El Sicario, Room 164
Want to See
Not Interested
Rate it ½ star
Rate it 1 star
Rate it 1½ stars
Rate it 2 stars
Rate it 2½ stars
Rate it 3 stars
Rate it 3½ stars
Rate it 4 stars
Rate it 4½ stars
Rate it 5 stars
In an anonymous motel room on the U.S./Mexico border, a Ciudad Juárez hitman speaks. He has killed hundreds of people and is an expert in torture and kidnapping. He was simultaneously on the payroll of the Mexican drug cartels and a commander of the Chihuahua State Police. There is currently a $250,000 contract on his life and he lives as a fugitive, though he has never been charged with a crime in any country. With his face obscured by a black mesh hood, he tells his story to the camera inside the very motel room he once used to hold and torture kidnapped victims. Aided only by a magic marker… More
Directed By
© Icarus Films
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 92%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"The stories are horrific, if laced with Tarantino-style humor."
‑ Mark Jenkins, NPR
"Finally less compelling for its random details of multiple brutalities than for its chilling portrait of a country irretrievably rotting from within."
‑ Jeannette Catsoulis, New York Times
"Gianfranco Rosi's extraordinary one-man documentary stares long and hard at the practiced but no less terrifying monologues of a Mexican hit man."
‑ Nicolas Rapold, Film Comment Magazine
"What appears to be a monologue documentary illuminates the elephant in the room. We are the killers."
‑ Ron Wilkinson, Monsters and Critics
"A lot of evil is laid on the table in El Sicario, and the film makes a big, if exquisitely subtle show, of theorizing that there's no way to explain how it got there."
‑ Jesse Cataldo, Slant Magazine
"El Sicario: Room 164 is an almost laughably simple, aggressively drab-looking film, but it packs a wallop."
‑ Alison Willmore, AV Club
"The film's sparse, almost banal presentation is a virtue, for to boldface the horrors under discussion would only trivialize or sensationalize them, as the Mexican murder magazines do."
‑ Nick Pinkerton, Village Voice
"...never dull thanks to the intrinsic interest of the subject matter and dramatic sense and disarming frankness of the narrator, whose attitude and lack of regrets could be summed up as "business is business.""
‑ Sarah Boslaugh, Playback:stl
"gives off the sense that you're watching a 60 Minutes interview with Death himself"
‑ Chris Cabin, Filmcritic.com
"Rosi avoids all embellishments, such as re-creating some of the crimes. A wise choice, since the hit man's narration is compelling and frightening on its own."
‑ V.A. Musetto, New York Post
"Despite his repentance, you sense that this lost soul will be confessing his sins for all eternity."
‑ Keith Uhlich, Time Out New York
"This one-man dramatization is not a film, but surely an indictment. Rosi's 'grey zone where good and evil meet' is wide of the mark; this is pure evil."
‑ Donald J. Levit, ReelTalk Movie Reviews
"A cross between a feature-length home movie and instant avant-garde classic, El Sicario, Room 164 records a man in a room (though not just any man) talking for 80 charged minutes."
‑ Eric Monder, Film Journal International
More reviews for El Sicario, Room 164 on Rotten Tomatoes