Kate Macer, a dedicated, ambitious FBI agent is recruited by a mysterious Government task force to assist in the growing drug war against the Mexican cartel. She is told to think hard about whether or not she wishes to accept the position but she barely hesitates. Only days earlier her and her squad discover a mass grave in the grounds and walls of a drug baron’s home, shortly before several members of her squad are killed by a vicious detonation within the property’s grounds. Determined to find those responsible for the hideous scenes she unveiled, Macer suddenly finds herself in a position of power rather than as part of the team who clean up the mess. Driven by the promise of being able to make a difference, Macer is quickly lost in a world of vague introductions, unclear objectives and unethical orders which leave her alone in the dark, angry and confused. Her new boss, Matt Graver, has been hired to mix things up, create chaos and make the cartel nervous – tactics Macer isn’t used to or comfortable with. A slick cast are directed with excellence in one of the most nerve racking thrillers of the year. Sicario blurs the lines between goodies and baddies, highlighting the complex, messy layers that make up a drug war. Earlier this year the documentary Cartel Land staggered audiences with its brutal depictions of lives for those in, out and fighting against the Mexican cartel – now Sicario brings the topical subject to life in this, a bold and bloody dramatisation.
Emily Blunt is proving to be one of the toughest and roughest female leads in Hollywood. We instantly understand Macer to be a diligent, proud leader and are given brief glimpses into her personal life. Divorced, Macer carries with her a protective layer. Her only companion is her partner played by fellow Brit Daniel Kaluuya who is equally convincing and sturdy. Josh Brolin, who seems to be in everything at the moment, brings his usually hardman act with the occasionally sly smile and hint of mischief. Benicio Del Toro is a frightening and unsettling second commander who remains a mystery and therefore a daunting figure. Other great actors including Victor Garber make an occasional appearance. Sicario shares a great deal with the likes of Zero Dark Thirty but is much more condensed and direct. Questioning torture, warfare and the tactics of both, Sicario is about getting in too deep, learning unpleasant truths and the danger of knowing too much. Expertly paced, to the point and constantly keeping you in suspense, Sicario is a dark and twisted crime thriller which never strays from the path.
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