The heist film “Widows,” directed by Steve McQueen, premiered November 16, 2018. McQueen’s last film “12 Years a Slave” took home Academy Awards for Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Supporting Actress. McQueen shares writing credit on the film with Gillian Flynn, who is best known for her novel “Gone Girl" which was later adapted for film in 2014. “Widows” is based upon the 1983 BBC television series of the same name.
Watched through flashbacks, the opening of the movie shows a group of thieves preforming a heist that ultimately ends in their deaths. The robbers are played by renowned actor Liam Neeson, as Harry, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, as Carlos, Jon Bernthal, as Florek and Coburn Goss, as Jimmy.
Things go from bad to worse when newly widowed Veronica, played by Viola Davis, is threatened by Jamal Manning, played by Brian Tyree Henry, to get back all the money that was stolen from him in the botched heist. Manning plans to use that money to finance his campaign for alderman of a South Side Chicago precinct.
Veronica teams up with the widows of the other men in Harry’s crew. Those wives are played by Elizabeth Debicki, Michelle Rodriguez, and Carrie Coon. Also wrapped up in this tangled web are Colin Farrell as a crooked local politician, Robert Duvall as his father, and Daniel Kaluuya as Jamal’s criminal mob enforcer.
“Widows” is definitely one of the most unique films I’ve seen this year, which I think works for and against it in many different ways. This movie throws a lot of information at the audience. There are many characters and players in the game; gangsters and politicians working together to cause mass hysteria.
This movie had a few slow moments, but this pace allows the characters to catch their breath which especially comes in handy for Veronica as she finds her world turned upside-down overnight.
This movie overall was a fantastic thriller, however there are also characters and scenes I don’t think ultimately pay off or seem applicable to the plot itself that made parts of the movie of drag. There are also a couple of big story elements that make for really dramatic turns, but I’m not sure were entirely necessary in telling the story.
I will say that this movie was very entertaining, from the very beginning it was intense and engaging; it really draws you in. The heist was very complex and as an audience member you have to follow the characters through the process of making their decisions on what to do next.
This was such a legitimately enjoyable crime heist movie. And in this case the the movie is not just about the heist, there is genuine interest in the characters too. Especially the wives are basically winging it because they aren’t the thieves their husbands were.
“Widows” has all the elements to be a fantastic movie; a prestigious cast, great talent behind the camera, timely and powerful story and themes, and lived up to its promise. I personally give the movie a 9 out of 10; a must-see.