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#TIFF18 Review: Widows

September 17, 2018

By John Corrado

★★★ (out of 4)

When her husband Harry Rawlings (Liam Neeson) is killed during a heist gone wrong, Veronica (Viola Davis) enlists the help of the widows of the other men involved in the job – Alice (Elizabeth Debicki), Linda (Michelle Rodriguez) and Belle (Cynthia Erivo) – to finish the job and pay off a debt.

The latest from director Steve McQueen, following up his Oscar-winning 12 Years a Slave, Widows is a twisty and often entertaining crime thriller that is carried by an all-star cast, even if it doesn’t land every moment. The screenplay, co-written by Gillian Flynn and based on a British TV series from the 1980s, is a dense work that is somewhat impressive for the way it weaves together so many different story strands, but the film also juggles a few too many characters. Some of them end up feeling underdeveloped, and the plot is contrived at times, revealing the pulpier impulses of Flynn’s other work.

The film has shades of Martin Scorsese, Michael Mann and Brian DePalma without ever quite reaching those heights, but it’s still slickly directed by McQueen, who brings a strong sense of style to the action scenes. Bolstered by its thrillingly diverse ensemble cast, many of whom all get their moments to shine, Widows is a fun ride that delivers some kickass moments and a few unexpected if far-fetched turns.

Michelle Rodriguez, Viola Davis and Elizabeth Debicki in Widows

Public Screenings:

Saturday, September 8th – 9:30 PM at Roy Thomson Hall

Sunday, September 9th – 10:30 AM at Princess of Wales Theatre

Thursday, September 13th – 9:15 PM at Princess of Wales Theatre

Sunday, September 16th – 6:00 PM at Elgin Theatre

The 2018 Toronto International Film Festival runs from September 6th to 16th.

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