Directed by Steve McQueen (12 Years a Slave), Widows is packed with big twists and bigger talent (Jacki Weaver and Carrie Coon pop up to steal scenes) and owes far more to edgier male-driven crime films than the bubbly Ocean’s 8. Its heroines, who cope with childcare woes, feckless men and cop shootings, are hard-bitten, while the script (by McQueen and Gone Girl author Gillian Flynn) is a trip into an underworld clotted with crime and corruption. 3 stars
STARRING: Viola Davis
Veronica Rawlins (Davis) is a woman on the edge. Played by Oscar winner Davis, she’s a tightly wound coil, with a cuddly Westie in her tailored lap and a sleek apartment underwritten by her shady husband, Harry (Liam Neeson). When Harry and his crew are killed in a robbery, Veronica and the other crooks’ widows are left on the hook to a ruthless politico (Brian Tyree Henry) and his psychotic brother (Daniel Kaluuya). Under Veronica’s icy tutelage, the women – a tour-de-force trio of Elizabeth Debicki, Michelle Rodriguez and Cynthia Erivo – plot their own risky heist to get square. But to pull it off they need to outfox a dirty alderman (Colin Farrell) and his fixer father (Robert Duvall).