El Sicario, Room 164 (2011)
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Critic Reviews for El Sicario, Room 164
Gianfranco Rosi's extraordinary one-man documentary stares long and hard at the practiced but no less terrifying monologues of a Mexican hit man.
El Sicario: Room 164 is an almost laughably simple, aggressively drab-looking film, but it packs a wallop.
Rosi avoids all embellishments, such as re-creating some of the crimes. A wise choice, since the hit man's narration is compelling and frightening on its own.
Finally less compelling for its random details of multiple brutalities than for its chilling portrait of a country irretrievably rotting from within.
The film's sparse, almost banal presentation is a virtue, for to boldface the horrors under discussion would only trivialize or sensationalize them, as the Mexican murder magazines do.
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