Cannes Film Festival: Cannes impresses with a War On Drugs thriller and a Hitchcock doc

8:30 a.m. Denis Villeneuve’s Sicario (Grade: B+) is another arty potboiler in the vein of Prisoners, but though it lacks the eccentric performances of the earlier film, it’s more accomplished and narratively fluid. Emily Blunt stars as Kate Macer, an FBI hostage specialist drafted into a possibly extra-legal inter-agency border task force overseen by Matt (Josh Brolin) and Alejandro (Benicio Del Toro), who claim to be working for the Department Of Defense. Kate is tough as nails, a real capable pro, but within the mechanics of the War On Drugs, she’s nothing but another cog.

Sicario sticks almost entirely to Kate’s kept-in-the-dark point-of-view, before shifting perspective at the climax—a progression of violence and sadism that some viewers may see as problematic, but which pointedly negates any sense of closure or release. The model—visually, thematically, tonally—seems to be Zero Dark Thirty, Kathryn …

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