Sicario: Day of the Soldado

Movie review by
Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media
Sicario: Day of the Soldado Movie Poster Image
Solid drug war sequel has intense violence, language.
  • R
  • 2018
  • 122 minutes

Parents say

age 15+
Based on 3 reviews

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 3 reviews

Did this review miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive, diverse representations in books, TV shows, and movies. Want to help us help them? Suggest a diversity update

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Overall, movie is largely about playing dirty, with each side trying to outdo the other by seeing who has fewer scruples. But at center of movie are some scenes of kindness and compassion.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Though the characters are tough and resourceful, they're also playing a game that has no rules, no honor, and no trust. (Even a mother and baby are shown picking up drug dealers and driving them.) Some characters act out of hatred, some out of revenge.


Suicide bombers blow themselves up, as well as innocent bystanders. Guns and heavy shooting. Characters are shot and hit with gun butts. Kids are shot. Blood sprays. Gory wounds. Scene with extremely heavy gore (a character who's shot and left for dead is still alive). Exploding house. Exploding car. Teens fighting, punching/scratching. Car crash. Punching/beating. Teen girl is fake-kidnapped: bag on head, mouth taped shut.


Several uses of "f--k," "s--t," "ass," "hell," "whore," "moron," and "stupid," plus a middle-finger gesture.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Drugs, drug runners, and drug kingpins are all a major part of the plot. A boy smokes pot. Background drinking (beer, whiskey). Smoking.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Sicario: Day of the Soldado is an intense sequel to 2015's Sicario; like the original, it's largely about attempts to handle drugs and terrorism between Mexico and the United States. It's very violent violence, with lots of guns and shooting, heavy gore and blood, explosions, fighting, punching, and beatings. Suicide bombers blow up themselves and innocent bystanders; other characters die, including kids. A teen girl is fake-kidnapped, with a bag pulled over her head and her mouth taped shut. Language is also quite strong and includes uses of "f--k," "s--t," and more. While there's no sexual content to speak of, a teen smokes pot, and there's background drinking (beer, whiskey) and smoking. Sicario star Emily Blunt doesn't return; instead, Sicario co-stars Josh Brolin and Benicio del Toro take the spotlight.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byvxctor_ April 29, 2019

Another Excellent Film, Darker Topics

The films concept is very well written and performed. This sequel is definitely way more dark then the first film. The two main characters from the first film a... Continue reading
Adult Written byFahad Khan July 2, 2018
Teen, 13 years old Written byLeonvol January 27, 2021

The sequel

This movie is good but not better than the first one. It has almost no violent scenes. It should has been rated pg-13 for some violence.
Teen, 16 years old Written bythammer May 15, 2019
It is really good but don't go in expecting it to be some superhero movie. This is based on true events and is quite dark. Has some violence, but it is no... Continue reading

What's the story?

In SICARIO: DAY OF THE SOLDADO, the drug wars continue. The Mexican criminal underworld has started smuggling Sicarios (contract killers) across the border; the U.S. government declares this an act of terrorism, and thus all bets are off. Enter the CIA's Matt Graver (Josh Brolin), who comes up with a dark, desperate plan. His team will kidnap one Mexican drug lord's young daughter, Isabela Reyes (Isabela Moner), and make it look as if a rival cartel is responsible. Graver calls in his old colleague, Alejandro Gillick (Benicio del Toro), to help. The operation goes smoothly, and the Americans successfully "rescue" Isabela. But then the Mexican government discovers the ruse and attacks the Americans en route. Isabela escapes, and Gillick goes after her. Then Graver finds himself placed in a terrible position.

Is it any good?

This sequel to Sicario is solid enough in its storytelling, with some inspired elements (as well as some lazy ones). But the special touches that made the original great are glaringly absent. Sicario starred Emily Blunt as Kate Macer, who gave viewers a relatable entry point into the movie's strange, dangerous, unsettling world; she came into each scene knowing nothing, just as we did. Moreover, the great cinematographer Roger Deakins and the excellent director Denis Villeneuve crafted each scene in Sicario to heighten this sense of discomfort and the unknown.

In Sicario: Day of the Soldado, all of that is gone. What remains is a strong, seasoned screenplay by Taylor Sheridan, who understands the world of men balancing on the edge of injustice, and returning actors del Toro and Brolin. (The sequel's director is Stefano Sollima, from Italy.) Del Toro, who was flat-out amazing in the original, is still great here; his Gillick is quite touching as he forms a bond with Isabela and seeks refuge with a deaf man living in the middle of the desert. Brolin, meanwhile, is very good at being both hard and conflicted about his job. The story uses at least one wild stretch of logic to tie the story threads together, which may jolt viewers out of the story. Nevertheless, Sicario: Day of the Soldado is still a sturdy entertainment.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about Sicario: Day of the Soldado's violence. Which parts were gruesome, and which were exciting? How did the movie achieve these effects? What's the impact of media violence on kids?

  • How are drinking, smoking, and drugs depicted? Are they glamorized? Does the movie make the drug business look alluring?

  • What does the movie have to say about law versus justice? What's the difference between the two? Does the end justify the means?

  • How did you feel about the scenes with the deaf man? How do they fit in with, or contrast with, the rest of the movie?

  • How does this movie compare to the original? What's missing? What's been added, if anything?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love thrills

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

Streaming options powered by JustWatch

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality.

Learn how we rate