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01st Jul 2018

One of the best crime movies of recent years is on TV tonight

Wil Jones

Is Benicio Del Toro the coolest person on the planet?

It would be difficult to put him out of the running.

Across a filmography that includes beloved movies like The Usual Suspects, Traffic, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Sin City  and Snatch, as well as franchise entries like Guardians of the Galaxy and The Last Jedi, Del Toro has been an ice cool, instantly iconic screen presence.

But it is maybe 2015’s Sicario, which is on Film4 at 9pm tonight (or 10pm on Film4 +1), that maybe gave him his most definitive role.

A sprawling twisty tale of the Mexican drug cartels, it stars Emily Blunt as Kate Macer, a tough-as-nails FBI agent trying to bring down a brutal drug lord, overseen by her boss Graver (Josh Brolin). But then she meets Alejandro Gillick (Del Toro), Graver’s mysterious advisor. A man with unclear connections to the cartels, who doesn’t play by the same rules as the FBI, and who seems to be playing each side to his own advantages. It was the role that Del Toro was born to play.

It is a tightly found, engrossing thriller from Denis Villeneuve (Blade Runner 2049, Prisoners, Arrival), and it’s shot by legendary cinematographer Roger Deakins, so the barren deserts of Mexico have never looked better.

The also-pretty-good sequel Sicario 2: Soldado has just hit cinemas, so if you haven’t seen it yet, it’s the perfect time to catch up.

Sicario is on at 9pm on Film4, and it is followed by two more great movies – Irish comedy thriller The Guard at 11.20pm, and then Hong Kong crime epic Drug War at 1.10am. Or you could just watch Love Island.