When going into a film, you can’t help but think back to that filmmakers other films to give you some idea of what this film could be like and the possible quality. Denis Villeneuve has directed 7 films, including this one, but I had only seen two of them, Incendies and Prisoners. The former was a shock to the system, as it was good film, but the twist had me walking out speechless, in a good way. The latter on the other hand was good, especially with the performances and the directing, but the story itself just wasn’t enough on point to be great.
With that pre-knowledge, and having seen the trailer, made me think that this film was at the very least going to have great acting and directing, but the story still had a question mark hanging over it. Having seen it though, I can safely say that this was able to pull the whole package together for what is easily one of my favourite films of the year. Every single performance was great, and even some of the smaller cameos just worked so well, and the directing, with a few little interesting choices here and there, was also exactly what the film required to take it to the next level.
The story itself may be a little complicated for people who don’t know the history of the war on drugs that’s focused around the US and Mexico border, and especially with how the various government agencies are heavily tied in with it, but I think it did a good job letting the audience know enough while not hand holding their hand either. I feel this could be up for many awards next year with acting, directing, and writing on the top of the list, and if you have the chance to see it, then do it!
9.5 out of 10 from me!!!