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FILM REVIEW: WIDOWS (15) RATING 4/5

Oceans 8 with a brain!

I know I saw Oceans 8 a few months ago and yet for the life of me, I can hardly remember anything about it. I remember the general plot. That is about it. 

But that’s OK because we now have another film with a similar storyline. The main difference being that this one is much better!

This adaptation of the ‘80s British TV series takes the story overseas to Chicago. It starts off with an incredibly cinematic heist from a group of male criminals lead by Liam Neeson. The heist goes wrong and the men end up being killed, which is not a spoiler – the clue’s in the title. 

It’s up to the grieving wives to pick up the pieces. Their husbands stole a lot of money from a local gangster and he’s looking towards the women to get it back or face the deadly consequences. 

When I saw the trailer, I thought it looked quite tame for the writer and director Steve McQueen. Has the Best Picture winner – responsible for films such as Hunger and 12 Years A Slave – gone for something a little lighter this time round? Nope! There are some dark moments here. 

Most of these hard-hitting scenes are linked to Daniel Kaluuya from the hit film, Get Out. He’s one of the best villains I’ve seen in a long time. It’s a shame he didn’t get a great deal of screen time. Well, not as much as I’d have liked – because when he’s around, you know something very bad is about to go down. 

As for the female leads, Viola Davis plays Liam Neeson’s widow. Watching her transform from someone that lived in a criminal’s shadow to somebody that can kick ass amongst the best of them was mesmerising. In her newly formed gang – and more than holding their own next to her, is Michelle Rodriguez, Elizabeth Debicki and Cynthia Erivo. 

Female lead movies have not been highly praised in recent years. Ocean’s 8 wasn’t great and don’t get me started on the Ghostbusters reboot. And speaking of which, I recall Paul Feig stating that bad reviews were from male sexist critics – which I guess is easier than admitting you made a bad movie. 

I can’t speak for all critics but I certainly don’t give a damn if a movie has an all-female cast. I only care as to whether the movie is good or bad. And this is good. Very good. 

It won’t be for everyone though. I think you should go in knowing it’s a slow burner. It is certainly not the all-out action movie the trailer would have you believe. 

I’m fine with slow moving movies AS LONG AS the characters are interesting and it’s well written and directed. This ticks all those boxes. 

4/5 

Mikey Clarke

Genre: Drama

Running Time: 2hrs 8mins 

Written and Directed by: Steve McQueen 

Cast: Viola Davis, Elizabeth Debicki, Michelle Rodriguez, Cynthia Erivo, Colin Farrell, Liam Neeson, Brian Tyree Henry, Daniel Kaluuya, Robert Duvall, Jacki Weaver, Carrie Coon & Lukas Haas. 

See Widows and much more at Showcase Cinema, Peterborough. Visit www.showcasecinemas.co.uk for the latest up-to-date show times. You can also join the chat on Twitter @showcasecinemas or on Facebook by searching for ‘Showcase Cinemas UK’.

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