Sicario: Day of the Soldado

Sicario: Day of the Soldado

2018, R, 122 min. Directed by Stefano Sollima. Starring Benicio Del Toro, Josh Brolin, Isabela Moner, Jeffrey Donovan, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, Matthew Modine, Catherine Keener, Elijah Rodriguez, David Castaneda, Shea Whigham.

REVIEWED By Marjorie Baumgarten, Fri., June 29, 2018

Forget about good guys and bad guys. It’s almost impossible to know with certainty who’s who anymore. And if the location is the (currently wall-less) U.S.-Mexico border where much of Sicario: Day of the Soldado is set, the demarcations are even more porous. After the film’s opening sequences, during which responsibility for a Kansas City suicide bombing is attached to Islamist terrorists who apparently crept into the U.S. through its southern border, CIA operative Matt Graver (Brolin) is called to Washington by Secretary of Defense James Riley (Modine) and his attaché Cynthia Foards (Keener). While tasking Graver with upsetting the comfy status quo of the Matamoros drug- and human-smuggling cartel, the cabinet member informs the covert agent: “Dirty is exactly why you’re here.”

Screenwriter Taylor Sheridan traffics in these kinds of ambiguities. The shadings between right and wrong are highlighted in the original Sicario, as well as the films Hell or High Water (which was nominated for an Oscar) and Wind River (which Sheridan also directed; his penchant for modern Westerns has carried through to Yellowstone, a new TV series, which he both writes and directs). For this follow-up to the 2015 film, Sheridan has crafted a twisty tale that leads characters (some innocent, some rotten, some with scores to settle, and others just trying to survive) out from the shadows and into the glare of the daylight, which further distorts the shaky lines between good and bad. The film’s overarching story is solidly scripted, although it lags somewhat in the second act, and the government figure played by Catherine Keener is woefully undeveloped (an especially sore point since Emily Blunt in the original film portrayed such a formidable female lead).

Alas, Blunt is not back for the sequel, nor is director Denis Villeneuve. Neither is the late music composer Jóhann Jóhannson (whose menacing score was the first film’s secret sauce) nor acclaimed cinematographer Roger Deakins. However, Del Toro’s cryptic hitman (aka sicario) Alejandro is given more dimension in the sequel, where story strands are also developed to show the effect that the border’s rampant criminality and violence has on its blameless children. An unexpected epilogue opens a door for future sequels that might emphasize the recruitment of the next generation. Sollima (director of the Italian TV crime show Gomorrah, but not the identically titled movie) and his cinematographer Dariusz Wolski (The Martian) don’t manage to eke out as much tension and visual shock as did the Villeneuve and Deakins combination, but Sicario: Day of the Soldado nevertheless is fluid, efficient, and bloody.

Coincidentally coinciding with our great national debate about the future of the U.S.-Mexico border, the release of Sicario: Day of the Soldado should gain some extra heat from that simmering conflict. Yet it would be foolhardy to look for guiding lights in a movie populated by feckless government officials, ruthless criminal gangs, and bribed law enforcers. Perhaps if Sicario becomes on ongoing franchise, the children who are swept up into this madness (much like the ones in attendance at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School) can help lead the way out of the quagmire.

For an interview with Stefano Sollima, read "Border to Border," June 29.

Showtimes

Sat., July 21

9:45

Sun., July 22

9:45

Mon., July 23

9:45

Tue., July 24

9:45

Wed., July 25

9:45

Barton Creek Square (AMC)

2901 South Capital of Texas Hwy, 512/306-1991, www.amctheatres.com

Matinee discounts available before 4pm daily. Bring Your Baby matinees the first Tuesday of every month.

Sat., July 21

CC/DVS 11:00
CC/DVS, recliners, reserved seating 11:00

Sun., July 22

CC/DVS 11:00
CC/DVS, recliners, reserved seating 11:00

Mon., July 23

CC/DVS 8:20
CC/DVS, recliners, reserved seating 8:20

Tue., July 24

CC/DVS 8:20
CC/DVS, recliners, reserved seating 8:20

Wed., July 25

CC/DVS 8:20
CC/DVS, recliners, reserved seating 8:20

Cinemark 20 and XD

N. I-35 & FM 1825, 512/989-8535

Cost for 3-D and XD shows is regular ticket price plus a premium.

