Movie Reviews & Interviews from Washington

‘Sicario’ Review: Starring Emily Blunt, Benicio Del Toro & Josh Brolin

Denis Villeneuve is becoming one of the best directors working today and one of my personal favorites. With last year’s Enemy, a memorizing doppelgänger story led by an excellent performance by Jake Gyllenhaal and 2013’s Prisoners, a story about a man played by Hugh Jackman who would do anything to get his daughter back and protect his family. These two films go beyond the surface of your basic mystery plot line and make you think on a deeper level after you’ve finished the film. Plus, both films are two of the best endings in recent film history.

Villeneuve’s versatile filmography continues with Sicario, a fascinating and suspenseful story starring Emily Blunt, Benicio Del Toro and Josh Brolin. Not only is Sicario, (which means Hitman in Spanish), one of the best films of the year, it’s one of the most startling and intense films I’ve seen.

FBI agent Kate Macer (Emily Blunt) is enlisted by a government task force led by Matt (Josh Brolin) to help in the horrifying war against drugs on the United States and Mexico border. Also to aid the task force is Alejandro (Benicio Del Toro), a consultant with a mysterious past.

Kate doesn’t know much about the mission, only that she is to help Matt and Alejandro find the drug lord who is responsible for the several murders related to drug deals inside the U.S. With Kate desperate to bring justice while she is working with men whom she knows very little about, she starts to question everything she believes in order to find answers and survive.

sicario emily blunt

Every single shot in Sicario looks like a work of art with cinematography by the phenomenal Roger Deakins (2014’s Unbroken). From shots of the vast Mexican desert in the sweltering daytime to soldiers marching into battle against a serene sunset, Sicario is easily one of the best-filmed movies of the year. The cinematography is paired with Johann Johannsson’s (2014’s The Theory of Everything) glorious score that keeps the suspense up and tensions high. This makes a two-hour long film fly by with the anticipation of figuring out what’s going to happen next.

The cast of this film is unforgettable. Emily Blunt leads us in another strong female role as Kate. She’s already proven that she can be an action star with last year’s Edge of Tomorrow, but Blunt gives Kate a ferocity and a bit uncertainty as she attempts to assist her new team while also keeping protocol and protecting herself. In one startling scene, Blunt is in the shower, washing the blood off her after a terrible accident and in that moment we see how scared and determined she is to find the people responsible for these crimes.


Benicio Del Toro is fantastic as always as Alejandro. Because we don’t know much about his background, Del Toro is able to do a lot with his character, which is fun and scary at the same time. His chemistry with Blunt is especially compelling to watch because he clearly feels something for her, while she is unsure of him. Josh Brolin is great as Matt. His no crap attitude is most likely what got him into his position in the first place and he doesn’t care on how he gets the criminal whether it’s right or wrong.

Sicario is one of those films that is brutal as much as it is brilliant. It’s shocking, horrifying and one of the must-see films of the year. Led by tremendous performances, this film will have completely taken your breath away upon its final scene and make you think about it long after its over.

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