Autumn is perhaps the greatest season for movies of all sorts – big studio epics, intimate independent pictures, brainy genre fare and more. The crime thriller Widows stands out as one of the most promising fall releases. It is directed by Steve McQueen, whose adaptation of 12 Years a Slave won the 86th Academy Award for Best Picture. McQueen’s co-writer is Gillian Flynn, author of Gone Girl, and screenwriter of the novel’s acclaimed film adaptation.
Tickets are now on sale for Widows, which tells the story of a group of women widowed by the deaths of their criminal husbands. When a powerful crime lord demands the women repay money their late spouses stole, the widows hatch a daring robbery plot of their own.
The main ensemble in Widows is a truly astonishing assemblage of talent. Here’s the unbeatable cast.
Davis plays Veronica Rawlins, the leader of the widows and the woman with the capital-P Plan. Davis has played Rose Maxson in August Wilson’s Fences, on both stage and screen, and won both a Tony and an Oscar for her work. On television, she stars in How to Get Away with Murder, for which she’s won an Emmy. If you’re interested in seeing her in another hard-edged thriller, check out her excellent turn as an FBI agent in the underrated Blackhat.
Michelle Rodriguez may be the most widely-known member of Widows‘ central cast. As anti-hero-turned-amnesiac-villain-turned-hero Letty Ortiz, she’s one of the leads of the internationally beloved Fast & Furious franchise, going all the way back to the first film. She plays a major supporting role in James Cameron’s Avatar, which is currently the highest-grossing film of all time. In Widows, Rodriguez plays Linda Perelli, who signs on for Rawlins’s plan in order to do right by her kids after losing her business.
Hailing from Australia, Debicki is one of the up-and-coming cast members of Widows. She plays Alice Gunner, an abuse survivor looking for a way out of her gig as an escort. She previously appeared as Jordan Baker in Baz Luhrmann’s adaptation of The Great Gatsby. On the villainous side, Debicki played the fiendish neo-fascist Victoria Vinciguerra in Guy Ritchie’s The Man from U.N.C.L.E., and the astoundingly snobby, ruthless space queen Ayesha in James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.
British actress Cynthia Erivo is primarily a stage performer and singer whose first acclaim came as part of a stage revival of Sister Act in the UK. Then she played Celie Harris in multiple runs of The Color Purple, eventually winning the 2016 Tony award for Best Actress in a Musical. Her first two films are hitting at the same time: Bad Times at the El Royale features her excellent performance as Darlene. And now Widows, which was shot first, features Erivo as the toughest member of the crew of determined women.
Brian Tyree Henry
Brian Tyree Henry broke out on the series Atlanta as up-and-coming rapper Alfred “Paper Boi” Miles, cousin to Donald Glover’s character Earn. On screen, he’s had a phenomenal 2018. Henry played Sterling K. Brown’s hapless brother, codenamed “Honolulu” in the fun near-future noir Hotel Artemis. He appears in If Beale Street Could Talk, and voices the father of Miles “Spider-Man” Morales Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. In Widows, he plays nefarious crime lord/political hopeful Jamal Manning. He demands that money stolen from him be repaid (quickly), which sets the widows on their path.
Daniel Kaluuya is the Oscar-nominated star of horror hit Get Out. He has also played Emily Blunt’s FBI partner in Denis Villeneuve’s Sicario, and King T’Challa’s childhood friend W’Kabi in Black Panther. He shows off his range in Widows as full-blown villain Jatemme Manning, the sociopathic, murderous right-hand man to his brother Jamal.
Farrell shone as a blockbuster lead in the early 2000s, and has since re-oriented his career towards smaller, stranger roles. (We’re into the shift!) He played a grieving hitman in the film In Bruges, a lonely man looking for love in The Lobster, and a doctor whose family is menaced by a bizarre curse in The Killing of a Sacred Deer. In Widows, Farrell plays Jack Mulligan, a politician at odds with both the widows and the Manning brothers.
Robert Duvall is one of the great character actors in cinema, with a resume that includes Bullitt, The Godfather and The Godfather Part II, The Conversation, Network, Apocalypse Now, and a host of other classics. In Widows, he plays Jack Mulligan’s slimy and racist father, Tom.
Liam Neeson is a unicorn: simultaneously a wildly-acclaimed dramatic actor and a somewhat unexpected action star. Neeson plays a small but crucial role in Widows. He’s Veronica’s husband Harry, so his demise sets the film’s stage, and his presence lingers in his wife’s memories of their life together.
Tickets are now on sale for Widows, opening on November 16.