By Aja Hoggatt
November 16, 2018 at 04:34 PM EST

Marketed as a heist movie, Steve McQueen’s Widows goes far beyond the well-worn markers of a high-octane action blockbuster.

The film boasts the kind of cast usually reserved for an Oscar-bait drama, with the likes of Viola Davis, Liam Neeson, and Colin Ferrell rounding out a cast of rising stars including Daniel Kaluuya, Cynthia Erivo, and Brian Tyree Henry, all of whom have been met with critical acclaim in recent years. Yet, in the genre of car chases and gun fights, Widows tackles nuanced explorations of race, socioeconomic inequality, corruption, and the strength of women.

Set in Chicago, Widows follows four women as they attempt to pull off a heist in the wake of their husbands’ deaths to pay off a debt to a rival gang. The cast sat down with EW to talk about the themes of the film and the fully-developed female characters it presents, as you can see in the video above.

Credit: Michael Kovac/Getty Images for AFI

While the women of Widows are attempting an extraordinary act, star Elizabeth Debicki shares that these are women who exist in the real world.

“This definitely felt like real women who are thrust together through these sort of extraordinary circumstances, and yet there’s something about these women that feel real and, I guess, ordinary in a way,” says Debicki.

And while they are strong, Viola Davis leaves viewers with a reminder that none of their strength comes easily.

“I love the way they chose to take care of themselves, that they didn’t fall into the grave and just die — that they made a choice that they were gonna rise like a phoenix from the ashes.” Continues Davis, “Maybe [it’s] not in a way that’s nice and pretty. Maybe in a way that’s just as brutal as the men, but you know what, you have to do what is at your hand to do, always.”

Watch the full video above for more. Widows is now playing.

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