15 Best Action Thriller Movies Like Sicario You Must Watch
Sicario is a slow-burning thriller about the complexities of drug cartel operations and the US-Mexico border. The film follows three different characters: Emily Blunt as an FBI agent, Josh Brolin as a clandestine government official, and Benicio del Toro as an even more enigmatic hitman.
With its astonishingly gorgeous photography and brutally nasty subject matter, only the best action-thriller films can be regarded truly similar to Sicario. Many fan-favorite films, from both director Denis Villeneuve and many other great filmmakers, can, however, touch the same emotional notes. A lot of them are currently available for subscription or even free on major streaming sites.
So, whether they enjoyed the high-octane action, the thought-provoking political intrigue, or the award-winning acting talent, Sicario fans may find another film to enjoy.
Table Of Content
- 1 A Quiet Place (2018)
- 2 Blade Runner 2049 (2017)
- 3 Drive (2011)
- 4 Hell Or High Water (2016)
- 5 Man On Fire (2004)
- 6 No Country For Old Men (2007)
- 7 Prisoners (2013)
- 8 Savages (2012)
- 9 Sicario: Day Of The Soldado (2018)
- 10 Snitch (2013)
- 11 Syriana (2005)
- 12 The Hunted (2003)
- 13 The Town (2010)
- 14 Wind River (2017)
- 15 Zero Dark Thirty (2012)
A Quiet Place (2018)
A Quiet Place is a slow-paced psychological horror film that strikes a good mix between dramatic action and slower character development. Despite the fact that this film does not focus on narcotics or law enforcement like Sicario, but rather on alien monsters chasing humanity, the tempo is similar.
Emily Blunt and her real-life partner John Krasinski co-star in the film as two parents who are simply trying to safeguard their children. A Quiet Place will appeal to fans of Sicario who want a more horror-based film with similar character-building scenes and action.
Blade Runner 2049 (2017)
Denis Villeneuve accomplished a remarkable accomplishment by dazzling discerning sci-fi enthusiasts with a long-awaited sequel to the classic cult film Blade Runner. The Oscar-winning VFX and cinematography, on the other hand, made it an experience in and of itself.
Villeneuve’s frequent partner Roger Deakins, who also shot Sicario, directed the film, which artistically frames the fantastical action of the futuristic mystery in a way that makes its enormous dystopian depiction of Los Angeles appear as genuine as Sicario’s modern world.
Drive is a slow-burning thriller about an intriguing protagonist and his day job as a stunt driver and night job as a getaway driver. One of Ryan Gosling’s best movie characters, the famous lead part has proven to be a defining performance for his career in front of the camera thus far.
Like Benicio del Toro’s Alejandro Gillick in Sicario, there’s breathtaking cinematography and imaginative action sequences, as well as a quiet and mysterious main figure at the center of the plot.
Hell Or High Water (2016)
Hell or High Water is a contemporary western that follows two brothers at various stages of their life. Chris Pine plays a guy trying to reclaim his life and care for his son, but his brother, Ben Foster, drags him into a series of heists so the two may gather money to preserve their family’s oil-rich estate from being taken by the bank.
Although there is some action in the film, it is more about the acting, human interactions, and build-up to the action that distinguishes it from Sicario. The film’s unidyllic look at its desert setting is evocative of Sicario’s harsh visual approach, and the film’s biting dialogue is written by Taylor Sheridan, who also wrote the screenplay for Sicario.
Man On Fire (2004)
Despite not being as well-received as Sicario, Tony Scott’s vengeance drama Man on Fire has amassed a sizable following since its debut. Set in Mexico, the film stars Denzel Washington as a stoic bodyguard who is out for blood after his charge is kidnapped in an ambush.
Fans of Sicario’s most cold-blooded scenes will almost certainly like Man on Fire, which stars Denzel Washington in a dominating starring role. The adrenaline-pumping entertainment factor more than compensates for the film’s lack of subtlety.
No Country For Old Men (2007)
No Country for Old Men is an Oscar-winning success and one of the Coen brothers’ best films. The tale concentrates on a cat-and-mouse hunt as a vicious murderer hunts down the man who took the excess cash from a criminal deal gone awry, adapted from Cormac McCarthy’s novel of the same name.
The film has a calm and mysterious hitman as a prominent character, similar to Sicario, who delivers suspenseful moments before the bloodily violent action sequences. It’s also another film with a strong visual aesthetic from director of photography Roger Deakins, who captures the beauty in the midst of the destruction.
