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Sicario (2015)Exceedingly bleak, brooding, violent and yet unapologetic, Sicario is… More Exceedingly bleak, brooding, violent and yet unapologetic, Sicario is a mature film conceived and executed by mature filmmakers. When tensions rise on the US-Mexico border, a task force is assembled, enlisting a passionate yet na´ve FBI agent (Emily Blunt) to aid in its efforts. The goals and actions of the task force represent a departure the young agent is not yet willing to make, yet feels inexplicably logical in an illogical world. With Sicario, talented director Denis Villeneuve takes on the drug war in really an unprecedented way. Its' political overtones, realism, and cynicism is reminiscent of the great Traffic, yet without the overwrought indignation. It's a slow burn, with a methodical build up and a matter-a-fact way of examining the brutality and carnage that cartels engage in, without glossing over government complicity. Vilenueve pulls no punches, and succeeds in making a film that is both enthralling and cerebral. It has a point of view, yet the viewer has to make their own interpretations. Shades of gray abound, a laudable departure from a genre that otherwise can succumb to less nuanced stories. The film's ensemble cast is second to none, featuring marvelous performances from all involved, including Emily Blunt, Josh Brolin, and Benicio Del Toro. Toro, for his part, showed a depth I haven't before seen from him. The chemistry between the cast is palpable and the direction brings the best out of the actors, whose complex characterizations all bring a much needed wrinkle to a the story. Toward the end, one would wish for more exploration of the film's major revelation, feeling a bit unsatisfying in the last act. Yet it still manages to bring something to the table that past genre pieces have not, a very real sense of hopelessness that, if never confronted, will never be defeated. 4/5 Stars
24 days ago via Rotten Tomatoes