Sicario Poster Emily Blunt, Benicio del Toro, Josh Brolin, Daniel Kaluuya, Maximiliano Hernández, Victor Garber, Jon Bernthal, Jeffrey Donovan, Raoul Trujillo, Julio Cedillo, Denis Villeneuve

Sicario: a young SWAT member joins a ‘special activities’ task force that may or may not be as legitimate as they first appear. The acting, direction, and visuals are gorgeous and often spellbinding; the characters and plot however… not so much. Very little new ground is covered, particularly with the characters: a naïve by-the-book agent (Blunt), mysterious and dangerous man-with-no-name (del Toro), the charismatic but cynical and amoral team leader (Brolin), questionable American operations, yada yada yada. The central character – who is already an unnecessary audience surrogate – has an even more redundant BFF to more explicitly vocalise her thoughts and attempt to let the dummies at the back know what may be happening (not much is actually revealed until the last 20 minutes). There’s a few nerve-shreddingly intense scenes like the border crossing, tunnel raid, and the last supper; which are paired with bursts of ultra-bleak violence and very graphic gore, which make the movie more grisly – although these felt like they were chasing notoriety, and ‘sexing up’ the otherwise flat tone. The daytime scenes look fantastic, downside being that some of the low-light or night-vision scenes are harder to follow. While Sicario looks fantastic, has the big names, and some dark and memorable scenes it’s far less effective than a straight-up drama like Prisoners: it feels a bit like a Steven Seagal/SWAT plot viewed through another character, and with an arthouse guise – leaving me with the impression that it’s more a film for the critics than the public. Like the pacing, story, shots, and characters, Sicario is intentionally slow and steady.

Score: 5.5/10

Sicario Sunset Silhouette Emily Blunt, Benicio del Toro, Josh Brolin, Daniel Kaluuya, Maximiliano Hernández, Victor Garber, Jon Bernthal, Jeffrey Donovan, Raoul Trujillo, Julio Cedillo, Denis Villeneuve


  1. said:

    I really enjoy this movie

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Kudos for having a very honest review! This might be the only review of this movie I’ve seen to be this low. I still think I might check it out, but I might keep an open mind on not having super high expectations. That’s honestly what ruined The Revenant for me. Way too over hyped.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Paragraph Film Reviews said:

      Thanks – no point in having my own review site if I’m going to write the same as everyone else!! :)

      I think the biggest hurdle Sicario has is that the expectation is too high. Every trailer is all about the stars and plaudits AND the director is on a hot streak at the moment. When both aspects fail to WOW you, and with expectations so high, I’d argue that it’s hard not to be a little bit disappointed.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Sounds like the ideal movie rental to me! Nothing wrong with that either.
        And I hear ya. It’s actually a great feeling when you get positive feedback on a negative review for a movie that everyone else seems to love. This happened recently with me and The Revenant. If I said I disliked that movie anywhere else on the internet, I’d probably be receiving death threats. Huge reason why I come and talk movies on here!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Paragraph Film Reviews said:

          GOD BLESS WORDPRESS! It’s good on here knowing that no matter your opinion, someone’s got your back!

          Liked by 1 person

  3. I had high hopes for this movie, but it failed to match. Film was okey to a certain level. I think the script – the drama ( as you wrote) didn’t match the high cinematographic style. I expected more crime and thrill from it, and it left me disappointed. The ending was a surprise – I felt deceived that there isn’t proper climax.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paragraph Film Reviews said:

      Yes, yes, yes… and YES! I think there was just too much expectation heaped on top of this. It’s not a bad film, and I think if I watched it in isolation of the hype and not knowing who directed it I may be a little more lenient but the PR juggernaut killed this off for me. Imagine if it looked that good, and was purely centered around the taskforce instead of the naive agent!!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Dan said:

    I liked this more than you but did feel that it wasn’t quite as good as I was led to believe. The first half is, in my mind, fantastic, despite the presence of the “redundant BFF” who allowed Blunt to turn in her best moody Oscar-worthy turn. But to live up to expectation, Sicario had to remain “her” story, and it doesn’t…it’s someone else’s in the final quarter and that put me off. The director is a real talent though – brilliant at ratcheting up the tension but he’s let down by the script here. Still, it’s a 4/5 film for me despite my reservations – there’s a lot I liked (the tone throughout, the brilliant use of music/sound).

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paragraph Film Reviews said:

      The redundant BFF annoyed me because I think Blunt’s a strong enough actress to convey her character’s frustration without him, and to me it felt like the important dialogue with the BFF was just repeating what she was asking Brolin/del Toro. And yes, I think the Villeneuve’s last few films being so brilliant (Prisoners in particular was outstanding) this felt like a dip. Looking forward to his next film – even though Jeremy Renner is a lead… when will people learn!?!?!?


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