Action / Crime / Drama / Mystery / Thriller


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December 20, 2015 at 04:50 PM


Emily Blunt as Kate Macer
Jeffrey Donovan as Steve Forsing
Josh Brolin as Matt Graver
720p 1080p
870.29 MB
23.976 fps
2hr 1 min
P/S 37 / 228
1.82 GB
23.976 fps
2hr 1 min
P/S 38 / 185

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by hamish-25851 9 / 10

Tense, intelligent drama, with thriller overtones

The badlands of the US - Mexico border and the viciousness of the drug trade running across it sets the background and the tone for this movie. It's grim. Human life is very cheap and the movie doesn't flinch from showing consequences. There are definitely some scenes that are not for the faint hearted, but there is nothing gratuitous here. If anything - despite the subject matter - the film goes out of its way to avoid Hollywood heroics.

Emily Blunt does an amazing job portraying Kate Macy, a career policewoman heading a SWAT team. Her accent slips slightly a couple of times, but otherwise she's utterly believable as born and raised in the deep south of the US. Kate is a fundamentally decent, honorable human being, trying to the right thing in a world where the rule book doesn't seem to work any more. She's smart, tough, and experienced - but right from the start of the movie, it's clear that she's in over her head.

The tension never lets up. An attack could come at any moment, from any direction. Anything could be a trap. All of it, no matter how extreme something is, plays as real. The director manages scenes expertly to avoid any clean and easy action movie clichés, and it pays off enormously as the movie goes on.

It's also a highly intelligent movie, made for an intelligent audience. It doesn't lay things out on a plate. Instead you have to pay attention and you have to think, just as Kate has to - because her first mistake could be her last.

Staging, costuming, sets, cinematography, and lighting are all perfect. Some airborne shots in particular stand out as both daring and stunningly original, clearly showing just how harsh the landscape is, while managing to propel the story forward - without showing anyone, no less. This part of the movie is in the "As good as it gets" category. The only part that I didn't like (and the reason that this doesn't get a 10 from me) was the music. It's used deliberately to heighten tension during some scenes which would otherwise break the feel of the movie, and generally it's done well, but some scenes are spoiled with a There Will Be Blood styled screech. It's really not needed, especially since Sicario's own score manages to build or maintain tension quite successfully in other parts of the movie while remaining low-key.

To my mind, this is much more of a drama than it is a thriller. It's certainly not an action movie. The acting from the support cast is exactly what it needs to be - good in general, and great when a minor character is the focal point - but look closely at how much Benicio del Toro manages to do with no dialogue and not even all that much movement. Simply amazing.

This is a great movie to see if you want to be challenged.

Reviewed by James De Bello 8 / 10


One of those select few thrillers that will have your eyes stuck to the screen from the opening credits to the very end, and I mean that literally: I changed my sitting position many times during the film, yet I clearly recall never ever turning my head away from the film, this is how intense it is.

With this Denis Villenueve has now consolidated his name as one of most important and gifted directors of our time and has shown us he is here to stay. I truly marvel at how this film is so tightly put together and even despite it faults, which it has, especially in script, it just never gives you a chance to breathe and take it all in, thanks to the atmosphere that is established from shot one until the last one, you are always anticipating something's going to happen and that is the sign you are watching a great thriller. You are always on the edge of your seat and in some occasions you are really biting your knuckles. The movie has a way to throw you into the action that is really rare to find, especially in a highway sequence where I literally felt I was there.

All of this is achieved thanks to probably the best cinematography of this whole year. Deakins does it again, once more playing with a lot of blacks and shadows and once more succeeding one hundred percent. Also remarkable is the use of helicopter shots which don't feel like connective tissue, but actually part of the organic, that's something really hard to pull off. The sound design of this film is flat out amazing, some of the best I have truly ever had the pleasure to experience. It is so in you face, so tight, it really contributes in making you feel a part of this even in the more intimate scenes. Music too is also excellent and while some may say it was a little too ominous and dark I felt it matched the tone perfectly and enhanced some parts magnificently, contributing to a nail-biting building of tension.

