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The bleakly entertaining heist thriller from Oscar-winning director Steve McQueen is currently in theaters.

Alissa Wilkinson covers film and culture for Vox. Alissa is a member of the New York Film Critics Circle and the National Society of Film Critics.

Metacritic score: 87

Oscar-winning director Steve McQueen, whose film 12 Years a Slave won Best Picture in 2014, returns to the awards race with a heist movie that has all the trappings of a typical heist movie: the plans, the machinations, the twists. But there’s a lot more going on, too, in a tale about women who know the world is stacked against them and decide to fight back anyhow.

The widows of the film’s title are a group of women, previously strangers to one another, who lost their husbands in a botched and seemingly inexplicable scheme; they band together to finish the job against the backdrop of a corrupt election on Chicago’s South Side. Viola Davis, who’s a strong contender for acting awards this season, leads a star-studded cast that also boasts Elizabeth Debicki, Michelle Rodriguez, Carrie Coon, Liam Neeson, Colin Farrell, Daniel Kaluuya, Brian Tyree Henry, Jon Bernthal, and Robert Duvall.