Film Review: Benicio Del Toro is Never Better in Standout 2015 Thriller ‘Sicario’

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CHICAGO – Seeing the man behind the curtains in “The Wizard of Oz” really was when so many of us truly understood what “behind the scenes” means. Today, we’re fascinated by FBI and CIA stories because they grant us top-secret security clearance we’ll otherwise never have.

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 4.0/5.0
Rating: 4.0/5.0

But “Sicario,” which means hitman in Spanish and co-stars Benicio Del Toro and Emily Blunt, does more than just lift the dirty rug on the Mexican drug war. It poses harrowing moral questions many of us are too nervous to be asked let alone prepared to actually answer.

Emily Blunt as Kate Macer realizes she’s been wasting her time on small-time work that’s not scratching the surface of the dangerous and clandestine cartel world. Given the volunteer opportunity to witness the true underbelly with a different class of law enforcement, she can’t resist. At first we think it’s her curiosity, but her spectator role allows us to watch her more interesting co-star.

First-time writer Taylor Sheridan weaves a taut, cautionary tale of the dangers of looking the other way. All the while, his dark story shines a bright light on whether operating brutally above the law might sometimes be necessary.

StarRead Adam Fendelman’s full review of “Sicario”.

Kate thinks she’s en route to El Paso, but a lackadaisical Josh Brolin as Matt Graver and a mysteriously ruthless Benicio Del Toro as Alejandro divert her to the bloody gutters of Juárez, Mexico. Greeted by mutilated hanging bodies, Kate quickly witnesses a cavalcade of law enforcement opening fire on shifty locals in broad daylight with commonfolk padded in all directions.

“That’s illegal,” she says to her brethren, but they immediately school her that the boundaries of the law have been bent. Noisemakers like Matt and Alejandro are empowered to take down high-value bosses and make a true dent on the drug war.

“Sicario” stars Emily Blunt, Benicio Del Toro, Josh Brolin, Jon Bernthal, Victor Garber, Jeffrey Donovan, Raoul Trujillo and Maximiliano Hernández from director Denis Villeneuve and writer Taylor Sheridan. The film has a running time of 121 minutes and is rated “R” for strong violence, grisly images and language. “Sicario” opened in New York and Los Angeles on Sept. 18, 2015, opens in Chicago on Sept. 25 and goes wide on Oct. 2.

StarContinue for Adam Fendelman’s full review of “Sicario”.

Benicio Del Toro in Sicario
Benicio Del Toro stars as Alejandro in “Sicario”.
Image credit: Richard Foreman Jr.

StarContinue for Adam Fendelman’s full review of “Sicario”.

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