Sicario Review: It’s a hit!

Director: Denis Villeneuve

Starring: Emily Blunt, Josh Brolin, Benicio Del Toro

The Overview

At the border between the U.S. and Mexico, the war on drugs is escalating, and violent murders are on the increase. FBI agent Kate Macer (Blunt) is enlisted by a government task force to eradicate a drug cartel. The details of her mission are unclear, but soon the true motives behind those she works with begin to unravel and she must decide who (if anyone) she can place her trust in.

The Good

It’s not often that a film blows my mind, but oh boy, Sicario is one of those films! I had heard good things before I went in, but nothing could prepare me for the masterclass in film-making that I saw over those 2 hours.

I could rave about this film for hours, but will try and summarise the good points! Firstly, the music is absolutely amazing. Right from the start, with the sound of a pulsating heartbeat rhythm creating incredibly amounts of tension before a raid, we know Jóhann Jóhannsson’s score is going to be something special. The repeated ominous tones we hear in the trailer crop up throughout as well; this music in particular reminded me of the simplicity of the Jaws soundtrack. Such fear created in such a simple way is outstanding. The pairing of this soundtrack with sudden extended periods of silence is sheer perfection. It’s tense, it’s exciting and just amazing.

The acting in this film is flawless; Blunt puts in her best performance to date, and whilst Brolin’s character doesn’t have tremendous amounts of depth, he plays it perfectly. Del Toro might not have many lines, but he is such a commanding on screen presence, that he is utterly captivating to watch. His character is complex, quiet, controlled, and will have you on edge the whole time. I won’t spoil anything, but his final scenes are an absolute masterclass in acting.

One of my favourite things about this film was the relationship that we as the audience built with Blunt’s character, Kate. Deliberate plot points were held back both from Kate and from us, and with every single reveal, every new development in the plot, the audience found these out at the same time she did. I found this such an interesting and unique way to tell the story, and I was gripped the whole time.

The cinematography is stunning as well. There was one shot in particular, as the silhouettes of the group descended into a tunnel with a bright sunset in the background, the camera remained fixed as one by one they disappeared from sight. Simple but beautiful. The use of thermal imaging and night vision shots were incredible as well. Where they could have been overused and made the scene gimmicky, instead they were use in moderation and to great effect, making it a realistic, gritty and exciting scene to watch.

The Bad

It wasn’t long enough? Honestly, I could have easily watched another half hour, it was that good.

There really is nothing to fault about this film, I honestly did try to find something else, but to no success.  

The Verdict

I saw this movie and you should too. Absolutely you should see this film. It is without a doubt one of the best (if not the best) films I have seen this year. The acting is great, the story is gripping, it’s beautiful to look at, the soundtrack is fantastic; it is perfection! Sicario is intelligent filmmaking at it’s finest; see it whilst you still have the chance, and I promise you won’t be disappointed.

Agree with everything I’ve said, or am I a terribly misguided idiot who has got it all wrong? Please let me know in the comments, and don’t forget to share as well.


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