Widows (Steve McQueen, 2018)

Viola Davis, Michelle Rodriguez, Elizabeth Debicki

Set in contemporary Chicago, amid a time of turmoil, four women with nothing in common except a debt left behind by their dead husbands' criminal activities, take fate into their own hands, and conspire to forge a future on their own terms.

Most heist movies are built on a sheen of cool genius, masterminded by a gang of antiheroes who are typically seeking a kind of justified vengeance. Widows is not like most heist movies. The emotional currents that power Steve McQueen’s brilliant genre exercise are different—it’s societal inequity, exhaustion at corruption, and outright anger at a bullshit system that steals from the poor to give to the rich. McQueen’s masterful film is the kind that works on multiple levels simultaneously—as pure pulp entertainment but also as a commentary on how often it feels like we have to take what we are owed or risk never getting it at all. Brian Tallerico.

The conclusion to all this shooting and shenanigans is narratively satisfying but by implication politically hollow. In a flashback to 2008, we have seen a black teenager gunned down by police, yards from a wall papered with Obama posters proclaiming ‘Hope’. But little has changed in Mud City during the local hero’s two terms in the highest office. The only way to get a real ‘M-wow’ is to steal it for yourself from under the city’s nose, with a loaded gun. Pamela Hutchinson.

This is a unpleasant, shoot-em-up, crash-the-cars crime flick.

Garry Gillard | New: 7 March, 2019 | Now: 8 March, 2019