A group of gangster widows, led with tigerish confidence by Viola Davis, find their husbands’ blueprint for a heist and decide to try their hands at robbery. Widows peaks when focusing on the crime at hand. Basing his story on a pair of six-part Thames Television mini-series from the 80’s, director Steve McQueen has a tough job of holding together all of the plot strings without overlapping into coincidence. (Fortunately for Elizabeth Debicki, the trio’s first meeting is being held on the same night that she decides to test the waters as a high-price call girl. That way, if she bails, it’s just a short cab ride across town and out of the plot contrivance.) The worse the bad guy, the better the picture. We could have used more of Daniel Kaluuya’s flagrant nastiness — his “rapping dumpster” shootings help to compensate for Robert Duvall’s moth-eaten performance as a racist politician. It could be the most thinly-sketched character ever presented him. Still, there’s enough quality action and surprises to keep it interesting.
Length: 2 hours, 8 minutes