Widows Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ December 17, 2018
Widows is a bleak crime drama directed by Steve McQueen (the British director, not the high-octane legend of yesteryear). It‚(TM)s based on a BBC miniseries written by Lynda La Plante, who also gave birth to cult favorite television hit, Prime Suspect (go watch that show). The story begins with a group of professional thieves led by Liam FUCKING Neeson. After robbing a Chicago African-American crime syndicate, they are immediately killed in a firefight with the police. The widows of said thieves team up for one reason or another to complete the last job. Meanwhile, the crime syndicate attempts to get their man elected to the local government and comes into conflict with institutionalized racism. There are a lot of moving pieces in this story, but it‚(TM)s far more conventional than it is appears. It follows the conventions of a heist movie, down to reiterating clich√ (C)s of the genre such as the twist which you will probably see coming a mile away.

What DOES work about Widows are the performances, the direction, and some of the themes. Racial themes abound, as well as institutionalized corruption, and cursory examinations of socio-economic inequality. Steve McQueen tends to focus on characters who suffer for the sins of another. (See: Hunger, Shame, and 12 Years a Slave.) It doesn‚(TM)t quite reach the same artistic heights of those works or gut punch you as hard, but it still serves as a competent mid-range picture. Viola Davis headlines here, and does what she does best - emote better than anyone else in the business. Elizabeth Debicki (always underrated) forms the second half of the ‚widows‚? plotline and plays well off Davis. Cynthia Erivo and Michelle Rodriguez also give more than competent work. Daniel Kaluuya is probably going to be typecast as a villain after this and Black Panther, and it‚(TM)s a good fit ‚" he is a chilling nemesis. And there are other conflicted characters played by Colin Farrell, Brian Tyree Henry, and Robert Duvall that blur the moral lines and offer no easy answers. And that‚(TM)s the gist of it. Widows is a well-directed dark caper, with a lot on its mind, but it‚(TM)s let down by fairly typical and predictable writing, not comparing at all to McQueen‚(TM)s previous work. It‚(TM)s worth a viewing, but aside from a couple of performance nods, this is not best picture material.
December 17, 2018
Great movie, well written and great acting. Had some slow plot development but pays off in the end. Reminiscent of movies like Heat.
½ December 17, 2018
Terrible. Disjointed, and motives are all over the place. Cannot believe the critics like this that much. Acting I had little issue with, but the writing just made no real sense. Motivations were odd and often not explained.
December 17, 2018
Nice movie, so calm, emotional, but can be also called as action
December 16, 2018
Got nervous after reading reviews about the plot, but was surprised at how interesting and straight forward the plot was. There are a ton of plot holes, vaguely explained "mcguffins" and confusing parts, but overall the gist was easy enough to follow. This isn't a SPELL BOUNDING, action-packed thriller of the year, but it is a fun little thriller heist for people into the genre.
Nate Z.
Super Reviewer
½ December 16, 2018
Widows has an all-star cast, an Oscar-nominated director, and a best-selling novelist-turned screenwriter, so my expectations might have been turned up a bit too high. It follows a team of titular widows (Viola Davis, Michelle Rodriguez, Elizabeth Dibecki) picking up the pieces in the wake of their husbands‚(TM) deaths. It seems their dearly departed spouses stole money from a local criminal who very much demands the sum returned. The women must enter into a criminal heist, using notes left behind by a dead hubby, to settle the debt and spare their lives. Widows is a higher caliber crime movie with notable texture given to a wide assortment of characters; even the villains are given small character touches to better flesh them out and feel more realized. There‚(TM)s a concurrent election tying together different corrupt and criminal enterprises that widens the scope of the film into a grander scale. The characters and performances are the selling point of the movie and provide consistent entertainment. Davis (Fences) is the strong-willed linchpin of the group and I could watch her boss around people for hours. Dibecki (The Great Gatsby) has a nice turn as a trophy wife accustomed to being abused. The problem is that there might be too many characters. Rodriguez has far more significance in the first thirty minutes and then is put on ice. Likewise, Cynthia Erivo are hastily added when the plot requires something of them. That plot, adapted by Gillian Flynn (Gone Girl) and director Steve McQueen (12 Years a Slave), proves to be the film‚(TM)s biggest hindrance by the end. The second half plot turns seem to come from a more genre-y version of this story, not the classier version we had been treated to beforehand. There are character decisions that baffle credulity and personal safety. The quality of the characters deserved a movie that could refrain from the hacky genre twists. McQueen‚(TM)s precise camerawork is still alive and well and highlights tension and also moments of social commentary, like when we watch a car travel mere blocks from a rundown inner city neighborhood to a fancy gated residence. There‚(TM)s a lot to like with Widows, and plenty to get excited about, but I wanted to like even more.

