Watch Widows

"Left with nothing. Capable of anything."
  • R
  • 2018
  • 2 hr 8 min
  • 6.8  (103,478)
  • 84

Set in contemporary Chicago, Widows is directed by Steve McQueen and written by McQueen and Gillian Flynn. Based on a 1980s British TV series of the same name, it follows a group of four women whose husbands are killed while committing a robbery. Left with nothing but debt, Veronica (Viola Davis), the widow of the group's ringleader, decides to carry out the next heist herself, using notes left behind by her husband.

Veronica's new crew is composed of the widows of the other robbers -- Linda (Michelle Rodriguez), who must support her two children after her husband's death, Alice (Elizabeth Debicki), who is pressured into prostitution by her abusive mother, and Belle (Cynthia Erivo), a single mother who works as a hairdresser. They're joined by Veronica's driver, Bash (Garret Dillahunt), and her husband's partner in crime, Jamal Manning (Brian Tyree Henry), a political candidate who is running against a corrupt incumbent in a neighborhood that is threatening Veronica's life.

Widows isn't just a heist movie, but a meditation on power and privilege, and a rebuke to the entrenched sexism and racism of American society. McQueen's direction is electric, and he takes his time to build up a sense of tension and dread, while also giving his ensemble cast plenty of room to breathe and develop their characters. Davis is especially excellent, bringing a stone-cold intensity to Veronica's grief and anger. Her relationship with Linda, who is at first resistant to joining Veronica's plan, is one of the film's highlights, and their scenes together are some of the most emotionally resonant.

The script by Flynn and McQueen is equally sharp, delving into the intricacies of Chicago's political machine and exploring the ways in which race and gender shape who gets to hold power. There are several subplots, including one involving Jamal's unstable brother Jatemme (Daniel Kaluuya), who proves to be a terrifying enforcer for his sibling's campaign. Widows doesn't shy away from violence and brutality, but it never loses sight of the stakes for its characters, or the larger social issues that underlie their struggle.

The movie is also gorgeously shot by cinematographer Sean Bobbitt, who captures the gritty urban environment of Chicago with an almost painterly eye. There are several set pieces that are expertly handled, including a car chase through the city's streets, and a sequence involving Alice and Bash trying to retrieve a vital piece of information from a luxury apartment. The tension is palpable throughout, and the pace never flags.

In addition to the lead performances, the supporting cast is also superb. Colin Farrell plays Jack Mulligan, the establishment candidate who is being challenged by Jamal. He's a fascinating character, torn between his loyalty to his family's legacy and his disgust at the corruption that puts his privileged life in stark contrast to the poverty and violence of the neighborhoods he's trying to represent. Robert Duvall, as Jack's father Tom, is equally strong, playing a grizzled old-school politician determined to hold onto power at any cost. Michelle Rodriguez brings a toughness and vulnerability to Linda, while Elizabeth Debicki is hauntingly fragile as Alice.

Widows is a film that offers thrills and excitement, but also provokes thought and reflection. It's a rare Hollywood production that takes its audience seriously, and trusts that they're able to handle complex ideas and characters. It's also a film that feels urgently relevant in the current moment, as America struggles to come to terms with the injustices and inequalities of its past and present. McQueen and his collaborators have crafted a richly rewarding and emotionally satisfying movie, one that deserves to be seen and discussed.

Widows is a 2018 crime movie with a runtime of 2 hours and 8 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.8 and a MetaScore of 84.

Where to Watch Widows
Widows is available to watch, stream, download and buy on demand at FuboTV, FX Networks, Apple TV, Amazon, YouTube VOD and Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent Widows for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    2 hr 8 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.8  (103,478)
  • Metascore