Sat., July 21

digital 12:25, 3:30, 6:35, 9:40
digital, luxury lounger 12:25, 3:30, 6:35, 9:40

Sun., July 22

digital 12:25, 3:30, 6:35, 9:40
digital, luxury lounger 12:25, 3:30, 6:35, 9:40

Mon., July 23

digital 12:25, 3:30, 6:35, 9:40
digital, luxury lounger 12:25, 3:30, 6:35, 9:40

Tue., July 24

digital 12:25, 3:30, 6:35, 9:40
digital, luxury lounger 12:25, 3:30, 6:35, 9:40

Wed., July 25

digital 3:30, 9:40
digital, luxury lounger 3:30, 9:40

Cinemark Cedar Park

1335 E. Whitestone, Cedar Park, 800/326-3264

Call theatre for complete list of movies and showtimes.

Sat., July 21

digital 9:20am, 6:10
digital, luxury lounger 9:20am, 6:10

Sun., July 22

digital 9:20am, 7:10
digital, luxury lounger 9:20am, 7:10

Mon., July 23

digital 9:20am, 3:00
digital, luxury lounger 9:20am, 3:00

Tue., July 24

digital 9:20am, 3:00, 6:10
digital, luxury lounger 9:20am, 3:00, 6:10

Wed., July 25

digital 9:20am, 3:00
digital, luxury lounger 9:20am, 3:00

Thu., July 26

digital 9:20am, 3:00
digital, luxury lounger 9:20am, 3:00

Sat., July 21

digital 12:55, 9:35
digital, luxury lounger 12:55, 9:35

Sun., July 22

digital 3:55
digital, luxury lounger 3:55

Mon., July 23

digital 12:55, 10:10
digital, luxury lounger 12:55, 10:10

Tue., July 24

digital 1:25, 9:40
digital, luxury lounger 1:25, 9:40

Wed., July 25

digital 12:55, 10:00
digital, luxury lounger 12:55, 10:00

Cinemark Round Rock

4401 N. I-35, Round Rock, 800/326-3264

Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium. Call theatre for complete March 26-28 showtimes.

Sat., July 21

digital 4:40, 7:50, 10:45
digital, luxury lounger 4:40, 7:50, 10:45

Sun., July 22

digital 10:55am, 4:40, 7:50, 10:45
digital, luxury lounger 10:55am, 4:40, 7:50, 10:45

Mon., July 23

digital 10:55am, 4:40, 7:50, 10:45
digital, luxury lounger 10:55am, 4:40, 7:50, 10:45

Tue., July 24

digital 10:55am, 4:40, 7:50, 10:45
digital, luxury lounger 10:55am, 4:40, 7:50, 10:45

Wed., July 25

digital 10:55am, 4:40, 7:50, 10:45
digital, luxury lounger 10:55am, 4:40, 7:50, 10:45

Cinemark Southpark Meadows

9900 S. I-35, 800/326-3264

Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium.

Sat., July 21

digital 1:10, 6:30
digital, luxury lounger 1:10, 6:30

Sun., July 22

digital 6:30
digital, luxury lounger 6:30

Mon., July 23

digital 1:10, 10:25
digital, luxury lounger 1:10, 10:25

Tue., July 24

digital 1:10
digital, luxury lounger 1:10

Wed., July 25

digital 1:10, 10:25
digital, luxury lounger 1:10, 10:25

Cinemark Stone Hill Town Center

18820 Hilltop Commercial Dr., 512/251-0938, www.cinemark.com

Sat., July 21

digital 12:40, 9:30

Sun., July 22

digital 12:40, 9:30

Tue., July 24

digital 12:40, 9:30

City Lights Theatre

420 Wolf Ranch Parkway, Georgetown, 512/868-9922

Sat., July 21

10:35am, 1:25, 4:25, 7:25, 10:15

Sun., July 22

1:25, 4:25, 7:25, 10:15

Mon., July 23

10:35am, 1:25, 4:25, 7:25, 10:15

Tue., July 24

1:25, 4:25, 7:25, 10:15

Wed., July 25

10:35am, 1:25, 4:25, 7:25, 10:15

EVO Entertainment

3200 Kyle Crossing, Kyle, 512/523-9009, www.evo-entertainment.com

Sat., July 21

12:05, 2:55, 5:50, 8:40

Sun., July 22

11:10am, 10:15

Mon., July 23

12:05, 2:55, 5:50, 8:40

Tue., July 24

12:05, 2:55, 5:50, 8:40

Wed., July 25

11:10am, 10:10

Flix Brewhouse

2200 S. I-35, Round Rock, 512/244-3549, www.flixbrewhouse.com/round-rock

Sat., July 21

CC 11:45am, 3:00

Sun., July 22

CC 11:45am, 3:00

Mon., July 23

CC 11:45am, 3:00

Tue., July 24

CC 11:45am

Wed., July 25

CC 11:45am, 3:00

Thu., July 26

CC 12:45, 4:00

Gateway Theatre

9700 Stonelake, 512/416-5700

Discounts daily before 6pm. Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium.

