Sicario is the latest film by Denis Villeneuve (Prisoners), and it follows an ambitious FBI agent (Emily Blunt) who joins a government security force led by a pair of mysterious operatives (Josh Brolin and Benicio del Toro) as they search the borderland for a Mexican drug lord. Villeneuve emerged as a major filmmaker after the release of his 2009 crime thriller Polytechnique, and with each subsequent film, including the Oscar-nominated Incendies (2010) and the paranoid parable Enemy (2013), he’s matured significantly as an artist, crafting tense, self-contained character dramas that deal with themes of identity, revenge, and obsession. Sicario has a broader political scope, focusing on shadow bureaucracy and the Mexican-American drug trade, but critics out of Cannes praised the film’s performances, cinematography, and tense atmosphere, key stylistic staples for Villeneuve.

Opens Fri 9/25, general release