Of course one couldn't get past reviewing this film without nominating the three great performances at its center. Del Toro, Brolin and Blunt are each better than the other and continue stealing the screen to themselves scene after scene. There really isn't one stand out, the three of them just excel sky high and give depth to characters that are interesting. The characters are really what holds the film together, they are truly developed three dimensionally and explored in depths that aren't normally reached.

What makes the film stumble is the fact that in never has a good enough plot to make things as interesting as they should be. It really has a hard time in setting up which way it's going and in the end it actually doesn't end up with a satisfying resolution. You are certainly left with something to think about because of the themes, the characters, the atmosphere and the intensity, but all in all the plot doesn't offer interesting turns and not enough moral questioning, unlike "Prisoners", and so remains slightly one-note for the whole duration. It also has a totally useless character in Blunt's partner, which other than never understanding why he was there or what was his arch in the film, I never understood how he was being played.

Still there is nothing short of amazing in what Villenueve achieves in two hours. What could have been a screenplay turned into a very generic police drama, is actually one of the most atmospheric and tense movies of the year.

Reviewed by 10 / 10

One of this year's best thrillers

More visceral than Steven Soderbergh's "Traffic." SICARIO is about the cost to pay in a drug war and its merciless brutality. Masterfully shot, perfectly acted. This is a film that doesn't allow you to feel comfortable. With each passing moment, it crawls its way deeper and deeper into this world where death is its only end game.

Director Denis Villenuve reteams with master cinematographer Roger Deakins to take advantage of the desert, the weather, the landscape, the terrain, and use them as silent supporting characters that also serve to express the characters' inner demons. Deakins is a multiple Oscar-nominated DP that gets better with every work and in SICARIO, you will see that he once again experiments with even richer and newer ways of shooting, whether it's the night vision first person view or the angles to capture the intensity at the border, moments before weapons are drawn, it's like enrolling in another classroom taught by Deakins but with extra curriculums to learn. The man just knows how to leave his competition behind.

To me, what I think is impressive about Emily Blunt is that she is beauty and strength all in one. She can express torment and conflicted soul so effortlessly, she plays this FBI agent, Kate Macer who does things by the book, she always holds herself and others accountable for every detail, so when she volunteers to be a part of a black ops that practically throws the book out the window, her idealistic views are put to the test. And I think Emily Blunt does a nice job of executing that. It's somewhat of a fish out of water story where Blunt's Kate Macer knows she's being used but she wants to know what she's being used for. Oscar winner, Benicio Del Toro has walked through this territory before in Steven Soderbergh's "Traffic" where he played a Tijuana police officer. In SICARIO, he plays a mysterious character, Alejandro, he's skilled, a man of a few words, soft spoken, but highly intense and has a sharp instinct. What has always been brilliant about Del Toro, in all of his works including SICARIO, is that he can say much without actually saying much at all. In the case of his character, Alejandro, there's a certain dark pain that's magnetic about him. It's all in the eyes. Oscar nominee Josh Brolin plays the leader of the team, Matt Graver, he talks way too damn much but that is also a part of his game, his game of manipulating others.

I've never been to Juarez, I've heard horrible stories about that place, and SICARIO, though it wasn't exactly filmed in Juarez, does manage to put the fear of God in audiences' heart by showing Juarez for what it is, there's no sugar coating, there's no hiding that it's one of the murder capitals of the world. It's a deeply harrowing part that will stay with you long after you've done watching the film which in and of itself wrestles with questions of morality.SICARIO means 'hit-man,' you'll come to wonder which of those three lead characters is the actual hit-man but ultimately, what SICARIO gives you is this dilemma,... if somebody could finally solve the drug cartel and drug kingpin problems for the rest of us, would you really care that they did it by killing instead of bringing the perp to justice?

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