Starring: Emily Blunt, Josh Brolin, Benicio Del Toro, Victor Garber, Daniel Kaluuya
Directed By: Denis Villeneuve
Written By: Taylor Sheridan
Rating: R (US) Running Time: 2 hr 1 min
F.B.I. Agent, Kate Macer (Emily Blunt, in an excellently restrained performance) is our eyes and ears on the ground. Swept up into a scheme that’s beyond her understanding. She’s only ever operated on the sidelines, cleaning up the mess left behind by minor operatives in the drug trade between Mexico and the US. Until an opportunity to make a more meaningful impact is presented to her. Once in, she suspects the motives behind her inclusion, and what she learns challenges her faith in her country, and the law she swore to uphold.
The war on drugs has proven to be a huge expensive failure. You know it, I know it, and finally a lot of the power brokers that started it, realize that too. Denis Villeneuve’s and Taylor Sheridan’s Sicario, perfectly encapsulates that opinion, and points a powerful finger at the users who continue to fuel that deadly trade.
I loved how Denis Villeneuve continually used scale to illustrate the fruitlessness of this war on drugs. Pulling back the camera all the way to a bird’s eye view to make tough government operatives look ant sized against the forces working against them. Surrounded by people apathetic to their cause. A population south of the border numb to the impact of corrupt authorities, and the violence played out by vicious drug cartels living among them.
This is a seriously tense film to watch, helped along by Jóhann Jóhannsson pounding score, and Roger Deakins’ superb photography. It’s expertly directed and written, and quite honestly, one of the best films I’ve seen this year.
If tense policing dramas are your bag, then you’re going to love this. This movie’s story is also pretty easy to understand too, so should appeal to anyone looking for well written and directed drama. Sicario is rated R for language, and extreme violence.
To truly appreciate Roger Deakins’ (Skyfall, Unbroken) photography, a trip to the theater is a must! If you miss this in the theaters, a HD screening on the biggest TV you can find is your next best bet. The impact of this film and that great sense of scale will be destroyed if you try to watch this on a laptop, tablet or phone. So don’t do it – that’s an order!
Best Moment: << spoilers!! >>
It’s really hard to pick a best moment. A violent encounter with drug cartel thugs at the border is a highlight, as is Emily Blunt’s performance during her character’s more tense encounters with Alejandro (Benicio Del Toro).