Is 'Sicario' Worth a Trip to the Theater? Critics Weigh In!

With summer 2015 being a letdown with poorly rated action-packed films, moviegoers should expect to enter the fall season with a treat in the release of “Sicario.”

The Denis Villeneuve-directed drama centers around an FBI agent (Emily Blunt)’s battle to survive when enlisted by an elite government task force official (Josh Brolin) to aid in the escalating war against drugs.

The film, which also stars Jeffrey Donovan and Benicio Del Toro, received a 90 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with critics praising its excitement and ability to thrill – and some even calling it one of the best films of the year.

“‘Sicario’ is an extreme, brutal, complex and sometimes sickeningly violent story of its time, one of the best movies about the dominance of drugs in our culture since Steven Soderbergh’s ‘Traffic’ (2000). It’s an unusual mix of big-picture issues, grindhouse pulp and pure, rough entertainment, bolstered by one of the better ensemble casts of the year. This movie is not, um, fussing around … This is one of the best movies of the year.” — Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun-Times

“If there is justice in the world, ‘Sicario’ will be an all-round Oscar-magnet. Del Toro and Blunt are strong shouts, but so is Villeneuve himself and this should really, finally, be the year that 12-time nominee Roger Deakins wins for cinematography. Through his eye, often peering down from a cloudless sky, tracking the undulating shadow of an under-the-radar jet, the land south of the border becomes a threatening, crater-riven otherworld. Perhaps that’s a deliberate visual metaphor. We are, after all, in a morally alien landscape.” — Dan Jolin, Empire Online

But some argue the violence in the film is a bit excessive, even for its nature.

“Mr. Villeneuve conjures an atmosphere of menace and pervasive cruelty, but after a while ‘Sicario’ starts to feel too easy, less an exploration than an exploitation of the moral ambiguities of the drug war. We glimpse mutilated bodies hanging from bridges, hear stabbings and shootings just out of sight and study the face of a man whose family is being killed in front of him. But after a while these sounds and images start to feel like expressions of technique, and they become at once numbing and sensational, and instead of a movie about violence we’re watching another violent movie, after all.” — A.O. Scott, The New York Times

 

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