'Sicario: Day Of The Soldado' Early Buzz: A Surprisingly Superb Sequel

The announcement of a Sicario sequel was met with some raised eyebrows. How do you follow up Denis Villeneuve's powerful, gripping drama about the escalating war on drugs – and do so without the return of Villeneuve, cinematographer Roger Deakins, or star Emily Blunt? Early marketing for Sicario: Day of the Soldado was a bit confused as well, with some trailers suggesting that it was a morally gray prestige thriller in the vein of the first film while others showcased a bombastic action movie.

Fans were understandably skeptical about the sequel directed by Stefano Sollima, but the Sicario Day of the Soldado early buzz proves that their worries were unfounded. Here are what critics have to say about the new movie.

The early social media reviews for Sicario: Day of the Soldado were overwhelmingly positive. While critics admitted that the sequel didn't quite have the same visual panache as the first film, returning screenwriter Taylor Sheridan delivered a taut, fantastic screenplay that more than makes up for the absence of dream duo of Villeneuve and Deakins.

Critics gave effusive praise to stars Josh Brolin and Benicio del Toro (who was so rudely snubbed by awards for his performance in the 2015 Sicario), and series newcomer Isabela Moner (Transformers: The Last Knight). And while no one had really asked for this sequel, Day of the Soldado had all the critics clamoring for a third Sicario film.

"Sollima gave me the sequel I thought I didn't want," Variety's Kristopher Tapley said. "Wonderful storytelling economy. Wicked sense of tension throughout. Brolin/Del Toro step it up. [Taylor] Sheridan is a beast on the page, man. Love. It."

Stefano Sollima directs Sicario: Day of the Soldado, which stars Benicio del Toro, Josh Brolin, Isabela Moner, Catherine Keener, and Jeffrey Donovan.Sicario: Day of the Soldado opens in theaters on June 29, 2018.

FBI agent Matt Graver calls on mysterious operative Alejandro Gillick when Mexican drug cartels start to smuggle terrorists across the U.S. border. The war escalates even further when Alejandro kidnaps a top kingpin's daughter to deliberately increase the tensions. When the young girl is seen as collateral damage, the two men will determine her fate as they question everything that they are fighting for.