Sicario Movie Review


In Mexico, the word Sicario means “hitman”. In America, apparently it means “really good movie”.

Sicario is about an American FBI agent (Emily Blunt) assigned to a kidnapping task force who is recruited by a Department of Defense (Josh Brolin) advisor to help hunt down the leaders of a Mexican drug cartel.  Also on the team is a mysterious Hispanic man (Benicio Del Toro) with a past involving the cartel.  Together they work towards a common goal using very different methods.

It’s been a good weekend for movies because I thoroughly enjoyed this one, as well as The Martian.  The first thing I noticed about this one is how excellent both the directing and cinematography is.  To say it’s well shot would be an understatement.  Between the long takes and the building of tension using the camera, it was interesting to watch.  Another thing this movie does very well is build tension.  Whether it’s by the camera shots, excellent use of music, dialogue, or just the characters themselves, the movie keeps pulling you in.  And that also is in no small part to the acting.  The three main actors/actress all do a great job, especially in a movie as gritty as this.  It’s very violent and realistic, particularly with the shootouts.  There aren’t just people running around spraying bullets with machine guns.  It all seems very tactical and fluid, as you would expect a real shootout to be.  The story is good and takes some interesting turns.

That’s where the negatives with this one start to come in.  Not everyone is going to like all the turns the movie makes. I personally did, but I know some people won’t, especially at the end.  My roommate, who I saw the movie with, is one of those people.  And I see that side of things, but the movie worked for me for the most part.  It isn’t perfect, however.  There are some underdeveloped characters and some loose plot points.  In particular, it isn’t totally clear how and why this task force is assembled.  I also think that the story, despite me liking most of the twists, tries to do a little too much at times.  This causes the plot to become somewhat convoluted occasionally and slows the movie down a bit.

All that being said, it’s a very good movie for what it is.  It’s a dark, realistic thriller that keeps you guessing the whole time.  Because it is violent and gritty, it isn’t exactly an ideal date movie or anything like that, but it is worth seeing.  Sicario gets a 4/5 from me.

Have you seen Sicario or did you spend all your money on The Martian? Let me know what you thought of both.

UPDATE: After further review, the score of this movie has been re-graded and is now 4.5/5.  Find out why by clicking here.

You can find my review for The Martian, here.

Check out my review for Denis Villeneuve’s (director of Sicario) Prisoners here.

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