Mail
Top Critic

The plot gets twisted but the direction by Yates never does. He finds the humour in a desperate situation. It's hard to hate or even despise Dick and his stooges, because you can sense how needy they are.

Full Review… | January 15, 2010
Toronto Star
Top Critic

Full Review… | June 21, 2011
New York Times
Top Critic

This witty film wins us over with its likeable-loser characters and twisty plot. It also has an intriguingly serious edge

Full Review… | July 7, 2010
Shadows on the Wall

So, finally, deciding whether or not to see this movie boils down to one simple thing. If you didn't see it on stage, chances are you'll have a good-enough time.

Full Review… | January 15, 2010
Jam! Movies

September 15, 2009
National Post

Audience Reviews for High Life

Once again I notice the low rating from some people, but I personally really enjoyed this movie. I admit that I am a Tim Olyphant fan, so maybe I am a little biased. I dont think that is the case, though. I truly got a kick out of this movie. It is a black comedy, of sorts, so that makes me like it even more. All in all good flick.

Cynthia S.

Super Reviewer

Probably the most unique role I've seen Timothy Olyphant do, and it worked pretty well. Not exactly a laugh-a-minute comedy, but it generally works as a heist gone wrong dramedy, appropriately set in the early 80s. At 80 minutes it never amounts to much, but I appreciated most of the dark sense of humor, and what seems to be a fairly realistic depiction of how addicts think.

3/5 Stars

Jeffrey Meyers
Jeffrey Meyers

Super Reviewer

Brilliant failed heist movie. Ex con Olyphant and his buddies try to work out a violence free hijacking which fails miserably in every way. Superb story, great acting and the sense of humour made me laugh throughout.

Barry Lappin

Super Reviewer

High Life Quotes

– Submitted by D. I (15 months ago)
– Submitted by D. I (15 months ago)

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