Widows

Widows

(2018)

Oscar-winning director Steve McQueen (12 Years a Slave) co-writes and directs fellow Academy Award winner Viola Davis (Fences) in this heist thriller based on the 1983 TV series. Co-written with Gone Girl author Gillian Flynn.... More

Set in contemporary Chicago, amidst a time of turmoil, a group of 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.Hide

Flicks Review

If you, like me, are still feeling vaguely furious after bearing unfortunate witness to the insulting and tedious mess that was Ocean’s 8, then I have fabulous news: Widows.... More

When teacher’s union lobbyist Veronica Rawling’s (Viola Davis) husband Harry (Liam Neeson) is blown up, along with his team of career criminals, amid a robbery gone wrong, she is left bereft—both of the love of her life and the comfort his success provided.

Harry doesn’t leave her completely empty-handed though, and soon Veronica finds herself in possession of (a) a $2 million debt to pay to a local crime boss (turned local government hopeful), and (b) the plans and blueprints for an upcoming $3 million heist.

Recruiting two of the other women widowed by the explosion, the trio is in a race against time to get the money and get their lives back.

Adapted by director Steve McQueen (from the 1980s British mini-series of the same name), in theory, Widows seems like a strange choice for the notoriously harrowing filmmaker: certainly, no one was expecting the guy who made Hunger, Shame and 12 Years a Slave to be getting into the heist business.

Yet in practice, it makes perfect sense. Sharing more in common with The Wire than, say, Baby Driver, Widows is both a nail-biting thriller and a scathing systemic critique—pairing tightly-wound genre trappings with a genuinely nuanced political subplot, Widows economically and effortlessly builds towards a conclusion that is both emotionally and intellectually stunning.

Best of all, it never once veers into ‘yass queen’ territory: the women here are messy, rough and intensely real—motivated not by some bullshit girl boss fantasy but by the fact that the husbands they thought they relied on in life, have in fact left them utterly in the lurch.

At a time when Hollywood is still struggling to imagine women in traditionally male roles—and failing spectacularly with films like Ocean’sWidows is not just the best female-led movie we’ve seen in years; it’s the best heist movie we’ve seen in years, that just happens to star women.Hide


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The Press Reviews

  • Gripping, corrosive and superbly acted... Full Review

  • McQueen is in confident control of the material. It's such a thrill to see him at play with genre material and Widows glides like so few multiplex-packing thrillers do these days. Full Review

  • A flawed but fascinating mismatch between director and project, Widows is tough on crime, but even tougher on the causes of crime. Full Review

  • Widows is rife with pertinent detail, doled out sharply by McQueen. He's not a subtle filmmaker, exactly, but his indicating has a gracefulness to it. Full Review

  • It's a stark, violent, cynical but thoroughly entertaining caper picture. Full Review

  • It presents an enjoyably dark and sleazy vision of ordinary lives intertwining with the hurly-burly of street thuggery, local machine politics, and half a dozen other forms of daily corruption. Full Review

  • Widows is the marriage of Flynn's instinct for the twist and the strong female lead, with McQueen's flair for the frame and visual metaphor. It has produced one of the strongest films of 2018. Terrifically recommended. Full Review

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