- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Considered one of the best movies of 2015 by critics, Sicario (Lionsgate Home Entertainment, Rated R, $39.99, 121 minutes) arrives in the high-definition format to offer director Denis Villeneuve gripping crime drama about the U.S. government’s war on drugs.

Specifically, after a deadly discovery in an El Paso drug stash house, FBI agent Kate Mercer (Emily Blunt) agrees to join a special Department of Defense operation to hunt down a Mexican drug lord responsible for the Texas carnage.

Besides Miss Blunt’s gritty performance, Benicio del Toro shines as the quiet and unrepentant Alejandro Gillick (a consultant that lost his entire family to the cartels), as the complex plot of violent retribution unfolds.

The digital transfer (presented in the 2:40:1 aspect ratio) highlights cinematographer Roger Deakens gritty and muted look at the American Southwest and offers a style reminiscent of “The Hurt Locker” and “Zero Dark Thirty.”

The Dolby Atmos sound mix excels at startling viewers as they get enveloped in a movie loaded with much more action than words and truly shines during the sparse but pulsating musical score by Johann Johannsson.

Extras include roughly 50 minutes of featurettes looking at Mr. Villeneuve’s and Mr. Deaken’s visual design choices, interviews with the cast, background on the musical score and exploration of the story.

The latter is the best of the group and spends 13 minutes with screenwriter Tyler Sheridan explaining his inspiration for the film.

It combines a brief overview of the Mexican and U.S. drug wars with help from El Paso journalists remembering some of the more horrendous events that transpired. (Warning: Some of real imagery presented is not for the faint of heart.)

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