Widows2018


Widows (2018)

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AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: Widows rounds up a stellar ensemble for a heist thriller that mixes popcorn entertainment with a message - and marks another artistic leap for director Steve McQueen.

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From Academy Award (R)-winning director Steve McQueen ("12 Years a Slave") and co-writer and bestselling author Gillian Flynn ("Gone Girl") comes a blistering, modern-day thriller set against the backdrop of crime, passion and corruption. "Widows" is the story of four women with nothing in common except a debt left behind by their dead husbands' criminal activities. Set in contemporary Chicago, amid a time of turmoil, tensions build when Veronica (Oscar (R) winner Viola Davis), Alice (Elizabeth Debicki), Linda (Michelle Rodriguez) and Belle (Cynthia Erivo) take their fate into their own hands and conspire to forge a future on their own terms. "Widows" also stars Liam Neeson, Colin Farrell, Robert Duvall, Daniel Kaluuya, Lukas Haas and Brian Tyree Henry.

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Critic Reviews for Widows

All Critics (348) | Top Critics (41)

It's the dashing camerawork and broad historical awareness of Widows that makes it a truly sophisticated action film, and by far the best crime movie of 2018 so far.

November 30, 2018 | Full Review…

It offers everything adults used to love about cinema.

November 28, 2018 | Full Review…

The movie tosses back at viewers a variety of casual exasperations-inchoate, flip, and manipulable-that flatten and simplify the very ills and grievances that it dramatizes.

November 19, 2018 | Full Review…

It's not clear exactly what kind of movie(s) Widows wants to be: feminist heist thriller? Sprawling political saga? Bare-knuckled gangster noir?

November 18, 2018 | Rating: C+ | Full Review…

A gritty romp that makes the cliché-prone heist genre feel fresh again.

November 16, 2018 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Enough quality action and surprises to keep it interesting.

November 16, 2018 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Widows

½

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 husbandsâ(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. Thereâ(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 filmâ(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. McQueenâ(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. Thereâ(TM)s a lot to like with Widows, and plenty to get excited about, but I wanted to like even more. Nateâ(TM)s Grade: B

Nate Zoebl
Nate Zoebl

Super Reviewer

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.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer

A great heist film always gets me excited, as the intricacies that can be put into those stories can make for a fantastic film. From movies like Heat to newer movies like The Town, this genre has always had me yearning for the next great one. While I don't believe Widows quite fits into the conversation with the two aforementioned films, I believe the audience will absolutely get their fill with this one. Director Steve McQueen has directed critically acclaimed films like Shame and even directed a film to win best picture in 12 Years a Slave, and although I don't personally believe you'll be seeing very much of this film around the coming awards circuit, here's why I believe it's worthy of seeing in theaters. A heist has gone wrong. Four women have been left without husbands and to protect their own lives and families, they decide to complete the unfinished job that had been set in motion by their late partners. With the addition of a politician (which I won't get into detail on), it adds a few needed layers for the overall story. This film's premise has the potential to be incredibly emotionally resonant, but I feel as those the first act of this film shoots down any real emotional impact that the ending of the film could've had. The heist that kicks off the film feels incredibly rushed and I understand that the point of the movie is to focus on the four widows themselves, but the fact that the deaths of their husbands is brushed over left no room for emotion in my opinion. The husbands should have been more fleshed out so that audiences can get attached to every character before their demise. This was the films biggest downfall in my opinion, but it left a pretty big hole in my overall experience of this movie. I wish I had cared more about who lived and who died. The biggest thing Widows has working in its favour is the fact that Steve McQueen is a very talented filmmaker and the trio of writing talents with McQueen, Gillian Flynn, and Lynda La Plante was fantastic. This movie is full of surprises and I feel as though many viewers will have their jaw on the floor on a couple different occasions, but as I said, the emotional impact of everything is slightly lost, due to how brief the opening of the film is. Sadly, this is a rare case where I feel that most of this movie could be looked at as the best film of 2018, but the first act really taints those praises for me. On top of the well-written screenplay and overall great direction, this cast is stacked from head to toe. From Viola Davis giving an always devoted performance to Michelle Rodriguez giving her all, to relative newcomers in Cynthia Erivo and Elizabeth Debicki, to even Colin Ferrel and Robert Duvall who always do their thing on-screen, I was blown away by this cast. I would mention the performances of the husbands, but as I said, they're very brief. If it wasn't for these three elements, I don't believe I would've enjoyed this premise as much as I did. In the end, this is a very, very solid film that had the potential to be a great one. Not enough development is given to anyone to truly care about who makes it out of these situations. Steve McQueen is a director whom I will follow until his very last film entry because he's just that talented and Widows isn't a slight to that statement whatsoever. Although surprising and well-structured, this movie does feel like it's missing something and I feel an additional 20 minutes in the first act may have had me loving the film as a whole. Overall, Widows is a very good time at the movies and I recommend checking it out.

KJ Proulx
KJ Proulx

Super Reviewer

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