top of page

Sicario Movie Review (Spoiler Free)

Villeneuve returns to direct this incredible & beautiful-looking piece of motion art, which analyses a world at war without rules of engagement.

Genre: Action / Drama / Thriller

Director: Denis Villeneuve

Cast: Emily Blunt, Josh Brolin, Benicio del Toro, Daniel Kaluuya, Jon Bernthal & Victor Garber.

Runtime: 121 min. US Release: 08 October 2015 UK Release: 02 October 2015 German Release: 01 October 2015

Sicario is one of the grittiest, darkest and dirtiest movies I have seen in a while, it also is one of the best movies I have seen this year! Directed by Denis Villeneuve (Prisoners & Enemy), this is another masterpiece in the man’s repertoire, who is quickly becoming one of my favourite directors. This action-drama also features incredible and Oscar-worthy performances by Emily Blunt, Benicio del Toro and Josh Brolin.

The film takes place over a period of three days. FBI Special Weapons and Tactics Teams agent Kate Macer (Blunt) is a morally and ethically driven woman. When her team discover a drug cartel hideout stuffed with corpses in the walls, she volunteers to join Department of Defence advisor Matt Graver’s (Brolin) task force.

Kate soon discovers that the war against drugs will take more than just the crossing of country borders, and quickly finds herself in positions that will shake her righteous beliefs of law enforcement.

I left this movie more than satisfied and a little surprised, because the story itself isn’t really anything new. The plot is that of 100 other action-thrillers, depicting the war against drugs. What is riveting is the way it was told, because this is not the typical drug-busting action film, as it has much more layers to it than at first glance. That alone makes Sicario worth watching in theatres.

The story had so much to offer, it was tense and enthralling from the first moment and never stopped being suspenseful. I was literally on the edge of my seat from beginning to end. Even the quieter, more story-driven sequences between the action scenes, were nerve-wracking.

Sicario lifts the cover of lies that rests on the topic of the battle against drugs, by provoking moral and ethical situations and asking important questions. Does the end justify the means? Do two wrongs make a right? It’s these kinds of inquiries that give the movie such depth, as we are presented with a world far beyond black and white, operating between shades of grey.

Everybody involved in this film, every character displayed on screen was great and contributed to the movie in one way or another. Josh Brolin was incredible and by the end, his character was the one we did not learn anything from. He is a man operating in the shadows and does not reveal anything about his persona.

Benicio del Toro stole every scene he was in; sadly I can’t go into detail about his character without revealing important plot points. What I can disclose though, is that this is one of his finest performances. Alejandro is an incredibly mysterious, if not mystical person, resembling a South American bogeyman. He was the best actor/character in this suspenseful movie.

Emily Blunt was fantastic. She was the most humane character and the emotions she mimicked were extremely credible. Blunt was the vessel used to bind the viewer emotionally to the film, by sharing her experiences gained throughout the story. It is painful to watch her optimism and righteous aim being crushed over and over again.

I just have one complaint concerning her role and it is that one problem which hindered me to give Sicario a perfect score. Apart from her, being the “moral factor” of the movie, the character seemed completely unnecessary and was only included to reveal to the viewer what is happening as the story progresses. Other than that she did not really contribute to the plot. Villeneuve's film benefits from amazing cinematography by Roger Deakins. The crisp and very strong day shots and the incredibly realistic night shots are jaw-dropping. Beautiful aerial shots, following some of the characters and giving us a perspective of the grandness of the scene, have been included.

The use of car windows and the obscured field of vision due to partially opened doors, during the traffic scene by the border, are cinematographic wonders and the night/thermal-vision shots throw the viewer right into the action and are truly engaging. I can’t express the awe I felt when experiencing this beautifully shot masterpiece.

Sicario also profits from the absence of music, replaced by a recurring thumping bass sound that intensifies the emotional strain of the lead character.

Verdict: This film has an astonishing direction, a well-written script and beautiful cinematography. It is more than just another action-thriller, stimulating the viewer to think about what he just saw and uncovered. If it hadn’t been for the way the main character was depicted, I would have given Sicario the highest score; nevertheless, I will give it a 9.5 out of 10.

Dear readers, believe me, if I am saying this is a movie worth watching at the cinema. The visuals, the story and the characters are handsomely set up and displayed. You will not regret seeing this movie on the big screen!

bottom of page