Star – Emma Stone & Bencio del Torro
Run Time – 120 minutes
Certificate – 18
Country – USA
Oscars – 3 nominations
Awards – 9 Wins & 97 Nominations
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
The War on Drugs is an ugly business and America are playing as dirty as the drug traffickers these days, the subject mater of this exciting and taut Oscar nominated thriller. The headless bodies hanging from bridges in places like Suarez in Mexico are not gang members who have somehow wronged the cartels but innocent people taking off the street, decapitated and strung up to send a message to the people who is the boss and so let the cartels do their thing, the police often complicit. But America are hypocrites when it comes to raging the drug war as they are the market for the blizzard of cocaine and fog of marijuana blowing over the border and the Senators and Congressmen signing bills to clamp down on drugs are also snorting it with a prostitute or two on their laps. Why exactly do they want to ban cocaine if Americans enjoy it so much? I can understand how damaging crack and heroin is but cocaine is not really a drug that keeps you off work or routine. It’s a party drug and by making it illegal to sell, well, it’s no surprise you have the chaos in Mexcio as rival cartels from all the way up south and Central America bottleneck in the North of Mexcio as they head for the border and control of the flow, Suarez the epicenter of that cartel friction. Oh, the word ‘Sicario’ means assassin in Spanish.
• Emily Blunt as Kate Macer
• Benicio del Toro as Alejandro Gillick
• Josh Brolin as Matt Graver
• Daniel Kaluuya as Reggie Wayne
• Maximiliano Hernández as Silvio
• Victor Garber as Dave Jennings
• Jon Bernthal as Ted
• Jeffrey Donovan as Steve Forsing
• Raoul Trujillo as Rafael
• Julio Cedillo as Fausto Alarcon
• Hank Rogerson as Phil Coopers
• Bernardo P. Saracino as Manuel Diaz
CIA man Matt Graver (Josh Brolin) and his special ops guys are putting together a multi agency team to transport a Mexican cartel boss to a prison in Phoenix from El Passo. The convoy could be attacked at anytime and so going in heavy handed. He has yet to get an FBI agent on board and decides to approach ambitious young field officer Kate Macer (Emily Blunt), currently on the narco squad on the US border regions, recommended by her boss Captain Dave Jennings (Victor Garber). After a couple of kills on a grim search and destroy operation near El Passo the previous day they think she could be ideal for the mission, one that you must volunteer for as its far from textbook and borderline legal. Also on that team is the mysterious and enigmatic Alejandro Gillick (Benicio del Toro), a man of few words and a big reputation.
Agreeing to do it, the operation begins within the next two days and immediately she is on the back foot and kept in the dark. They are not moving the prisoners internally from El Passo but externally, soon on a private plane to the outskirts of Suarez, Mexico, one of the world s most violent cities. She tools up and joins an entourage of Delta Force guys and US Marshalls and lawyers in black SUVs with heavily armed Mexican police, front and rear, as they sweep through Suarez and into the high security Mexican prison to extract the target legally, the brother of the elusive cartel boss Fausto Alarcon (Julio Cedillo). Graver informs the young FBI agent they won’t get hit on the way in but most likely at the border to America, hardly reassuring.
Just before they cross back to the US the traffic is jammed up and Gillick comes into his own, spotting the cartel ambush and the CIA guys deploying the ‘appropriate’ methods to make sure their cargo gets home. The idealistic FBI agent is not happy with the abandonment of the rule book on Mexican soil as the body count rises and makes her thoughts known at the New Mexico rendition facility where the target is being tortured. Graver makes it clear to her this team was put together to make a difference and get results and people on high have sanctioned that, and if the rule bending is not for her she can go back to her day job picking up the pieces, two of her fellow SWAT team killed on her last job because they are losing the drug war to this particular cartel. Gillick and Gravers team want to shake things up and get the cartel under control before American cities end up like Suarez. They have to find the elusive head drug lord and draw him out somehow to face justice.
