Sicario – Review ****

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We live in a dangerous world, and, interestingly enough, some of the most dangerous places aren’t involved in any sort of traditional wars. Places like Ciudad Juarez in Mexico are considered to be some of the most dangerous locations on the planet, and it’s all because of cartel related violence.

That’s the central motivation for the law enforcement forces involved in Sicario, Denis Villeneuve’s latest feature. Sicario means hitman, and in this world of drug lords and drug trades, anyone can be a target, and the Mexican drug wars are most certainly not restricted to Mexico.

Kate (Emily Blunt) is an FBI agent working in a city close to the US-Mexico border. Since she’s seen many cases of drug related violence, she’s recruited by a cross-agency taskforce run by Matt (Josh Brolin) and aided by Alejandro (Benicio del Toro), in order to follow the trail of and catch a major drug lord hiding in Mexico. What follows is Kate’s journey into finding out what’s really happening behind the border, and her realization that good guys are bad, bad guys are good, and that nothing is like she thought it was.

Led by excellent performances by the three leads (and with a cast like this, it’s kind of expected), the film is both gripping and informative, showing the true colors and motivations of characters on both sides of the law and the border. Family men, divorcees, kids, punks; they are all involved in this storm of money and death, and the subject matter is dealt with utmost sincerity, which paints the movie with a bleak and depressing tone.

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It really is Emily Blunt’s film to shine though. She’s excellent as the very vulnerable Kate, and we really hop on her back and go through the same rollercoaster of emotions she goes through. Villeneuve’s steady direction through some gripping action sequences and some creative night vision and aerial shots seals the deal on one of the better thrillers to come out this year.

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You might learn a thing or two while watching Sicario. If anything, it won’t leave you indifferent, and it will stay with you and haunt you for at least a while. We can only hope we will eventually get less movies like this, to signal the end of all the violence and destruction associated with drug trading. But until then, bring on the good films depicting it with such great authenticity and boldness.

Sicario will be out in UK cinemas October 9th.

Daniel moved from the faraway land of Chile, to live and work in the exciting world of London media. After studying Industrial Engineering, he decided that life is more than spreadsheets and chose to follow his passion for cinema. He has a deep appreciation for all sorts of movies, and is aiming towards producing in the long term.