In this film, directed by Denis Villeneuve, Emily Blunt stars as Kate, an FBI agent working in Arizona. She and her partner Reggie (Daniel Kaluuya), are heading to a house in Chandler to rescue kidnap victims. However, what they find is much more than they expected. They find dozens of dead bodies, bagged in plastic behind the drywall. On top of that, a deadly explosion kills two of her team members. It’s the work of a powerful drug cartel from Mexico led by Manuel Diaz.
Kate is asked and agrees to work with a group led by Matt (Josh Brolin). Is he FBI? CIA? We don’t know. He says he’s a Department of Defense advisor, but Kate isn’t convinced. But soon enough Kate is aboard a private jet that she is told is going to Texas, but lands in Mexico. Also on the jet is the mysterious Alejandro, from Colombia, played by Academy Award winner Benicio Del Toro, who delivers another Oscar-worthy performance.
This leads to a powerful and tense opening scene in which they work with Mexican authorities to extract a high level cartel member and take him back over to the United States. All of this is so that they can get to Diaz.
We see nude corpses hanging in Juarez, Mexico and can feel the danger, expecting gunfight to break out at any time. Kate, who plays by the rules and is trying to figure out just what is going on, is bothered by what she is seeing, but she’s not in charge.
The title of the film – Sicario – means “hitman” in Spanish. This film earns it’s “R” rating for strong violence and a significant amount of adult language, including the inappropriate use of God’s and Jesus’ names. There is also the corpses showing full frontal nudity, and some sexual content, which is abruptly interrupted.
The acting performances are excellent and the film is well-made. You really get a feel for how dangerous the U.S./Mexican border is, as well as the city of Juarez, Mexico, which experienced about 3,000 murders in 2010.