Gillick: ‘To find him will be like discovering a vaccine for a deadly disease’
I really enjoyed this and a great looking, sounding and pacey action thriller with lots of black SUVs, sunglass and macho swaggering attitude. Normally the American films in this genre are inferior to foreign films from Latin America on the Drug War but this one rocks. It has that stylish Breaking Bad look and feel and with little dialogue; facial expressions and that scenery take over for words. It also has the best traffic jam shootout since Heat. The somber and brooding Bencio del Toro, although type cast these days, delivers his best and most menacing performance for a while and Emma Stone good as the idealistic but nervous young thing clutching the rule book and constitution in her soon to be blood soaked fingers. Although the film only picked up technical Oscar nominations all the cast are fab and you can believe this is not far off how it really goes down in the drug war.
It’s tense from scene one and ramps up thereafter, plenty of tension inducing surveillance tech and imagery to fill in the pauses. It sags a bit in the middle as we have a token black character to slow the pace down but once Stone is established as the conscious of the film we get going again. The people certainly seemed to like it and its $30 million budget did a healthy $80 million back in the intelligent thriller genre. Again the trailer is pretty dumb and designed to bring in that blue-collar beer swigging audience but this is a smartly crafted thriller with classy direction from Dennis Villeneuve and lots of rounded characters. There are one or two ‘that wouldn’t happen’ moments, and all the Mexicans are rather two dimensional tattooed cholos, but for the sake of this movie working and moving forward that needs to happen. This wont disappoint.
One critic says Sicario plays more like a gothic horror movie and in a way I can see his point. It has a real dark energy to it with a foreboding soundtrack and tries to steer away from action cliché, in the way films like The Kingdom and Hurt Locker clearly didn’t. As I say it is up for three technical Oscars this year and hopefully more people will go see it because of and I’m sure a few lines at The Academy Awards will be snorted in tribute. Must see thriller guys!
Imdb.com – 7.7/10.0 (137,326votes)
Rottentomatos.com – 83% critic’s approval
Metacritic.com – % critic’s approval
Vue Weekley –‘Horror masquerading as action-thriller; a desert-Gothic descent into the nightmare-grotesquerie of Mexico's narco-war. Brutal and dismal in its Stygian twists, Sicario indicts the drug-war as a relentlessly macho, end-justifies-any-means battle.
The Mail-‘Intense, compelling and utterly nerve-shredding, Sicario is a cinematic gut-punch of a movie that leaves you reeling’.
Blog de Cine –‘Once again, Villeneuve leaves the moral judgement to the spectator with an open ending that will leave you guessing’.
El Pias –‘A great film in all genres: action, thriller, spy films, war movies and even political’.
El Mexicano –‘Manages to create a complex story without heroes and villains, just victims of the circumstances. It's that moral ambiguity that makes this film as depressing as smart.
The Sun –‘A story designed to crush your idealism and open your eyes; objectives resoundingly achieved’.
On it's launch it was hot, the only music/comedy channel in the UK was really set to take off but the comedy isn't great and there isn't enough music. Half of the time when I turnover there's interviews, reviews or adverts. The comedy aspect features shows such as 'The Royle Family' and 'The Fast Show', the comedy shows usually don't air until eight/nine o'clock at night with the majority of shows overall focusing on music. I didn't really request UK Play but I recieved it as part of a channel package which I ordered, I checked it out - it was no where near the quality that channels such as MTV and KISS boast. It's not free of course but available as part of a basic channel package from most TV service providers. There are a few reasonably entertaining shows such as 'Top Of The Pops' with guests and new music. The channel name recently changed name to 'Play UK' probably just to get noticed again by viewers - the programming schedule is still the same though. I don't recommend this by any means but you'll probably recieve with your channel package anyway
Play UK, shows (as I'm sure you already know from other reviews on dooyoo) a mixture of music and comedy. This has a distinctly BBC2 flavour, as its target audience is similar and it is largly owned by the BBC. But, all that aside, is it any good? What does it show? Play UK, despite showing some new series, shows largely BBC repeats for its comedy bit. Shows like the Fast Show, League of Gentlemen, I'm Alan Partridge etc. are the type of things to expect. These programmes, in my opinion, are worthy of a second showing, and therefore I watch a lot of Play UK. However, my two main complaints would be that; -they sometimes show the same episode three or four times a week! -new series are often poor- and clearly just those rejected by BBC1/2. Music output is also on the whole good, and better than that of MTV etc, in my opinion. Top of the Pops at Play is o every weekday afternoon- which is like an afternoon version of Live and Kicking. Not my cup of tea, but you might like it. I like however DJ Anthems and The Joy of Decks, both of which have some really interesting tracks and mixes from big DJs. Where can you get it? It's on Sky Digital (217), On Digital (37) and on cable in most areas- as part of a primary package. Overall, this cannel is clearly UK GOLD's younger offspring- aimed at teens and younger people. It is however a worthy addition to digital TV.
