Sicario Thrills From Start to Finish

Dylan Rupptrecht

Denis Villeneuve’s Sicario puts into perspective the war against drugs via intense, pulsating action. Not a moment is wasted as the film abruptly starts with Kate Macer (Emily Blunt) leading her FBI kidnapping unit through a suspected cartel household that is discovered to have over 30 corpses plastered within the walls. After the mission goes awry, leading to the death of some of the officers, a pissed off Macer volunteers to go on a special, top secret mission led by Matt Graver (Josh Brolin) and an especially shady Alejandro (Benicio Del Toro) across and back the Mexican border to locate the head of the Mexican Cartel by any means necessary.

A scene from Sicario (AP photo)
A scene from Sicario (AP photo)

Sicario’s cinematography and soundtrack resonate in harmony with the drug war, dark and heavy. Danger lurks in every feasible corner, inducing a hypnotic effect that leaves you wondering where your two hours just went.

Like the audience for much of the film, Macer is left virtually in the dark about the specifics of the mission as well as the true identity and motives of the man everyone refers to as “Alejandro;” the only two things certain about him is that he has lived through some messed up crap (as evidenced by his PTSD), and he is absolutely terrifying.

As the special unit team pursues the higher ups of the Mexican Cartel, the line between right and wrong becomes more and more ambiguous. Macer is our moral anchor. Her skepticism increases as the mission proceeds, adding to the incredible build up and even better climax capped by a cynically dark performance by Del Toro.

Indeed, Sicario deserves the nods it has been receiving as the best film of the year. Though the plot is entirely fictitious, the film will no doubt leave you pondering over the ethical demands of the real life war against drugs that affect the lives of countless people today.