Eddie Baty’s review published on Letterboxd:
This is how to take a simple drug war premise and make it an amazing movie. You fill it with a perfectly paced story that is endlessly watchable in its unraveling and deliberate in its twists and turns, with one of the best cinematographers with impeccable lense control, and a director who knows how to keep you involved...
I'm a bit of a Denis Villeneuve fanboy so bear with me.
But seriously, the film is gorgeously shot which is pretty standard for all of Villeneuve's films thus far and the lensing talent is abundantly clear once again. Those sunset shots were something else.
The performances in this film is where it really shines. Emily Blunt is a great lead and delivers a solid performance. She's a very talented actor who I'd really like to see continue to gain more roles and I'm excited to watch her get even better.
Benicio del Toro though... Wow, this guy was incredible. He plays one of the most interesting characters I've seen in a movie in general so you can imagine how great it is watching him in this film.
The film also deals with the violence of the drug war in a very straightforward way. Nothing is overly blown up or exaggerated. It's treated as commonplace.
The moody and excellent score does not demand to make us feel any one way, it serves to blank our minds and place us into the world. The world where people simply look off toward the sound of gunshots and resume whatever it was they were doing before - washing clothes, playing soccer...
Watch this movie ASAP.