Early in Sicario, a shady government operative compares finding a cartel boss to “discovering a vaccine.”
It’s a throwaway line, but it resonates in Roger Deakins’ breathtaking (and surely Oscar worthy) cinematography – dust motes hang in the air like spores, and aerial shots of the Mexican landscape look like mould in a Petri dish. This is a landscape that infects any and all who come too close and breathe in too deeply.
Emily Blunt’s bold-but-bewildered FBI agent grounds the movie, but it’s Del Toro who steals the show in a third act beaten only by Zero Dark Thirty for nail-biting tension.
Sicario is, to put it simply, one of the best films of 2015. Perfectly cast, stunningly shot and uncompromisingly tough to watch, it works like gangbusters on every conceivable level.
DIRECTOR: Denis Villeneuve
WRITER: Taylor Sheridan
CAST: Emily Blunt, Benicio Del Toro, Josh Brolin, Jeffrey Donovan, Daniel Kaluuya
SYNOPSIS: An idealistic FBI agent is enlisted by an elected government task force to aid in the escalating war against drugs at the border area between the US and Mexico.