Tautly paced thriller

Emily Blunt, PA Photo/Lionsgate.
Emily Blunt, PA Photo/Lionsgate.

Thriller/Action. SICARIO (15, 121 mins). Emily Blunt, Josh Brolin, Benicio Del Toro, Daniel Kaluuya, Jon Bernthal, Victor Garber, Raoul Trujillo. Director: Denis Villeneuve.

Released: October 8 (UK & Ireland)

French-Canadian filmmaker Denis Villeneuve made an impressive English language debut in 2013 with the nihilistic thriller Prisoners starring Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal.

Before he takes charge of the sequel to Blade Runner, the talented director dazzles with this edge-of-seat assault on unbitten nails, glimpsing America’s war on drugs through the eyes of a ballsy FBI agent, who is naive about the full extent of her government’s covert activities.

Sicario, which translates as hitman in Spanish, is tautly paced and expertly scripted by Taylor Sheridan, who sidesteps glib solutions to a complex global epidemic.

Instead, he skilfully weaves together sinewy subplots involving morally flawed characters on both sides of the Mexican border, building up a richly detailed picture of the blurred lines between authorities and the traffickers.