The annual gray fight-against-terrorism movie. So this is about an FBI agent (Emily Blunt) who gets recruited to be on a special task force. They have been assembled to combat the transportation of narcotics across the U.S./Mexican border, and they have a high priority target in their sights. This is very similar to number of movies we have seen in recent years, and they are usually made my Kathryn Bigelow. This is very much in the same vein as Zero Dark Thirty and The Hurt Locker, and these are all movies that I do like and feel that they are all high in quality, but, at the same time, I can’t go without saying that they’re all strikingly impersonal, and I never cross that line from liking it to loving it.
Still, that basic description should relay to you if this is a movie for you or not.
Now this came about early enough in the year where it could potentially get lost in the Oscar season shuffle, and for the most part, I would say that it did, only getting a handful of nominations for technical awards. Nevertheless, this has still been getting very good word of mouth. It’s easy to get into, as it puts you in this Training Day situation of this newbie getting thrown right into the fire, as she is an idealistic girl in this boy’s club. It is so quick that she is thrown into this kill or be killed environment, and you never forget that she is surrounded by a bunch of jackals who determine what’s right and what’s wrong on a level that’s above the law. It’s gritty and it puts you right in the moment, and one of the strongest aspects to Sicario is that you never feel safe.
Benicio Del Toro gives the standout performance here.
The best part of Sicario is when they get to Juarez. Through the entire scene, you are nervous and stressed out as can be. It climaxes with this traffic sequence that I can guarantee will put you at the edge of your seat. That said, there’s about another hour left in the movie, and the rest of the movie is never as satisfying as that one sequence. The cinematography is great (Roger Deakins always turns in amazing work), and I really enjoyed the surreal score that added an unexpected element to it. Sicario is a really good movie, but for me, it falls just shy of being one of the best of the year, and I couldn’t find a spot for it on my best of list accordingly.
Sicario (2015) ****
– Critic for Hire