7.6/10
263,512
526 user 514 critic

Sicario (2015)

Trailer
1:01 | Trailer

Watch Now

With Prime Video

WATCH NOW
An idealistic FBI agent is enlisted by a government task force to aid in the escalating war against drugs at the border area between the U.S. and Mexico.

Director:

Writer:

Reviews
Popularity
294 ( 44)
Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 15 wins & 150 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Prisoners (2013)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

When Keller Dover's daughter and her friend go missing, he takes matters into his own hands as the police pursue multiple leads and the pressure mounts.

Director: Denis Villeneuve
Stars: Hugh Jackman, Jake Gyllenhaal, Viola Davis
Nightcrawler (2014)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

When Louis Bloom, a con man desperate for work, muscles into the world of L.A. crime journalism, he blurs the line between observer and participant to become the star of his own story.

Director: Dan Gilroy
Stars: Jake Gyllenhaal, Rene Russo, Bill Paxton
Enemy (2013)
Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A man seeks out his exact look-alike after spotting him in a movie.

Director: Denis Villeneuve
Stars: Jake Gyllenhaal, Mélanie Laurent, Sarah Gadon
Arrival II (2016)
Drama | Mystery | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

When twelve mysterious spacecrafts appear around the world, linguistics professor Louise Banks is tasked with interpreting the language of the apparent alien visitors.

Director: Denis Villeneuve
Stars: Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, Forest Whitaker
Hell or High Water II (2016)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A divorced father and his ex-con older brother resort to a desperate scheme in order to save their family's ranch in West Texas.

Director: David Mackenzie
Stars: Chris Pine, Ben Foster, Jeff Bridges
Drive I (2011)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A mysterious Hollywood stuntman and mechanic moonlights as a getaway driver and finds himself in trouble when he helps out his neighbor.

Director: Nicolas Winding Refn
Stars: Ryan Gosling, Carey Mulligan, Bryan Cranston
Ex Machina (2014)
Drama | Mystery | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A young programmer is selected to participate in a ground-breaking experiment in synthetic intelligence by evaluating the human qualities of a breath-taking humanoid A.I.

Director: Alex Garland
Stars: Alicia Vikander, Domhnall Gleeson, Oscar Isaac
The Nice Guys (2016)
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

In 1970s Los Angeles, a mismatched pair of private eyes investigate a missing girl and the mysterious death of a porn star.

Director: Shane Black
Stars: Russell Crowe, Ryan Gosling, Angourie Rice
The Revenant (2015)
Adventure | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A frontiersman on a fur trading expedition in the 1820s fights for survival after being mauled by a bear and left for dead by members of his own hunting team.

Director: Alejandro González Iñárritu
Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy, Will Poulter
The Martian (2015)
Adventure | Drama | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

An astronaut becomes stranded on Mars after his team assume him dead, and must rely on his ingenuity to find a way to signal to Earth that he is alive.

Director: Ridley Scott
Stars: Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig
The Big Short (2015)
Biography | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Four denizens in the world of high-finance predict the credit and housing bubble collapse of the mid-2000s, and decide to take on the big banks for their greed and lack of foresight.

Director: Adam McKay
Stars: Christian Bale, Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling
Gone Girl (2014)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

With his wife's disappearance having become the focus of an intense media circus, a man sees the spotlight turned on him when it's suspected that he may not be innocent.

Director: David Fincher
Stars: Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike, Neil Patrick Harris
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
Ted
...
...
Steve Forsing
...
Rafael (as Raoul Trujillo)
...
...
...
Manuel Diaz
...
Silvio (as Maximiliano Hernandez)
...
Burnett
...
Guillermo
...
Silvio's Wife
Edit

Storyline

When drug violence worsens on the USA Mexico border, the FBI sends an idealistic agent, Kate Macer (Emily Blunt) on a mission to eradicate a drug cartel responsible for a bomb that had killed members of her team. Written by Gusde

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The border is just another line to cross.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong violence, grisly images, and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

2 October 2015 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Borderline  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$30,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$12,148,041 (USA) (2 October 2015)

Gross:

$46,889,293 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| | | (DTS: X)

Color:

| (surveillance footage)

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Emily Blunt's main firearm was a Glock 19. See more »

Goofs

After the arrests at the bank, it is stated the perpetrators had been making deposits of $9,000 every day to avoid government reporting, which is a form of structuring. However, bank employees in the US are trained to report suspicious cash deposits. Depositing $9,000 a day every day for years would definitely count as suspicious. See more »

