Four women inherit a high-stakes heist.
Steve McQueen’s new heist film is “the movie that Ocean’s Eight should have been,” said David Edelstein in NYMag.com. “A stark, violent, cynical but thoroughly entertaining caper picture,” it imagines an all-woman robbery scheme emerging from true desperation: Three of the four women were widowed when their criminal husbands died in an armed robbery, and all suddenly face serious financial hardship in a corrupt, punishing Chicago. Viola Davis, playing the ringleader, “owns this movie from beginning to end,” said Justin Chang in the Los Angeles Times. Even surrounded by such “lavishly gifted” co-stars as Elizabeth Debicki and Cynthia Erivo, she’s the engine: a grieving woman driven to act when a crime boss visits to demand back the $2 million her husband stole. “To put their plan in motion, the women have to exploit how the world underestimates them, outfoxing the men in their way,” said A.A. Dowd in AVClub.com. The story, created by McQueen with Gone Girl author Gillian Flynn, “pointedly comments on race, gender, and class.” But Widows is also a crackerjack thriller—“a proudly mainstream movie that just happens to have been made with intelligence and craft.” ■