Up until this point, Villeneuve’s pictures had consistently demonstrated his ability to leave audiences second guessing at every turn. With Sicario – penned by future Oscar winner Taylor Sheridan – he took things one step further by bringing new meaning to the concept of cinematic tension.
Reforming the holy trinity of technical masters alongside Roger Deakins and Jóhann Jóhannsson (both of whom were nominated for Academy Awards in their respective fields), Villeneuve drags us down into the murky, unscrupulous underbelly of the United States’ war on drugs; a world Emily Blunt’s FBI agent struggles to comprehend when faced with the likes of Josh Brolin’s faceless agency and Benicio del Toro’s wronged assassin.
A pure assault on the senses that both looks and sounds incredible, Sicario sees Villeneuve successfully ratchet up the tension to the point where a collection of vehicles merely travelling from Point A to Point B with zero incidents stands out as one of the finest sequences in recent memory. If the dictionary’s definition of “edge of your seat” required a specific cinematic example, Sicario would be the logical nomination.