Widows (2018 film)

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Theatrical release poster
Directed by Steve McQueen
Produced by
Screenplay by
Based on Widows
by Lynda La Plante
Music by Hans Zimmer
Cinematography Sean Bobbitt
Edited by Joe Walker
Distributed by
Release date
  • September 8, 2018 (2018-09-08) (TIFF)
  • November 6, 2018 (2018-11-06) (United Kingdom)
  • November 16, 2018 (2018-11-16) (United States)
Running time
130 minutes
  • United States
  • United Kingdom
Language English

Widows is a 2018 heist thriller film directed by Steve McQueen from a screenplay by McQueen and Gillian Flynn, based upon the 1983 ITV series of the same name.[1] The film features an ensemble cast consisting of Viola Davis, Michelle Rodriguez, Elizabeth Debicki, Cynthia Erivo, Colin Farrell, Brian Tyree Henry, Daniel Kaluuya, Jacki Weaver, Carrie Coon, Robert Duvall, and Liam Neeson, and follows a group of women who attempt a heist after their criminal husbands are killed on a botched job.

The film premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 8, 2018, and is scheduled to be released in the United States on November 16, 2018, by 20th Century Fox.


Four armed robbers are killed in a failed heist attempt, only to have their widows step up to finish the job.



On March 27, 2015, the project was announced to be in development with a script written by Gone Girl writer Gillian Flynn and Steve McQueen, with McQueen attached to direct.[2] Originally Jennifer Lawrence was approached for a role, but due to scheduling conflicts she had to decline. On September 27, 2016, Viola Davis joined the cast.[3] On November 10, 2016, Cynthia Erivo joined the cast.[4] As of January 13, 2017, André Holland was in negotiations to join the cast.[5] In February 2017, Elizabeth Debicki,[6] Michelle Rodriguez,[7] and Daniel Kaluuya joined the cast.[8] In March 2017, Liam Neeson joined the cast of the film.[9] In April 2017, Colin Farrell joined the cast of the film.[10] That same month, Robert Duvall joined the cast of the film.[11] In May 2017, Garret Dillahunt, Jacki Weaver, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo and Lukas Haas joined the cast of the film.[12][13][14][15] In June 2017, Carrie Coon was cast in the film.[16] In August 2017, Michael Harney and Jon Bernthal joined the cast of the film.[17][18]

Principal photography began on May 8, 2017.[19]


The film will have its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 8, 2018.[20][21][needs update] It will also screen at the BFI London Film Festival on October 10, 2018[22][needs update] and at the 29th New Orleans Film Festival as the Centerpiece Film on October 20, 2018.[23][needs update] In addition, it will also premiere October 13, 2018 at the Chicagoland Film Festival.[24][needs update] It is scheduled to be released on November 16, 2018. [25]


On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 95% based on 65 reviews, with an average rating of 8.6/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "Widows rounds up a stellar ensemble for a heist thriller that mixes popcorn entertainment with a message – and marks another artistic leap for director Steve McQueen."[26] On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 88 out of 100, based on 20 critics, indicating "universal acclaim".[27] The performances, particularly Davis, Kaluuya and Debicki, have been raved along with McQueen's direction.