The "UKtv" brand of satellite/digital channels has certainly proved successful. Their range of channels certainly aims to cater for almost every kind of person, what with channels such as the "repeats channel", UK Gold, UK Horizons, et al, and the breakaway, newly renamed UK Play - oops, I mean PlayUK! Certainly comparable to other digital channels such as E4, the PlayUK channel is run with the BBC (particulary BBC 2) and as such allows programmes such as "The League Of Gentlemen" and "The Fast Show" to be shown as some of PlayUK's big audience-grabbers. A potent combination of music, comedy and a mix of the two together, PlayUK is non-stop, "in your face" entertainment. Possibly one of the channel's "flagship" programmes is TOTP@Play, a Top Of The Pops spin-off show (again with the BBC connection), which competes, 6 days a week with its fierce rival, MTV Select. Both are similar in the sense that they are both presented by young, trendy attractive hosts (Lisa Rogers, Sarah HB, Vernon Kay, Joe Mase, Josie D'Arby and others), both invite the viewer to choose the song they want played as well. But in depth, "TOTP@Play" is much more than an MTV Select "phone-in" show. It includes in-depth interviews, reviews (of music and movies, festivals, TV etc) and you get the feeling that the show is much more run by the viewer than "Select" ever would be. Musically, PlayUK is a pop/dance hybrid. Its "DJ"-type programmes, namely "Play dance", "Play Selecta", "DJ Anthems" and "The Joy Of Decks" all regularly star big name DJ's such as Judge Jules to the Dreem Teem and cover the musical spectrum (as it were) from garage to house and trance. Comedy-wise, PlayUK hits the viewer hard with some of the greatest comedy programmes there are today. "The Fast Show",
"Alan Partridge", "Shooting Stars" and various others are almost guaranteed to entertain. What's more, PlayUK is bundled free with most digital packages (both Sky Digital and ONdigital), so there's no extra cost for a great channel. If you haven't already tried it out, you don't know what you are missing!
UK Play is is one of the ever expanding UK.. TV channels joining the vapid Style,the'The Bill'obsessed Gold and the dull Braindead,sorry Victoria Wood made up the last one!.It's on Sky Digital and some if not all cable services.It is the pick of the UK channels and concerns itself solely with music and comedy. The channel is run by the BBC and it's shows have mostly been on BBC2 although they do have some original programming.During the day the programmes are mostly musical with lazy stuff like 'Top of the pops@Play' which is basically an extended version of the BBC1 show with preformances from the show padded out with studio banter and viewer video requests.Other music shows include 'DJ Anthems','Superstar DJ' and no doubt the soon to follow 'DJ Changing rooms'.Not a DJ worshipper I tend to avoid the music part of the channel although the rolling pop videos at the weekends make for good background music. In the evenings comedy takes over and they even have a bored Paul Whitehouse doing prerecorded links.The shows are sheduled in a similar fashion to that of the Paramount comedy channel in that the same show is usually on in the same slot each night.This is handy if you can't find those TV pages but it also means that the same episodes pop up on a regular basis.The shows are all pretty good with 'The League of Gentlemen','The Fast Show' and the underrated 'Hippies' all regulars along with 'Big Train' and 'Stella Street'.Shows are now popping up soon after their BBC airing with 'The Last Fast Show' on two weeks after it first ran.Suits you...etc. Quite often the channel abandons the shedule and treats us to six or more episodes of the same show.This is fine is the show is 'Larry Sanders' not so good if it's 'Goodness Gracious me'.The channel is on 24 hours a day although through the night they simply rerun the shows seen e
arlier that day. Of their home grown shows the best is 'Rock Profile'.This is a spoof show where a straight faced Jamie Theakson interviews some rock star or group,who are played by Matt Lucas and David Williams.The interviews are intercut with the artiste's actual videos which have funny comments trailed alond the bottom.Highlight episodes include a very bitter Bucks Fizz and a slipper wielding Maurice Gibb who terrorises the younger BeeGees.This show is a treat and is on weekdays at 9.30pm. On the whole an enjoyable channel that usually delivers a tasty titbit if you've thirty minutes to kill.On the downside the shows are getting a bit familiar and the same trailers run at every ad break without fail.Give it a try.