Sat., July 21

CC/DVS 12:20, 3:40, 7:10, 10:10

Sun., July 22

CC/DVS 12:20, 3:40, 7:10, 10:10

Mon., July 23

CC/DVS 12:20, 3:40, 7:10, 10:10

Tue., July 24

CC/DVS 12:20, 3:40, 7:10, 10:10

Wed., July 25

CC/DVS 12:20, 3:40, 7:10, 10:10

Metropolitan

901 Little Texas, 512/447-0101

Discounts daily before 6pm. Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium.

Sat., July 21

CC/DVS 3:00, 9:40

Sun., July 22

CC/DVS 3:00, 9:40

Mon., July 23

CC/DVS 12:00, 3:00, 6:40, 9:40

Tue., July 24

CC/DVS 12:00, 3:00, 6:40, 9:40

Wed., July 25

CC/DVS 12:00, 3:00, 6:40, 9:40

Thu., July 26

CC/DVS 12:00, 3:00, 6:40, 9:40

Moviehouse & Eatery

8300 N. FM 620, Bldg. B, 512/501-3520, www.themoviehouse.com/trails/

Sat., July 21

Reserved Seating 7:15, 10:30

Sun., July 22

Reserved Seating 7:15, 10:30

Mon., July 23

Reserved Seating 7:15, 10:30

Tue., July 24

Reserved Seating 7:15, 10:30

Wed., July 25

Reserved Seating 7:15, 10:30

Thu., July 26

Reserved Seating 7:15, 10:30

Moviehouse & Eatery - Lantana Place

7415 Southwest Parkway, Building 7, 512/572-0770, www.themoviehouse.com/lantana/

Sat., July 21

Reserved Seating 7:30, 10:45

Sun., July 22

Reserved Seating 7:30, 10:45

Mon., July 23

Reserved Seating 7:15, 10:30

Tue., July 24

Reserved Seating 7:15, 10:30

Wed., July 25

Reserved Seating 7:15, 10:30

Thu., July 26

Reserved Seating 7:15, 10:30

Sky Cinemas

13201 US-290, 512/457-0700, www.skycinemas.com

Sat., July 21

12:40, 8:40

Sun., July 22

12:00, 8:40

Mon., July 23

12:00, 8:40

Tue., July 24

12:00, 8:40

Wed., July 25

12:00, 8:40

Thu., July 26

12:00, 8:40

Starplex 12 San Marcos

1250 Wonder World Drive, San Marcos, 512/805-8000

Sat., July 21

10:35am, 1:20, 4:15, 7:10, 10:10

Sun., July 22

4:15, 7:10, 10:10

Mon., July 23

10:35am, 1:20, 4:05, 10:10

Tue., July 24

10:35am, 1:20, 4:15, 7:10, 10:10

Wed., July 25

10:35am, 1:20, 4:05, 10:10

Thu., July 26

10:35am, 1:20, 4:15, 7:10, 10:10

Westgate 11

4477 S. Lamar, 512/899-2717

Discounts daily before 6pm. Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium.

Sat., July 21

CC/DVS 3:15, 8:55

Sun., July 22

CC/DVS 3:15, 8:55

Mon., July 23

CC/DVS 1:00, 3:45, 6:30, 9:15

Tue., July 24

CC/DVS 1:00, 3:45, 6:30, 9:15

Wed., July 25

CC/DVS 1:00, 3:45, 6:30, 9:15

Thu., July 26

CC/DVS 1:00, 3:45

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS FILM

Sicario: Day of the Soldado, Stefano Sollima, Benicio Del Toro, Josh Brolin, Isabela Moner, Jeffrey Donovan, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, Matthew Modine, Catherine Keener, Elijah Rodriguez, David Castaneda, Shea Whigham

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