davidehrlich’s review published on Letterboxd :
as violent, horrifying, and unfocused as the drug war itself. this is muscular filmmaking from the first frame (and man is that prologue ghastly, even for a HELI veteran such as myself), and the runaround storytelling is obviously part of the idea here... getting a clear view of the drug war is like trying to hold water in the palm of your hand, and it ain't subtle...
but DV only has one instrument: a hammer, and that JJ score is in a pissing contest with Hans Zimmer. throw in Brolin's smug spook charm to soften things up a bit and you've got yourself a real hazy border between a wake-up call narrative and a deep need to entertain (don't even get me started on the Mexican police officer). and then Benicio Del Toro goes full Metal Gear Solid and... yeah, it's potent, but it ain't great.