Review: Sicario: Day of the Soldado (2018)

Sicario: Day of the Soldado

Theatrical Release: June 29, 2018

Run Time: 2 hours 2 minutes

Reviewed By: Reel Reviews Over Brews

Sicario: Day of the Soldado, begins a new chapter. The cartels have begun trafficking terrorists across the US border, federal agent Matt Graver (Josh Brolin) calls on the mysterious Alejandro (Benicio Del Toro), whose family was murdered by a cartel kingpin, to escalate the war between rival cartels. Alejandro kidnaps the kingpin’s daughter Isabela (Isabela Moner) to spark the conflict, but when the girl is seen as collateral damage the two men will have to decide what to do with her as they question everything they are fighting for.


I’d like to start by saying I loved the first Sicario. It had me on the edge of my seat from the opening scene and had my anxiety up to levels No Country For Old Men put me at. Easily a top 3 movie of mine. Anyway, when I heard they were making a sequel I was less than thrilled. I was worried it would take away from how good the first one was. However, since Sicario, I have been following Taylor Sheridan everywhere. Writing Hell or High Water and writing/directing Wind River with a new TV series Yellowstone. I liked them all. So of course I was checking out this one.

Sicario: Day of the Soldado brought the same intensity as the first movie. The action was raw and the acting was brilliant. Brolin and Del Toro are again, as good as it gets, in Soldado. Newcomer, Isabela Moner, was excellent as well. The movie turned out to be pretty politically charged with the immigrants at the boarder being the driving force of the plot. Soldado kept you on the edge of the seat throughout the entire movie. Just when you thought everything was going smoothly the whole thing flips on its head and all that was left to do was react. One of the most well done scenes comes as a group of terrorists enter a crowed store and blow it up. It is the few moments after the initial explosions that you see a mother and daughter slowly make their way to the door pleading the final terrorist not to do it. It is grip the seat kind of tension. And that is only one of many that leave you shocked. Taylor Sheridan leaves some loose ends for presumably a 3rd installment, which after seeing Soldado I can’t wait to find out what happens next.

Reel ROB Rating: 7.5 out of 10 stars

Post Credits Scene: No

We want to thank our friends at Reel News Daily for allowing us to do this guest review!

Review: Neil Labute’s ‘Dirty Weekend’ Is Less of a Gut Punch Than His Early Films to Its Detriment Yet Is Still Enjoyable

dirty weekend - poster

If you have ever seen Neil LaBute‘s first few films (In the Company of Men, Yours Friends and Neighbors, Nurse Betty and The Shape of Things), you will have learned to expect certain things from him – tons of flashy, quick dialogue, despicable characters and at least one crushing gut punch to set you spinning for hours after the film concludes. He was as fearless as any writer-director in Hollywood during that stretch and his films always had me intrigued. When he moved to more Hollywood-friendly fare in Possession, Lakeview Terrace and needless remakes of Death of a Funeral and The Wicker Man, he lost me. With Dirty Weekend, it seemed a return to form of sorts to the films of his that I love, ones that provoke reaction and thought.

Dirty-Weekend_Press_1 Tribeca

Dirty Weekend is a fairly simple film in its construction. Two work colleagues, Les (Matthew Broderick) and Natalie (Alice Eve), are re-routed to Albuquerque, New Mexico, en route to Dallas for a big presentation that could hold great things for the future of both at their current company if it comes off well. As with most business travelers, they are annoyed at the inconvenience of being stuck in small/big town when they both have so much riding on their work, but Les seems almost frantic as if something else is getting to him. When Les decides the two should split up so he can mysteriously “go into town”, buzzers start going off for Natalie, who decides to join him against his wishes. As they traverse the streets of Albuquerque, they both reveal hidden parts of their lives to one another.

Dirty-Weekend_Press_2 Tribeca

The reveal of these hidden aspects further pushes Les and Natalie jointly into a quest to help Les find someone he has met in Albuquerque before, the source of his jittery nature when he found out they landed there, armed only with a note written on a slip of paper, Zorro. Once there, Les finds who his looking for, or at least he thinks he does, and Natalie surprises with a discovery of her own.

Dirty-Weekend_Press_3 Tribeca

LaBute‘s background in theater is very evident in this film. The dialogue and the sparse locations would lend this story well to a stage. And in typical fashion, LaBute kills it with the dialogue, which never seems overwrought or out of character in the mouths of Les, Natalie and the very few other ancillary characters. Where this film lacks in comparison to his other earlier films of a similar ilk is it is missing that gut punch moment, that moment that forces you to make a judgment on the character (a really good example of this is Jason Patric‘s nausea-inducing takedown of Catherine Keener‘s character in Your Friends and Neighbors). The scenarios befalling both Les and Natalie seem a little too passé for a LaBute film and seem to fall a little too close to Fifty Shades of Grey-land in some respects and just as uninteresting. Where LaBute used to shock us, Dirty Weekend, which has all the promise of shocks, falls short in that respect. And the thing is, he has the perfect vessel in Broderick to deliver something along those lines. Broderick does deliver a fine performance, however, and is very convincing as the not-as-square-as-we-imagine businessman.

dirty weekend

It does well that LaBute allows Alice Eve to flex her acting muscles and not just be used as scenery (JJ Abrams and whoever made that shitty Sex and the City 2 tragedy, I’m talking to you). Her demeanor and delivery are spot on and I found her characterization of Natalie far more intriguing than anyone else in the film.

I think this filmed work at its most basic level – telling a story that piqued my interest. Could it have done it better? My opinion is yes. Perhaps I’m not allowing for LaBute to evolve as a filmmaker, not relying on those squeamish, cringe-inducing moments to carry the film. He could at least given us a Nurse Betty-like elbow drop, though. I enjoyed the performances and as always, the dialogue was spot on. For those who are unschooled in LaBute‘s work, this one may suit you better than veteran viewers.

Dirty Weekend hits theaters this weekend and is being distributed by the good folks at eOne Films.