Energetically physical. None of the soppiness of Wind River, because Denis Villeneuve knows how to direct a cinematic experience. Atmospheric, mercurial. Acting compelling in its terseness. A scathed lament for countries lost to violence. "Listen, nothing will make sense to your American ears, and you will doubt everything that we do."
A tense, realized work. Let every CIA spook hang; may cancer agonizingly chew through the torturers; put the corrupt & the inhumane & the criminal up against the wall, motherfucker. Stories like Sicario make me pray that my beautiful backwards country either faces insurrection & radical reform to right its wrongs, or that it gets nuked into the stone age.
The only difference to all the other navel-gazing american productions is Villeneuve's punch and the short scenes with the mexican cop. The plot itself is probably pure fiction, playing out in front of a hyper realistic background. Still a very good film for it's sense of urgency and pure power of everybody involved.
Emily Blunt gives one of the best "passive" performances in recent memory. The rest of the film could be the finest adaptation of Dante's Inferno that we'll ever have. The slow and mainly static action set-piece in the traffic jam is a reminder of why Villenueve is so special.