Owen Gleiberman of Variety praised McQueen's direction and Davis' performance, "The strongest aspect of Widows is the way the movie gets us — and keeps us — rooting for its desperate-living heroines. They're past the point of just wanting to have fun (the subtext of almost every heist movie); they're less concerned with comeuppance than sheer survival."[28] Eric Kohn of IndieWire gave the film a "A-", saying: "Ultimately, Widows works as well as it does due to the way McQueen juggles substance with entertainment value to such eager subversive ends. The movie engages with topics as complex as sexism, police brutality, and interracial marriage, but it still delivers on the car chases and gunplay. No superhero movie digs this deep."[29]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Gillian Flynn Joins Steve McQueen To Script New Regency Heist Thriller". Retrieved April 5, 2017.
  2. ^ McNary, Dave (March 27, 2015). "Gillian Flynn, Steve McQueen to Write Heist Thriller for New Regency". Variety. Retrieved January 14, 2017.
  3. ^ Chitwood, Adam (September 17, 2016). "Viola Davis Teaming with '12 Years a Slave' Filmmaker Steve McQueen for Thriller 'Widows'". Collider. Retrieved January 14, 2017.
  4. ^ Kroll, Justin (November 10, 2016). "'The Color Purple' Actress Cynthia Erivo Joins Viola Davis in Steve McQueen's 'Widows'". Variety. Retrieved January 14, 2017.
  5. ^ Kroll, Justin (January 13, 2017). "'Moonlight' Star Andre Holland Joins Viola Davis in Steve McQueen's 'Widows' (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved January 14, 2017.
  6. ^ Kroll, Justin (February 8, 2017). "Elizabeth Debicki to Co-Star With Viola Davis in Steve McQueen's 'Widows' (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved February 16, 2017.
  7. ^ Lodderhose, Diana (February 16, 2017). "Michelle Rodriguez Joins Steve McQueen's Heist Pic 'Widows'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved February 16, 2017.
  8. ^ Hipes, Patrick (February 24, 2017). "'Get Out' Star Daniel Kaluuya To Topline Steve McQueen's 'Widows'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved February 24, 2017.
  9. ^ Kroll, Justin (March 3, 2017). "Liam Neeson in Talks to Play Viola Davis' Husband in Steve McQueen's 'Widows' (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved April 4, 2017.
  10. ^ Kroll, Justin (April 4, 2017). "Colin Farrell Eyes Steve McQueen's 'Widows' With Viola Davis (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved April 4, 2017.
  11. ^ N'Duka, Amanda (April 13, 2017). "Robert Duvall Boards Steve McQueen-Directed Thriller 'Widows'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved April 13, 2017.
  12. ^ N'Duka, Amanda (May 3, 2017). "'Mindy Project's Garret Dillahunt Joins 'Widows'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved May 13, 2017.
  13. ^ Galuppo, Mia (May 5, 2017). "Jacki Weaver Joining Viola Davis in Steve McQueen's 'Widows' (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved May 13, 2017.
  14. ^ N'Duka, Amanda (May 8, 2017). "Manuel Garcia-Rulfo Cast In 'Widows'; Desmin Borges Joins Netflix Film 'Private Life'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved August 30, 2017.
  15. ^ N'Duka, Amanda (May 23, 2017). "Lukas Haas Cast In Steve McQueen's 'Widows'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved August 30, 2017.
  16. ^ "Carrie Coon Joins Steve McQueen's Heist Thriller 'Widows' (Exclusive)".
  17. ^ N'Duka, Amanda (August 17, 2017). "Brendan Coyle Joins 'Mary Queen Of Scots'; Michael Harney Cast In 'Widows". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved August 30, 2017.
  18. ^ Fleming Jr, Mike (August 30, 2017). "Jon Bernthal Wraps Steve McQueen's 'Widows', Eyes Damien Chazelle's 'First Man'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved August 30, 2017.
  19. ^ "Widows". Directors Guild of America. Retrieved April 4, 2017.
  20. ^ Vlessing, Etan (July 24, 2018). "Toronto: Timothee Chalamet Starrer 'Beautiful Boy,' Dan Fogelman's 'Life Itself' Among Festival Lineup". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved July 24, 2018.
  21. ^ "Widows". Toronto International Film Festival. Retrieved July 24, 2018.
  22. ^ Tartaglione, Nancy (July 12, 2018). "Steve McQueen's 'Widows' To Open London Film Festival". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved August 21, 2018.
  23. ^ "Widows – Centerpiece Screening | New Orleans Film Society". neworleansfilmsociety.org. Retrieved 2018-09-30.
  24. ^ Carrillo, Carmel. "New 'Widows' trailer: Viola Davis, Gillian Flynn talk about filming in Chicago".
  25. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (April 22, 2017). "'Deadpool 2', 'New Mutants' & 'Dark Phoenix' Find 2018 Dates Among Fox's Slew Of Release Changes & Additions". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved August 21, 2018.
  26. ^ "Widows (2018)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved October 15, 2018.
  27. ^ "Widows reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved October 15, 2018.
  28. ^ Gleiberman, Owen (September 9, 2018). "Toronto Film Review: 'Widows'". Variety Magazine. Penske Media. Retrieved September 9, 2018.
  29. ^ Kohn, Eric (September 9, 2018). "'Widows' Review: Steve McQueen's Riveting Heist Movie Is 'Ocean's Eight' With a Dragon Tattoo — TIFF". IndieWire. Penske Business Media. Retrieved September 9, 2018.

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