WHAT I LIKED: On the one hand, 'Sicario' is one of the most tightly directed thrillers I've ever seen, as Denis Villenuive steers each set piece and scene with such a tight grip and strong punch that it grabs hold of your stomach and twists it into knots. That in-the-moment tension is brought by the fact it takes its time, but is also helped hugely by great performances from Del Toro and Emily Blunt, as well as an incredible score from Jóhann Jóhannsson and unsurprisingly stunning cinematography from Roger Deakins.
WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE: On the other hand, you can't help feeling all of that is a very gripping and beautiful mask for something that actually holds a very weak base indeed. Yes sadly the characters are vastly under-written, and only fill equally evil sides of a fairly simple thematic message. From there, the plot is fairly basic, and all-in-all it consequently lacks ability to engage beyond the nail-biting grit and visual splendour.
VERDICT: 'Sicario' may have you in some moments, but the overall piece is sadly a very mind-numbing, if mostly admirable film.