By Mary Cox
“Widows” starts with a bang and the thrills just keep on coming in this dark drama. The wives of four thieves become widows when their husbands are killed while robbing a black, Chicago politician Manning (Brian Tyree Henry) of two million dollars.
The psychopathic brother, Jatemme Manning, of the politician, (Daniel Kaluuya), demands that the widows return the money or he will kill them. The problem is that they don’t have the money and have no way of paying it back. When Veronica (Academy Award Winner Viola Davis), the wife of Harry Rawlings, (Liam Neeson), finds his plans for the next robbery of the corrupt politician who is running against Manning, she recruits the other widows to pull off the heist.
Two of the widows sign on immediately, but one widow refuses.
Although Viola Davis carries this film the other women, Linda, (Michelle Rodriguez) and Alice, (Elizabeth Debieki) and Belle, (Cynthia Erivo) are terrific as well. I particularly like the character of Belle. She joins the robbery without second thoughts and is tough as nails. As the character Veronica remembers her husband’s love, you feel her angst as a widow. You see her emotions on Davis’s face and share her pain. I won’t be surprised if Davis is again nominated for an Academy Award.
Academy Award Winner Robert Duvall plays a heavy in “Widows” as a corrupt politician who retired and wants his son to take over his position. I thought Duvall, who attended the Principia in Elsah looked old and haggard then I realized he was 87 and decided he looked pretty good for a man his age. He can still act. Even in a limited role, he was powerful as he constantly bullied his son, Tom, (Colin Farrell.)
“Widows” was directed by Academy Award Winner Steve McQueen. You will remember McQueen as the director of “12 Years a Slave” in 2013. McQueen teamed with Gillian Flynn, author of the screenplay and book “Gone Girl.” The screenplay is tight and sinister.
Visual effects and stunts were stunning in a drama-thriller. Usually, those are saved for an action film. McQueen uses them wisely and doesn’t allow them to take over the film. There is brutality in the form of Jatemme Manning.
Unfortunately, “Widows” won’t show on our side of the river, but if you like drama, it is worth the drive to St. Louis to see this film with its star-studded cast.
GIVE THIS 4 STARS