UKPlay prides itself in being the UK's only music and comedy channel, and they do a great job of it. If you want to see comedy favourites like Shooting Stars (Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer), Herry Enfield and Chums or The Royle Family, then UKPlay will be heaven to you. If you also want the best new music, exclusive DJ performances and music quizzes, then again, it's the one for you. "The Joy Of Decks" provides regular sessions from many top DJ's including Judges Jules and Paul Oakenfold, while "The Phone Zone" provides the viewer with the opportunity to phone in and request a video, as well as playing the freshest new music. If there's one thing I watch UKPlay for, it's "The Leage of Gentlemen", I can't get enough of this comedy, it's brilliant. So, it it's music and comedy you like, tune into UKPlay now
UK Play is an entertainment Music and Youth channel bringing you music, chat and comedy. Featuring some of the best comedy shows eg. The Royle Family, and the best DJs, Trevor Nelson, Judge Jules etc. Whether you want to watch TV or just listen to some music then this is the channel for you. It is available on digital, cable and satelite TV and is suitable for the whole family, although aimed at teens and tweens. If you like UK Play you may also like: MTV, MTV2, MTV Base, Tara and Trouble.
UK PLAY is a music and comedy channel, which shows some of the most entertaining British comedy shows including The Fast Show, Big Train and the League of Gentlemen. It shows music videos, mainly pop and dance. Every weeknight from 4pm to 7pm UK PLAY shows the Top of the pops @ play. This is a request show where you can phone, fax or email them to get your song played. I would recommend UK PLAY to anyone who likes alternative comedy shows or any type of music because they sometimes have "theme" days or weekends where they might have all US pop one day and all UK pop the other day. UK PLAY is available on Sky Digital (Ch 452) and ON Digital.
UK Play is a great channel which can be recieved with digital. It is classed as a Music and comedy channel. It has been out for about a year now and is absolutely great. It’s two best programmes are Goodness Gracious Me and The Fast Show. The are showed regularly and are sometimes repeated. As it is owned by the BBC, it has many other ex-BBC1 programmes including The Royle Family. Overall it is a great channel to watch anytime of the day or night, and at most times it is for any ages.
I have heard mixed responses about UKPlay but I have to admit that I quite enjoy watching it on occasions. Billed as "The UK’s only music and comedy channel" it is from the same stable as UKGold, and thus shows mainly BBC1 and BBC2 repeats. However, Play also has some of its own programming such as the Top Of The Pops extra shows and specialist dance shows featuring people such as Seb Fontaine and Judge Jules. During the day Play is regarded as a music channel (it can be found under music in the Sky Digital TV Guide) and plays chart music and pretty much the same as the likes of MTV. In fact, from 4-7pm it is in direct competition with MTV Select as it has The Phone Zone which has a very similar format. This programme, however, has recently been replaced with Top of The Pops at Play, and while still in competition with Select, it also features interviews and features from performers on TOTP. In the evening, Play then becomes a comedy channel and shows the likes of Shooting Stars, Fast Show, Game On and Ted and Ralph. My one gripe is that these shows are shown at least twice each night - good if you have missed it the first time around but not so good if you are looking for something new to watch. The problem with Play’s comedy is that, while it shows some very good programmes, they don’t have much of a range. Ideally, the UKTV people should move some of the comedy shows from UKGold to UKPlay. Shows like Red Dwarf and the Royle Family would be a great asset to Play as this would probably appeal to the Vic & Bob/ Fast Show audience which Play aims to attract. Play is a good channel at times and can only become better if it widens its range of comedy programming in the evening to compete with channels such as Paramount. But hey, I’m sure there is one episode of the Fast Show I haven’t seen yet...
