Sicario is an American story told by a Canadian Director. The film looks at an aspect of the American War on Drugs and in particular the War on the Drug Cartels in Mexico. It is a very dark look at this issue and pulls no punches about the cartels or the US agencies (DEA, CIA and FBI) who are waging a less than successful war against them. Emily Blunt plays an FBI agent who is seconded to a CIA operation to assassinate a major Drug Cartel leader. There is no question that the target is evil to the core but the agents going after him are far off the rules of law. The moral and legal conscience of Blunt’s character is challenged to its limits putting her a risk from both sides of the conflict. The end of the film is uncompromising and leaves most of the questions asked open for the viewer to reflect about. No is the good guy in the story.
The film is graphic and violent and tough to watch in parts but Blunt, Josh Brolin, and Benicio Del Toro are very strong and believable. The pace of the film is relentless and completely engaging. It is not possible to turn away for fear of missing something important in the plot as events unfold. Great stuff. I can see why it was not nominated in some major categories like acting. It is an ensemble production that does not depend on any one thing but on a combination of really good acting, writing and directing. It has been nominated for some technical awards and I hope it wins a couple because it merits praise.