Nate‚(TM)s Grade: B
December 16, 2018
When I saw the trailer for the film I was actually a bit put off. I felt like I had seen this revenge story before. But I am a real Viola Davis fan, so I gave it a try, and I am glad I did. There are some very strong performances: Viola Davis, Collin Farrel, Robert Duval, and Daniel Kaluuya. I would definitely recommend this movie. I do have one request though. Don't cast Daniel Kaluuya as a villain in any more films. He does a great job, but he deserves something better.
½ December 15, 2018
The movie feels like the writters tried to do a deep background to every "guy that dies n.2". Then tried to conclude every story. Couldn't miss sex scene with hot blonde. You had the tragic cop death, hard Latino life, racism, politics, crime, etc. Had so much stories I feel like didn't watched anyone's.
December 15, 2018
This movie is exceptionally slow and drawn out. The twists are predictable and some events seem to have been included solely for the advancement of the plot.
December 15, 2018
Too many cliches.. felt like I seen it before
Done better
December 15, 2018
Not one likeable character - each and every one was flat and unidimensional. A chick version of a boring male heist flick. Guess what? Still boring!
Super Reviewer
December 15, 2018
While making it always clear that this is in essence a heist film, Steve McQueen finds space for an intelligent commentary on race, gender and social class here as well, creating a taut combination of entertaining thriller and serious drama that benefits from great performances.
December 15, 2018
It boggles the mind how a film with so much talent in front and behind the camera could be so bland and unengaged.
½ December 15, 2018
The acting is on point, so is the editing, cinematography and sound design. But one part of the story during the third act left me a bit confused. Other than that, it was an absorbing film that was executed in style.
½ December 14, 2018
Widows debuted months back at TIFF and I was furious I could not get tickets. The first trailer was absolutely electric and boasting a cast that is a series of Oscar nominees and winners, this movie had my money from the start.
THEN I FIND OUT it is written by the woman who gave us Gone Girl, Gillian Flynn
AND directed by the man who gave us
Best Picture Winner 12 Years A Slave.
What could go wrong, right?!
RIGHT?! Well, everything sadly.
This is the most disappointing movie of 2018 for me, and it pains my soul to write that to you.

This movie is a big, boring train wreck that tries to mix so many different genres into a boiling pot
ie. part political intrigue thriller, part heist thriller, part gangster, throwing in 'elaborate' twists at points to lure you back that are so unoriginal, it sank this movie for me.

There are two people that shine in this movie and I will give them credit. The first being Daniel Kaluuya, who you'll recognize from Get Out, playing an absolutely heartless, street thug and brother to the man who got robbed in the beginning of the movie. He's so unlikable and cold in this, that it made me think how amazing it would be to see him in more villain roles in the future.

The other is Elizabeth Debicki, who we see as an abused and fragile wife to one of the murdered men. As the film progresses, we see her start to toughen up a bit and realize she doesn't have to take anyones shit anymore and it was applause worthy.

As the ole saying goes,
"Was the juice worth the squeeze?", and the answer is no, as the build up to the third act heist and the heist itself is so bland and short lived, the two hours it took to get to it just doesn't seem worth while.

Grade : C-
December 14, 2018
"As Viķvas" que baita filmaÁo, Steve McQueen arrebenta, baita diretor. Elenco espetacular: Viola Davis e Daniel Kaluuya brilham demais
December 14, 2018
In a world where Hollywood is druling over female lead action movies, this is definitely the way to do it. These female leads are written as characters not identity symbols for PC idiots. They are flawed and humanistic and performed brilliantly by all their actors, especially Viola Davis. Definitely worth checking out.
December 14, 2018
Liam and Colin could do better than this film.
Waste of Irish talent.
December 13, 2018
Terrible movie! Terrible writing. Terrible directing. What a waste of time.
½ December 13, 2018
starts out slow and the finish is more than a tad confusing
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