UK Play is the music channel from the people at the UK TV network. And while it so obviously tries to compete with, and beat MTV it falls so short of the mark. On MTV everyday there is a program called MTV Select, a live show with interviews, chart run downs etc. Guess what, at the same time on UK Play you can see TOTP@Play, a completely blatant rip off of MTV's show. And whereas MTV seems to judge perefctly what music to play and in what quantity, but whenever I turn over to UK Play the music is either old or by some rubbish band. UK Play does slightly beat MTC in the comedy stakes, although only because it has the likes of The League of Gentlemen and Shooting Stars, but this doesnt make up for some of the utter rubbish they put on, abstract comedies and weird persuado music programmes that nobody watches or probably even cares about. If UK Play could sort out its music, and stick to more of the good comedies then it could become reasonable, but I doubt it could ever beat MTV at its own game.
This channel is really good. Another successfull channel from UK TV. If you like mixing, clubbing, partying then this is the place to be. Dance music lovers heaven. It is really goos to watch when you are doing work or something or when you are stressed out because it makew you fell happier. It also has some good comedy programs such as "Goodness Gracious Me" and Bob & Vic's "Upstairs Downstairs". They usually repeat a few things in a day, but change the programmes daily. Another channel from UK TV well worth getting.
UK Play is the deffinetly the son of UK Gold, the cool, original and charismatic channel that is loved by younger viewers... My Top Five shows on UK Plus: 1. THE FAST SHOW! 2. GAME ON 3. LEAGUE of GEMTLEMEN 4. SHOOTING STARS 5. THE ROYLE FAMILY If the thought of The Fast Show shown once a night gets you going then this is the channel for you, it's like BBC2s Friday Night comedy everyday of the week. There is a lot of original programming but nothing brilliant at all, the best bits are from the BBC archives! First satellite station to show The Royle Family new episodes which has got to be a good thing.
I love all the UK TV Channels but PLAY UK has got to be one of my favourites, I really like the fact that it’s a mixture of comedy and music. One of my favourite shows is “Top of the Pops at Play” a new show which takes on the TOTP brand, its a show where you phone up have a chat and select a song, watch interviews or even request LIVE TOTP performances I think the presenters are brilliant and are really funny. I watch it nearly everyday, its better than MTV's viewers choice show. I also love to watch the comedy shows like “The Fast Show” and “Goodness Gracious Me”, PLAY UK is the home to excellent comedy., but these comedys are often repeated a lot. Recently though, there have been new comedies come to the channel, monday night is especially good with programmmes like "Im Alan Partridge", thats Steve Coogans creation and the wacky world of "Big Train" is also now on PLAY UK. The channel has recently had a re-brand, so it doesnt look like the other UKTV channels like UK GOLD. UK PLAY is now known as PLAY UK and has some great new music shows for all different tastes in music. They also have got a brilliant FLASH new website, with loads of features! PLAY UK is simply excellent blending comedy and music together on one channel.
I do like this channel as it has some quite good comedy that I haven't seen for along time like Shooting Stars, Vic and Bob, Jack Dee. The theme months are quite good as well, July was Vic Reeves month, June I think was the League of Gentlemen so you get to see all the episodes not just a selected repeat every now and again. This is quite nicely broken up with some scheduled music programs to like The Joy of Decks where some quite good DJ's get to muck about with videos and tracks at the same time with some quite entertaining results. The only problem Ihave with this channel is the volume of repeats. It is almost as bad as Sky movie channels. What drove me INSANE was the repeats of Shooting Stars. It was always the same damned episodes as well with Adam Ant and Melinda Messenger almost every night. Then, in Vic Reeves month, they showed them all again about three times as well!! That for me has tainted the channels credibility as an entertaining schedule with good variety. Maybe I'm to fussy but it does get boring now and again.