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Stars: Emily Blunt, Josh Brolin, Benicio Del Toro, Jon Bernthal, Victor Garber, Daniel Kaluuya, Jeffrey Donovan

Director: Denis Villeneuve

A slow, moody, muddled, mainly Mexico-set melodrama; for most of its meandering two hours, I must confess that I had only the foggiest of ideas as to what was going on.

What I can tell you is that Blunt plays the leader of a task force who, after finding 42 trussed-up bodies at a facility in Arizona, finds herself seconded to a covert US government operation involving illegal immigrants and a drugs cartel.

Brolin is the agent who seems to be in charge, while the hooded eyes of Del Toro suggest a maverick with his own agenda.

There's some (mostly abrupt) action and some long pans over desert landscapes. Blunt smokes a lot but doesn't otherwise suggest any form of toughness; you wonder what she's doing in this kind of employment.

Distinctive grating music and crisp, atmospheric cinematography by Roger Deakins can't really compensate for a film that all too often seems to be going nowhere slowly.

David Quinlan

USA 2015. UK Distributor: LionsGate. Colour by Efilm.
121 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 1, Violence/Horror 2, Drugs 1, Swearing 2.

Review date: 04 Oct 2015