Widows

Rated 3.0

Writer-director Steve McQueen follows up 2013’s Oscar-winning 12 Years a Slave with an above-average thriller made very watchable thanks to a terrific performance from Viola Davis. Davis plays Veronica, wife of lifetime criminal Harry Rawlings (Liam Neeson). When Harry meets an untimely end, he leaves behind a nasty debt, and some nasty people want it paid back. Veronica hatches a plan to pull a heist, and she looks to the wives of Harry’s also-dead gang mates to help her out. Michelle Rodriguez and Elizabeth Debicki are good as the other widows, while Robert Duvall and Colin Farrell steal scenes as father-and-son politicians. The plot is fairly standard, and you’ll see some of the “big twists” coming a mile away. That doesn’t keep the movie from being a sufficiently stylized, serviceable thriller that gives Davis her best vehicle in years. Also costars Lukas Haas as a mysterious boyfriend, Daniel Kaluuya as a scary henchman, and Carrie Coon in a throwaway role. Not the sort of greatness one would hope for from McQueen, but no mishap either. It’s a good movie from a very good director.