“Sicario” (which means “Hitman” in spanish) is a cannonball of a movie from director Denis Villeneuve, who did such an incredible job with “Incendies” and “Prisoners“. This is a world-class director, at the top of his startlingly creative form. Working from a tense script by Taylor Sheridan, Villeneuve opens his movie with one of the best sequences you’ll see onscreen this year. We meet Kate (Emily Blunt) in a hideout run by a Mexican drug cartel, with decomposing corpses stuffed in the walls. It’s an explosive scene, but that’s only the beginning. Kate is then ordered to volunteer for an agency-merging task force, lead by Matt Graver (Josh Brolin, terrific) and an ex-Mexican-prosecutor-turned-assassin (Benicio Del Toro, never better), to take down one of the most dangerous drug lords in Mexico. Let the games begin. Villeneuve stages every gun battle as if his life depends on it… and it pays off. His movie is a knockout, up until the very last moment. It is as chilling and powerful as anything he has ever crafted and I can’t wait to see where he goes next. His work with the exemplary actors results in a film of startling impact, packed with twists you don’t see coming. It’s easily one of the best action/thrillers of the year.