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Where Was Sicario Filmed?

September 23, 2020
3 min read

In recent years, especially since the success of shows like Netflix’s ‘Narcos,’ the drug trade in North America has really captivated the audiences. Well, it can be attributed to an interesting story (sprinkled with a little dose of reality), powerful acting, and great direction. In ‘Sicario,’ Emily Blunt stars as an idealistic FBI Agent, Kate Macer. Along with a government task force, she has to bring down the leader of a powerful Mexican drug cartel. Josh Brolin and Benicio del Toro also feature in the film. So, if you’d like to know where this movie was filmed, we have got your back!

Sicario Filming Locations

Writer Taylor Sheridan grew up in Texas and stated that he was well aware of the border conflicts. He took four months to write the first draft. The director, Denis Villeneuve, stated that the Chihuahuan Desert really inspired the color palette used in the film. New Mexico and Texas were used as filming locations within the States. However, there are some parts of the film that were captured in Mexico.

Albuquerque, New Mexico

Sicario’ was mostly shot in and around Albuquerque, and the state also offers a lucrative tax incentive for the entertainment industry, which was made use of by the filmmakers. The very first scene was also shot here. The motel scene was actually captured at Motel 1, and its exact address is 2001 Candelaria Rd., NE Albuquerque, NM 87107. Next up is the Canyonlands bank scene, which was filmed in the vicinity. The specific address is 9620 Candelaria Rd., NE Albuquerque. In fact, the Wild Pony Bar also doubled up as a filming location, and its address is 4555 NM-314 Los Lunas.

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Roger Deakins, Untitled (bar in New Mexico) (2015). . The celebrated cinematographer Roger Deakins is up for an Oscar for best cinematography for his gorgeous work on Sam Mendes' "1917." Known for shooting for filmmakers like Mendes, the Coen brothers, and Denis Villeneuve, Deakins also has a longtime love of the still camera. Of this shot he says: "We shot 'Sicario' in New Mexico during the summer of 2015. Storms were rolling in at the end of a day of shooting, so I drove 50 miles with this image in mind. I waited about an hour and a half. I couldn’t have imagined I would capture such a straight bolt of lightning." Read/see more in @thehollywood_reporter: https://tinyurl.com/w85rx6x. . #rogerdeakins #rogerdeakinscinematography #rogerdeakinsbetterwinafuckingoscar #blackandwhitephotography #newmexico #newmexicolandscape #contemporaryphotography #landscapephotography #sicario #sicariomovie #oscarnominee #newmexicobars #thelandofenchantment #newmexicotrue

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The scene where the convoy is shot up on the bridge between El Paso and Juarez was actually shot in three separate locations, and a parking lot in Albuquerque was one of them. Furthermore, the task force discovers the tunnel that is used by the cartel. This was also shot in the New Mexico desert, and the crew mostly used military night-vision technology. Corrales is also listed as a filming location.

El Paso, Texas

El Paso is a border town, and so it only made sense for the cast and crew to head there for filming. In fact, the team also did some research for the movie in Juarez, Mexico, and this was their entry point into the Mexican city.

Juárez, Mexico

For some context as to how dangerous Juarez really was, in the 2000s, it was referred to as the murder capital of the world. The team was naturally concerned about their trip to the city, even though violent crimes have reduced quite a bit in the past decades.

Given their circumstances, the team could not film in the city of Juarez during their six-hour trip. They were only able to capture general views of the city. Thus, Mexico City was its replacement. Denis Villeneuve told the Hollywood Reporter, “Shooting in Mexico was a challenge because we were dealing with a lot of logistical challenges. Tight streets, police cars, real streets with a lot of people on them.” 

Read More: Sicario Ending, Explained

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