The drug war on the U.S.-Mexico border has escalated as the cartels have begun trafficking terrorists across the US border. To fight the war, federal agent Matt Graver re-teams with the mercurial Alejandro.
Benicio Del Toro,
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
While Benicio Del Toro's character is frequently silent in the movie, he initially had more lines. "In the original script, the character explained his background several times to Kate," Del Toro said. "And that gave me information about who this guy was, but it felt a little stiff to have someone you just met fifteen minutes ago suddenly telling you what happened to him and who he is." Working with director Denis Villeneuve, Del Toro began cutting some of his dialogue to preserve the mystery of who his character is; Villeneuve estimated they cut 90% of what Del Toro was originally intended to say by screenwriter Taylor Sheridan. Like Del Toro, Villeneuve saw power in stripping the character down to a brooding silence, stating that dialogue belongs to plays and "movies are about movement, character, and presence, and Benicio had all that." See more »
Matt refers to the Arizona border town of Sasabe but mentions that it's east of Nogales. It's actually west of Nogales. He also mispronounces it, saying it as if it's a Spanish word, "sah-SAH-bay", while locally it is pronounced closer to its O'Odham origin: "SASS-uh-bee". See more »
'Sicario' Soars with Benicio del Toro and Emily Blunt in tow!
Feverishly satisfying with pulse-pounding energy that's sure to give your heart its full day's work, Denis Villenueve's masterful "Sicario" with Emily Blunt, Benicio del Toro, and Josh Brolin is an edge of your seat thriller that exemplifies the finest parts of the action genre. Filled with mystery, suspense, and outstanding performances, Villenueve's direction, along a tight script by Taylor Sheridan, brings a much needed sense of technique and art that's been sorely missing from the 2015 movie year.
"Sicario" tells the story of an idealistic FBI agent names Kate (Blunt), who is enlisted by an elected government task force to aid in the escalating war against drugs at the border area between the U.S. and Mexico. With the "guidance" of a mysterious agent Alejandro (Del Toro) and her superior Matt (Brolin), and influx of intrigue and morals will shake Kate to her very core.
First and foremost, "Sicario" breathes new life into contemporary cinematography, as produced by no less than the great Roger Deakins. A vessel for God's eye on the world, Deakins ignites the fire of his vision, capturing some of the finest shots seen this decade. His use of shadows, CGI, and choices in which to convey and portray emotions is downright genius. Becoming essentially another character in the story, Deakins gives a master's class on cinematography for future craftsmen and women to behold. It's a work that will surely land him his thirteenth Oscar nomination.
Above that, we are treated to fantastic and awards worthy performances. Emily Blunt, as seen in nearly everything she touches, shows herself as one of the most interesting and endearing actresses working today. Her courage and vulnerability for Kate is personified by Blunt's ability to connect with the character's soul. She lays into Kate calmly, echoing great performances like Jessica Chastain in "Zero Dark Thirty" but with more reserve.
Benicio Del Toro is downright magnificent. As Alejandro, he delivers his best performance since "21 Grams." A dedicated sensation that calls back to all types of performances such as Javier Bardem in "No Country for Old Men" or Gene Hackman in "The French Connection." You won't be able to take your eyes off him. Josh Brolin utilizes every ounce of his charm that has made him one of the most sought after actor's in the business. A memorable, though understated and undervalued character that you do want more clarity about. Other cast members like Jon Bernthal, Jeffrey Donovan, Victor Garber, and especially Daniel Kaluuya are given their fair share of opportunity, which all take well.
As a technical endeavor, "Sicario" also succeeds in its vibrantly living sound design, and illustrious score by Academy Award nominee Jóhann Jóhannsson. The two are married in a blistering union of tension and heart palpitations. Editor Joe Walker is a shining star behind the scenes as well, thanks to his precision and patience in bringing a scene right to the edge, and knowing when and where to take it next. It's his most innovative work yet, even surpassing his nominated work on "12 Years a Slave."
Goes without saying that "Sicario" is Denis Villenueve's best work to date. Coming from someone that thoroughly enjoyed "Prisoners" and tolerated "Enemy," this is his most accessible and compelling piece. If anything, he's just so damn exciting to watch these days, as he locates strange vehicles for actor's and craftsmen to come together. He takes on a genre that may feel familiar, like the drug cartel, but makes it feel new and smart.
"Sicario" is hands down one of the year's best films.
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