Widows - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Widows Reviews

February 24, 2020
McQueen sets a relentlessly portentous tone and employs lots of stark mise-en-scene, but all the fuss feels arbitrary here - the pulpy story simply doesn't warrant such grave stylization.
March 8, 2019
A thriller for modern women who identify more with the messiness of human lives than with flattened slogans about how great women, as a monolithic group, are.
March 4, 2019
A great ensemble cast, Steve McQueen lets loose on some of the formalism we've seen in some of his other films and, it moves really well.
November 30, 2018
It's the dashing camerawork and broad historical awareness of Widows that makes it a truly sophisticated action film, and by far the best crime movie of 2018 so far.
November 28, 2018
It offers everything adults used to love about cinema.
November 26, 2018
That essential jolt of satisfaction is missing.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
November 19, 2018
The movie tosses back at viewers a variety of casual exasperations-inchoate, flip, and manipulable-that flatten and simplify the very ills and grievances that it dramatizes.
November 18, 2018
It's not clear exactly what kind of movie(s) Widows wants to be: feminist heist thriller? Sprawling political saga? Bare-knuckled gangster noir?
Full Review | Original Score: C+
November 16, 2018
A gritty romp that makes the cliché-prone heist genre feel fresh again.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
November 16, 2018
Enough quality action and surprises to keep it interesting.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Top Critic
November 16, 2018
Other reviewers talk about the film's style and originality, but I found no evidence of either (unless you consider endless shots of reflections in mirrors and glass store windows "style").
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
November 15, 2018
Steve McQueen's "Widows" is a heist movie with a pulse.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
November 15, 2018
McQueen's artful slow-take style, in films like 12 Years a Slave and Hunger, would seem to make him an odd choice for the ticking-clock pace of a caper pic, but don't be fooled.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
November 15, 2018
"Widows" comes from writer Gillian Flynn ("Gone Girl") and director Steve McQueen ("12 Years a Slave") and a big part of the caper's fun is the tension between her pulpy, twisty sensibility and his slower-burning instincts.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
November 15, 2018
[Widows] feel like a throwback -- an old-fashioned, intricately plotted crime thriller that's more about characters than explosions. Much like the heist scheme, though, the movie looks better on paper, ultimately, then it does in the execution.
November 15, 2018
Simultaneously an affecting drama of self-discovery and hard-won female power, a vision of limitless civic corruption, and an incendiary, sometimes violent variation on the theme of carrying a torch.
November 15, 2018
Widows is methodical in its imagery and gracefully written; it's also a suspenseful blast, best seen with the biggest, most animated audience possible.
November 15, 2018
This is the most fun McQueen has ever been - not a high bar to clear, given his particular brand of misery porn - but that fun still comes with a bullet.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
November 15, 2018
Some movies are phonier than others. "Widows" is one of those. The always thin line between a twisty plot and a silly one gets crossed about an hour in.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
November 15, 2018
A fascinating and sometimes frustrating hybrid, a film that tries both to transcend and to exploit its genre.
November 14, 2018
McQueen achieves his aim of using a genre framework to advance serious themes. That ambition, rather than the ordinariness of the central criminal enterprise, is what makes Widows an uncommonly good thriller.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
November 14, 2018
McQueen has created a tense and satisfying action drama with a decidedly feminist bent.
November 14, 2018
From its first moments, "Widows" signals that audiences aren't in for just another heist movie.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
November 14, 2018
For all its cynicism, the movie floats on a darkly exhilarating brand of escapism. It's one of the year's highlights in any genre.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
November 14, 2018
If all heist movies were like this, I'd never leave the multiplexes.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
November 14, 2018
Powered by an understated performance by Viola Davis, "Widows" shows what can be done within the boundaries of the expected while delivering something unexpected.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
November 13, 2018
With a killer cast led by Viola Davis, Cynthia Erivo, Michelle Rodriquez and Elizabeth Debicki, director Steve McQueen turns four women and a heist into the powerhouse thriller of the year. You're in for a hell of a ride.
