I've watched Sicario a few days ago and I've quite enjoyed it, especially the way in which the plot is gradually and simultaneously revealed to the audience and to the female protagonist, Kate Macer (Emily Blunt).

As far as I understand, the hidden scope of the american "task-force" led by the CIA agent Matt Graver (Josh Brolin) is to take out the head of the Mexican drug cartel with the help of the hitman Alejandro (Benicio Del Toro) in order to push as far away as possible from the US borders the drug cartels with their load of merciless violence, at the cost of restoring the power to the infamous Colombian cartel of Medellin.

It is made quite clear in the movie that an FBI agent (Macer) must absolutely be a part of the plan. For instance at the end of the movie Macer is forced at gunpoint by Alejandro to sign a document that claims that everything in the mission has been done by the book.

But what I don't understand is why the mission must be "sanctioned" by Macer. Is it because as an FBI agent she has certain "prerogatives" that a CIA agent doesn't possess? What is the official role of Kate Macer in the movie?

  • In response to david, she was a rookie agent only good at breaking down doors, on her first JTF, and Matt took advantage of that when they first met. Jul 3, 2017 at 1:47

2 Answers 2


A conversation between Matt Graver & Kate Macer and her partner Reggie Wayne:

Matt: All right. Good. You guys will hang back when we get there, okay?

Kate: Then why are we going?

Matt: Cause CIA can't operate within US borders...

Matt & Reggie: ...without a domestic agency attached.

Matt: I told you you'd be useful.

Kate: So, that's it. That's why I'm here.

Matt: Yeah, that's it. That's why you're here.

Here's the scene:

  • 1
    Thanks madmada, dunno how but I completely missed that part ;)
    – Pesetas74
    Jan 24, 2016 at 18:41

since the FBI has authorities to operate within the boarder of the United States and the CIA does not, by Macer being present during the operation this gives the CIA certain authorities that they would not have without a joint task force. Macer is pretty much a pawn that gives the CIA the ability to conduct this operation. The fact that she didn't understand this made me dislike her character, any FBI agent when understand their authorities and what they offer when working with a task force. The fact that she fought against this operation throughout the movie was rather irritating but I understand that it adds drama, suspense, and brings additional conflict to the movie.

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