Review: Sicario

So what's why we're here. 

Kate Macer (Emily Blunt) is an FBI agent selected by Matt Graver (Josh Brolin) to be part of a government task force aimed at taking down the Mexican cartel. They work along side a DOD agent, Alejandro (Benicio Del Toro) who Kate is instantly wary of. It turns out this assignment is nothing she expected it to be, and she and her partner Reggie Wayne (Daniel Kaluuya) are constantly questioning everything.

The highlight of Sicario is Roger Deakins beautiful cinematography, which is among the best he's ever done. I know we're all predicting Emmanuel Lubezki to take home his 3rd Oscar in a row for The Revenant, but he's got some serious competition here. The way Deakins frames the quieter moments of the film are masterful, but it's the way he helps the film build tension in something as simple as traffic are something else. (Johan Johannsson's menacing score helps too) Plus, he films a a portion of the film through the lens of thermal and night vision cameras without making it feel too gimmicky. 

Blunt is perfectly cast here. Kate has some baggage but she does her best to not let it interfere with her work. Kaluuya provides the lighter moments, and I'm so glad he's getting more work Stateside because he has been brilliant in the British TV shows and films I've seen him in. Del Toro also stands out. Alejandro is a very intimidating character but he manages to bring out a softer side of him. Of course, it doesn't last long. He's quite ruthless, but seeing those moments there reminds us there's more underneath.

I never planned on seeing this film until recently, it just didn't seem interesting to me. I'm always happy to be swayed by good reviews to see something I may have written off. This was worth it.

Recommended: Yes

Grade: A

Memorable Quote: "You should move to a small town, somewhere the rule of law still exists." - Alejandro (Benicio Del Toro)

20 comments:

  1. I absolutely LOVED Benicio Del Toro in this. I think it's easily one of the best performances of the year, his best work since Traffic. It would be a shame if he doesn't get some sort of awards recognition. I also think Villeneuve did a great job of directing and I don't think the script could have worked as well as it did without his direction.
    And Deakins, the guy is a master behind the lens, hope he gets his Oscar soon, if not next year.

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    1. Del Toro was excellent. I remember a few reviews saying he was too similiar to Javier Bardem in No Country For Old Men and I didn't get that vibe at all. The characters were very different.

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  2. Glad you enjoyed it! I had really high expectations going in, and, at first, I felt like the movie didn't reach those, but as it sat with me I felt it more and more. Deakins' cinematography is so top-notch, but that second trailer for The Revenant makes me think three in a row is almost a certainty for Chivo. Good review!

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    1. God I know, that trailer was gorgeous, but so was this film. I'm probably going to champion Deakins all the way through on principle. lol

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  3. So glad you liked it! I was quite taken with the way Deakins shot quiet moments too - there is even this shot where Kate looks at dust moving next to the window in the light and it looks so pretty.

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    1. The cinematography was a masterpiece in this movie. I know Lubezki is probably going to slay in The Revenant, but Deakins is overdue and this is beautiful. If he doesn't get a nomination, I'll probably scream.

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  4. I didn't feel excited by it either, but now I'm hoping to find time for it.

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    1. It didn't really get a lot of buzz before TIFF did it? At least I didn't think so. I hope you find the time for it.

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  5. I really can't wait to see this one! Every review makes me more and more excited!

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    1. I hope you get a chance to see it soon! It was so much better than I expected.

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  6. I often wonder why a movie may not seem appealing and it's found to be the exact opposite of what we thought it would be. It could be the Title of the film or that one really doesn't know much about it. This does sound like an excellent film to see

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    1. I know. That happened to me recently with The Kingsman: Secret Service as well. I thought it looked so ridiculous, then I watched it and loved it.

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  7. It was reviews around the blogosphere that brought Sicario to my attention, and now I'm really excited to see it!
    - Allie

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  8. Great memorable quote, Brittani--I forgot about that one. This has been the greatest surprise of the year for me...it's so good that I don't even know how to review it, but you did an excellent job! This will certainly make my top 10.

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    1. This is definitely my biggest surprise too. I never expected to like this movie as much as I did. That's always a nice feeling.

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  9. Cool review! This hasn't been on my list to see but Emily Blunt and the praise for the production value is truly intriguing.

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    1. You should check it out. It originally wasn't on my list either.

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  10. Yay! Love the performances, direction, score, editing, cinematography... It's one of my favorite films of the year. :)

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    1. Same, so much better than I was expecting.

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