Movie Review – ‘Sicario’

“One of 2015’s most eye-opening and raw suspense stories.” – Patrick King, REEL BRIEF

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A gripping and intense standoff, “Sicario” is a two-hour adrenaline rush that will invoke a fight or flight response from most viewers.  This drug cartel story isn’t just ripped from today’s headlines.  No, it’s bigger than that.  Much bigger. “Sicario” is an electrifying action thriller that enlightens and educates us on the violent crime that already exists—and operates—inside our southern border.

Emily Blunt (“Edge of Tomorrow”), as a naïve FBI agent, tops off a superb cast that includes Academy Award winner Benicio Del Toro (“Traffic”, 2000) as a government consultant, and Oscar-nominated Josh Brolin (for 2008’s “Milk”) as the leader of a U.S. clandestine unit.  The trio meet along the blurred desert borders of corruption, deception and hitmen to fight drug lords and a jurisdiction system that still tilts in favor of the criminal minds.

The frustrated Blunt wants to play by the rule of law. Except the only U.S. move left is to toss the game board upside down–creating chaos and noise in a cartel family business led by ruthless killers.  A once eager FBI agent, Blunt’s Kate Macer character finds herself embedded between a tough CIA operations chief and a mercenary who tends to lean in the direction of the highest payer.

An exemplary collection of performances with an edgy script is bookended by a spectacular music score.  A heart-pounding film experience on the frontlines where rules get thrown aside without apology or trepidation.  “Sicario” is not about curbing the drug war by the time the credits roll. It’s about savvy street smarts and keen instincts necessary in a dangerous environment where nothing is as it appears to be. Talk about trust issues.

Filmed mostly in Albuquerque, New Mexico, in June of 2014, “Sicario” made the shortlist for the top prize (Palme d’Or) at this year’s Cannes Film Festival. This movie is easily one of 2015’s most eye-opening and raw suspense stories, benefiting from stellar performances throughout the entire film.  Look for “Sicario” to make an Oscar splash when nominations are announced in January.

Grade: A+

“Sicario” is rated R with a running time of 2 hours.

© 2015, Patrick. All rights reserved.



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