WIDOWS Review — A Female Driven Heist Pic With Deadly Bite

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Widows Review — An intriguing director, a favorite author and sublime actors combine to make a phenomenal film

Widows reviewWho would have thought that celebrated director Steve McQueen, the same one who brought you the Academy Award winning 12 Years a Slave and the subtly chilling Shame, could pull off such a riveting heist flick? Team him up with Gone Girl author Gillian Flynn, and all things appear to be possible—including Oscar worthy performances.

The plot is complicated and multi-faceted, but not impossible to follow. It seems the husbands of three extremely diverse women, Veronica (Viola Davis), Linda (Michelle Rodriguez) and Alice (Elizabeth Dibiki) were involved in a heist gone deadly wrong. Now the truly evil bad guys (Daniel Kaluuya and Brian Tyree Henry) expect these wives to pay back the money that was stolen from them then burned to ashes.

Using whatever resources they have, including a heist playbook left to them by Veronica’s husband (Liam Neeson) and the assistance of one badass babysitter (the mesmerizing Cynthia Erivo) they must navigate the corrupt worlds of local politics and crime families just to stay alive, let alone pay their debts…or not.

Of course that plot summary tremendously simplifies things. There are so many layers upon layers and intricate twists and turns, you will find yourself at the edge of your seat throughout, constantly exclaiming, “What? I didn’t see that coming!”

But perhaps the film’s greatest, most intriguing strength, is the character development. Not only does everyone have a cunningly explained motive, but the tenuous relationships dire circumstances necessitate are constantly threatening to unravel, creating even more suspense. Just how far will/ can these characters go to come out with their lives, and power, intact?

With an ensemble cast that also includes Robert Duvall, Colin Farrell, Jacki Weaver, Carrie Coon, Lukas Haas, Garret Dillahunt and Jon Bernthal, all at the top of their games, it is impossible not to be mesmerized. Throw in the “sisters are doin’ it for themselves” message, and you’ve got one helluva film.

Rated R

2 Hours 8 Minutes

If this Widows review intrigued you, get times and tickets at Fandango.com.

Widows Review — An intriguing director, a favorite author and sublime actors combine to make a phenomenal film.

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Lisa Johnson Mandell

Lisa Johnson Mandell

Lisa Johnson Mandell is an award winning journalist, author and film/TV critic. She can be heard regularly on Cumulus radio stations throughout the US, and on BBC Radio.

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