Quotes

Fausto Alarcon: You think the people that send you here are any different? Who do you think we learned from?
Fausto Alarcon: [Scoffs] The grieving lawyer!
Fausto Alarcon: You wife... you think she'll be... proud to see what have you become?
Alejandro: Don't forget about my daughter.
Fausto Alarcon: [In Spanish] Oh yes... you little one.
Fausto Alarcon: [In Spanish] It wasn't personal.
Alejandro: [In Spanish] It was for me.
See more »

Connections

Followed by Soldado (2018) See more »

Soundtracks

Train Ambush
Written by Harry Bluestone
Courtesy of APM Music
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Splendid in all technical aspects. Slightly flawed fundamentals prevent Sicario from reaching that next level.
5 October 2015 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

The wait is over. Since the trailer came out, I watched it several times a week. That's how hyped up I was. I finally got to watch Sicario, Denis Villeneuve's latest film. It got a very positive reception at the Cannes festival, and got tons of praise from movie critics worldwide.

My very first recommendation to anyone interested in watching this film is to not watch the trailer, or don't watch it repeatedly like I did. Although it's incredibly exciting, it gives way too much away. Sicario basically consists of approximately 6-7 set-pieces. The trailer shows key moments from all the set-pieces, and leaves you knowing almost just as much about the story as you'll get to know watching the actual film.

Sicario features a pretty thin storyline, but to its defence, it's all part of a tactical approach at keeping things blurry, shady, and mysterious to the audience. Metaphorically, these mechanisms serve the story pretty well, as we watch official government agencies use unorthodox methods and people in this bloody war against the cartels, and the intent is to offer a glimpse at an ongoing situation and let the viewer's imagination fill in the blanks.

That came off as a bit of an odd artistic choice to me, as, in recent years, several films and TV shows have thoroughly explored all the horrors resulting from the war against drugs at the border area between the U.S. and Mexico. It's not exactly a brand new subject matter to worldwide audiences. My point, basically, is that it's an odd timing to choose such a broad approach to a subject that has become familiar to the masses. When my imagination had to fill in the blanks, it basically did it with memories of other films and TV shows exploiting the very same subject matter, and that dug deeper into it.

All the technical aspects of Sicario are off the charts. Denis Villeneuve's directing is spectacular. The sequence with the convoy of SUVs in Juarez has to rank among the most beautifully shot scenes that we have seen in a while, with a combination of breath-taking shots of Mexican landscapes, Juarez and its streets, incredible tension building up inside the vehicles, and how the different characters handle it. Roger Deakin's cinematography is flawless, as expected. Whether portraying a dry, sunny afternoon in Arizona or a nightly tactical operation with agents wearing night vision goggles, Deakins' contribution shines in every possible way. The same can be said about the soundtrack and the editing.

One thing that truly surprised me is how Sicario makes its point. It is intended to leave you with an overall impression on a global situation (the border war, the cartels, the way government agencies operate, etc.), and the actual story and characters become purposely subsidiary in that depiction of a broader picture. This is just another day in this war, just another set of dirty tactics, just another escalation of violence, just another dozen of people among thousands doing shady things in this mess of a war on drugs.

And if there is one flaw to this film, that's where it lies, in my humble opinion. Characters and storyline are fundamentals. Without saying that these two aspects were neglected, I feel like this is where Villeneuve's film could have reached that next level, but unfortunately didn't, by keeping everything so vague, and so volatile.

I'm not going to sugar coat it: Emily Blunt's character is one-dimensional. Her performance is good, but the character has a very simple purpose in the whole picture, and it never goes beyond that. Some secondary characters get enough screen time to let you think that they'll eventually have a true impact on the story, or be part of some sub-plot. Here again, some minor disappointments as a result. Again, it's part of a mechanism to make everyone look like a tiny dot in the big picture, but prevented me from being truly compelled by the story unfolding and most of the characters that were part of it.

Josh Brolin's and Benicio Del Toro's performances are both amazing, though. Again, you do not get to know a lot about them. That being said, the few times when you get to see more than just what's on the surface, you'll get enough hints to partly understand their true nature. But again, you'll notice that I had to use the word "partly", especially when it comes to Brolin's character. A lot is left unexplained. And while this opens up a world of possibilities where speculations get darker by the minute, I was left wanting to know more when the credits started rolling.

Overall, Sicario succeeded in leaving me feeling deceived, just like I was an extension of Kate Macer. The way it operates is quite unique, as a lot of unexplained details, characters, and events leave the viewer speculating in an environment filled with lies, shadiness, and broken ideals. The visuals and the soundtrack will blow you away. Also, the final scene was a perfect way to seal the deal, and goes perfectly in line with the "big picture" approach that this film takes.

Overall, a very entertaining drama/thriller, full of technical brilliance, and some slightly flawed fundamentals. Definitely worth a watch.


116 of 163 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page