Hugh Jackman plays a distressed father who would go to any length to recover his daughter when she goes missing and is presumed kidnapped in the film Prisoners. Jake Gyllenhaal also appears in the film as the tenacious detective assigned to the case.
It’s another slow-burning, gripping action thriller from Denis Villeneuve, albeit this time it’s about a single suburban kidnapping case rather than worldwide drug-related crimes. However, cinematographer Roger Deakins’ breathtaking vision elevates the intimate drama to epic proportions, laying the basis for his relationship with Villeneuve on Sicario.
Savages follows two guys in the California drug industry who have controlled the marijuana market in their neighborhood. They’re successful, and they both have a girlfriend named O, but everything goes awry when a Mexican cartel arrives in town and demands a cut.
Although the film has romance, which is not a prominent focus in Sicario, it is a film that delves into the complexities of the world of drug distribution, and Benicio del Toro also appears as a cartel enforcer.
Sicario: Day Of The Soldado (2018)
Even though it wasn’t as well-received as the original, Sicario: Day of the Soldado aims to maintain the same tone as its predecessor and garnered high praise from fans. Josh Brolin and Benicio del Toro reprise his roles as Matt Graver and Alejandro Gillick, respectively, but Emily Blunt and Denis Villeneuve are absent from the primary cast.
The plot revolves around transporting people from Mexico into the United States, and the CIA becomes engaged after learning that terrorists are being transported into the country through this smuggling scheme. The sequel doesn’t have the same linear experience as the first, but the action is just as intense.
Snitch follows a dad, played by Dwayne Johnson, who attempts to spare his son from a lengthy prison sentence when they are caught with illegal drugs. In order to reduce his son’s sentence, the desperate protagonist goes undercover to bring down a more powerful drug dealer involved in the criminal underground.
The film offers yet another look at the Mexican and American drug trades, with plenty of action moments (especially since Dwayne Johnson portrays the father), as well as some slower scenes for character development. Fans of Sicario will know Jon Bernthal as the dishonest police officer Ted in the film.
Syriana, another film about the worldwide war on terror, takes a non-linear approach to the subject, following numerous major people in a variety of circumstances around the world. Oil is the key motivator, or drug, driving the plot ahead, and nothing is off the table in this game of competing interests, including killing.
Syriana’s ensemble, which includes George Clooney in Oscar-winning form with fellow Oscar winners Chris Cooper, Matt Damon, and Christopher Plummer, among others, will impress fans of Sicario’s superb cast.
The Hunted (2003)
The Hunted is a cat-and-mouse thriller starring Tommy Lee Jones as a tracker who assists the FBI in tracking down a rogue hitman played by Benicio del Toro of Sicario.
Even if the premise of the film is more Rambo than Sicario, it’s an explosive and suspenseful action-adventure that finds del Toro in familiar ground as he reprises his role as a trained killer. It’s also packed with government intrigue, so fans of Villeneuve’s thriller won’t be disappointed.
The Town (2010)
The Town is a criminal drama set in Boston that follows a crew of professional thieves who primarily target banks. However, their leader, played by director Ben Affleck, has second thoughts about his life of crime after falling in love with a woman they had held hostage in a robbery.
In the film, Jeremy Renner plays Affleck’s best friend and fellow robber, who continues to press him to stay in the gang, dividing his loyalties. Despite the fact that it isn’t about drugs, there is plenty of suspense in this film that any Sicario fan will enjoy.
Wind River (2017)
Taylor Sheridan wrote the screenplay for Sicario and has swiftly established himself as a premier thriller filmmaker since the film’s premiere. Wind River’s Wyoming background is equally as characterful and merciless as the scenery in Sicario, albeit without the sand.
The plot revolves around a murder investigation on the Wind River tribe, which is led by an out-of-their-depth FBI agent (Elizabeth Olsen) and a native tracker (Jeremy Renner). With certain poignant passages, the two Avengers actors get to stretch their dramatic acting muscles a little bit more, although the savage action leaves just as much of an impression.
Zero Dark Thirty (2012)
Zero Dark Thirty is a dramatization of the hunt for Osama bin Laden, and it’s a perfect pick for Sicario fans who want more of the film’s most realistic components.
Zero Dark Thirty goes into some of the worst sides of the war on terror, and it keeps the suspense high throughout, all building to the blazing final setpiece when the plot comes to a climax and the raid on bin Laden’s compound is reenacted, similar to how Sicario delves into the war on drugs.