Starring: Emily Blunt, Benicio Del Toro, Josh Brolin, Daniel Kaluuya, Victor Garber, Jon Bernthal, Jeffrey Donovan
Directed By: Denis Villeneuve
I loved Villenueve’s Prisoners. It really was one of the best films of that year, and totally overlooked by the Academy. Sicario is now getting more praise than Prisoners, but for me, it’s not quite on the same level. It’s really a solid effort, and had I seen it earlier in the year, I might have even been tricked into rating it higher. The problem is that I’ve seen true greatness this year, and I know that Sicario falls just short.
It’s not necessarily any one thing. I thought all the performances were good, not great. Lets just be honest, and say that Blunt, Del Toro, and Brolin have all been better. Villeneuve has directed a better film than this. It’s not at the top of any of their “career” lists. I also felt like the writing really wasn’t that good. It honestly felt more like Kate’s (Blunt) addiction to cigarettes was a more pivotal plot point than Alejandro’s (Del Toro) backstory, which is casually finally dropped into the conversation at the end.
The film opens strong. Really strong. I thought I was in for a much bigger movie than I ended up with. It’s a hard film, that I think is trying to suggest that the war on drugs is not necessarily done “by the book”, and there are “necessary evils”. I get that, but somehow I feel like the film could have done a better job of it. Blunt’s character is almost too timid, and too shy. She gets thrown out of the story by the end, and left behind. I ended up not really liking or caring about any of the characters in the movie. Arguably, no one is relatable, though Blunt’s Kate can be at times. She just makes some odd choices, and her character seems to be all over the place. I get that she’s in over her head, but at the beginning, she’s a total badass. Some of that should still show through later in the film.However, great cinematography. So, there’s something.
The PGA just gave this film a Best Picture nomination, and it might just get an Oscar nomination. I think it’s a waste of a nomination. There were better films this year.
FINAL GRADE: B-