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477. Widows; movie review

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Title : 477. Widows; movie review
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Cert 15
130 mins
BBFC advice: Contains strong violence, sex, very strong language

The end of the year is nigh and the chase to mop up the must-sees has become so desperate that I have had to resort to a 10.30pm Monday night screening.
By 10.30pm I really mean 11pm because of trailers and adverts and so my powers of stamina were truly tested by Steve McQueen's Widows.
I fear that my expectations were too high, having heard and read numerous favourable reports.
It's not that Widows is bad - it is well constructed and has action leads who are out of the norm but it just isn't a top 20 challenger.
That said, I certainly didn't fall asleep!
Widows stars Viola Davis as the wife of a criminal (Liam Neeson) whose gang are blown up after a botched heist.
She is left penniless and faces a demand with menaces from a corrupt politician (Brian Tyree Henry) for $2m which he claims has been stolen from him.
The political intrigue surrounding a local election battle between Henry's character and a family dynasty (Robert Duvall and Colin Farell) provides the backdrop to McQueen's film.
However, its focus is on a wronged group of women led by Davis and including Michelle Rodriguez and Elizabeth Debicki. Cynthia Erivo brings the final ingredient.
They band together to try to complete a robbery which had been set up by their dodgy husbands but, inevitably, their entry into the criminal world goes far from smoothly.
Widows has a powerful feminist message which is entwined with superb acting and hard-hitting action.
The film's key male chracters are portrayed as manipulative and crazed by power and money.
Their greatest single flaw is that they underestimate any female challenge to their authority whatever the field - from politics to robberies.
Inevitably, that turns out to be a mistake.
Widows may not have completely satisfied my expectation but it is a superior, if violent, thriller.

Reasons to watch: Fine thriller led by some great actresses
Reasons to avoid: Isn't quite the classic some have claimed

Laughs: None
Jumps: None
Vomit: Yes
Nudity: Yes
Overall rating: 8.5/10

Director quote - Steve McQueen: "The most interesting thing so far as the response to the picture is concerned, that men are a little bit tone deaf to certain aspects of feminism. I think that has been very, very illuminating to me.”

The big question - Why are the best movies not attracting the biggest audiences?

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