Full Review | Original Score: 4.5/5
November 13, 2018
McQueen seems to be saying look again, look harder, because underneath the roiling tension of big money heists and the crunching of political gears is an examination about the ugly machinations of power, money and patriarchy.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
November 13, 2018
As always, Steve McQueen is an original and bold storyteller, delivering the goods with dazzling creativity.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
November 13, 2018
The ensemble is a blast. Everyone gets their moment and you come away feeling like you really got to know most of them, but it is Davis and her unforgettably searing intensity (and killer wardrobe) who owns "Widows" from start to finish.
November 13, 2018
The director of "12 Years a Slave" has lost little of his talent for moral shock, and the new film retains a clear-eyed vision of what has changed, and just how much has not, in the contesting of American power.
November 12, 2018
"Widows" is an unimportant movie.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
November 12, 2018
It's a superbly crafted thriller that also happens to be as entertaining as any popcorn movie you'll see all year.
November 12, 2018
McQueen's masterful film is the kind that works on multiple levels simultaneously-as pure pulp entertainment but also as a commentary on how often it feels like we have to take what we are owed or risk never getting it at all.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
November 12, 2018
After watching what filmmaker Steve McQueen does with the heist drama in "Widows," give him free rein to take on whatever other tried-and-true (and somewhat rote) Hollywood genre he wants to transform into a piece of high art.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
November 5, 2018
Heart-stopping action combined with heartbreaking drama.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
November 2, 2018
[Davis] seems unable to deliver substandard work and is here fabulously controlled as a grieving widow, a wannabe criminal, a heartbroken mother, an obsessive dog lover and a woman who will shoot you right through the chest if she has to. Great fun.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
October 31, 2018
You don't know where it's going until it ends. Then you realise that, to become the masterwork it is, it couldn't have gone anywhere else.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
October 12, 2018
To watch them coalesce into a hard-nosed crew of heisters is the year's most purely pleasurable piece of transformation.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
October 11, 2018
The black humour lightens the mood, or twists it, at every turn.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
October 11, 2018
McQueen deals with bereavement, race, gender and class at the same time as telling a riproaring story about a group of widows who need to get hold of a lot of money very quickly.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
October 10, 2018
It is a film with a sledgehammer punch.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
October 10, 2018
It proves that there's another McQueen who's always been bursting to get out - the same one whose industry secret is that he's always itched to make a James Bond movie, and now very possibly will.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
Top Critic
October 8, 2018
The film is taut, emotional, exciting and surprising and led by a performance from Davis so fierce and specific that you will want to see her make 20 more action movies.
Top Critic
September 13, 2018
One might... call it a throwback to a richer era of American studio movies, except that the story also feels attuned to a very contemporary anger, aimed at powerful men and the corrupt systems that sanction their abuses.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
September 12, 2018
It's a stark, violent, cynical but thoroughly entertaining caper picture.
September 10, 2018
A flawed but fascinating mismatch between director and project, Widows is tough on crime, but even tougher on the causes of crime.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
September 10, 2018
Led by a magnificent Viola Davis, the cast is ridiculously stacked. The action is tremendous. And the ultimate message is devastating in its swift brutality.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
September 10, 2018
Davis, who carries the picture in a way she has never quite done before, commands every scene with cold, ruthless efficiency; her gravity sells the story's preposterous premise to the characters as well as the audience.
September 10, 2018
McQueen is in confident control of the material. It's such a thrill to see him at play with genre material and Widows glides like so few multiplex-packing thrillers do these days.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
September 9, 2018
Ultimately, "Widows" works as well as it does due to the way McQueen juggles substance with entertainment value to such eager subversive ends.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
September 9, 2018
An absorbing, sociologically loaded crime drama.
September 9, 2018
It presents an enjoyably dark and sleazy vision of ordinary lives intertwining with the hurly-burly of street thuggery, local machine politics, and half a dozen other forms of daily corruption.