Universal acclaim - based on 22 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 22
  2. Negative: 0 out of 22
  1. 100
    If you are squeamish, here is the film to make you squeam.
  2. 100
    It's like watching Alfred Hitchcock try to solve a Rubik's cube in a roadside diner.
  3. All in all, Blood Simple looks better than ever.
  4. 100
    Filled with wonderful performances, especially by Hedaya and Walsh, Blood Simple remains a tight, beautifully ugly, neo-noir classic.
  5. 100
    Savor their technique and the sizzling performances of Frances McDormand as an adulterous wife, Dan Hedaya as her vengeful husband and M. Emmet Walsh as a private detective from hell.
  6. I love the movie's originality, its sense of macabre humor, its resourcefulness, and the great Walsh, whose memorable narration kicks off the movie.
  7. I love the unsettling details.
  8. As good as it ever was, and improved slightly by hindsight, experience, and extra cash.
  9. This is not an inspirational drama about finding yourself; it's a Hitchcockian comedy about adultery, murder and losing a corpse.
  10. It's the boys' most immediately gratifying movie: The goods are delivered in a hearse.
  11. (The Coens have) never again achieved the one-two punch of Blood Simple and "Raising Arizona" - the first darkly cynical, the second light-headedly comical.
  12. Reviewed by: Editor
    The Coens' concern isn't emotional intensity but bravura camera moves and chic lighting of cinematographer Barry Sonnenfeld.
  13. 80
    Boldly facetious and monstrously clever.
  14. Reviewed by: Chris Barton
    Don't miss this opportunity to see a film that many believe started the renaissance of indie films as it was intended to be shown.
  15. If you can handle its horror-comic grotesquerie, you'll find an enormous amount of cinematic imagination at work.
  16. Clever as it is, Blood Simple is derivative and self-consciously stylized.
  17. 75
    Grisly, stylish and often weirdly funny, Blood Simple is a reminder of how rarely an original artistic sensibility is announced to the world and how much better movies are when that sensibility is allowed to keep going its own way.
  18. Reviewed by: Ernest Hardy
    All these years later, the film is far more infuriating than it is exciting.
  19. It is an exploitation picture disguised as a hipster comedy.
  20. Remains mired in a smart-alecky film-school sensibility.
  21. 50
    On viewing, the cuts seem negligible, but what is new and clearly improved is the sound, which now booms with each door slam and gunshot.
  22. Revelatory and disappointing.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 48 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 12
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 12
  3. Negative: 0 out of 12
  1. Nov 3, 2014
    Slower than anything the Coens have brought to the screen, but not devoid of their trademark noir, and the dark comedy to every bloodbath. Yet it still seems like the Coens were just starting because many ideas came to fruition later on. The acting is above par, with the detective the standout. The film starts slow, but becomes very interesting towards the end. Full Review »
  2. Jul 11, 2014
    Blood Simple, the first Coen brothers film, is a more serious, slow, somber movie whose nuances are the most interesting part of it. The brothers didn't have their signature style yet, so the movie doesn't feel like a Coen brothers film, but it's worth watching if you want to see where Joel and Ethan made their start. Full Review »
  3. Jul 8, 2014
    This review contains spoilers, click full review link to view. Blood Simple: 6 out of 10: Some movies are victims of their own success. Alien is a great film but it seems a little slow nowadays and the plot while very fresh in 1979 has been done to death. (I still love it mind you but if I saw it for the first time this year I would probably wonder what the big deal is) The surprise is gone. I bring that up because at its time Blood Simple was a critics darling. A breath of very fresh air in our nations multiplexes. Not anymore.

    This kind of noir has been done to death since the Coen brothers revived it twenty plus years ago and Blood Simple through no fault of its own suffers as a result. The plot of the jealous husband and double crosses has had so many spins of the same record (1/2 of them seemingly starring Tim Matheson) that the original simply doesn't have the freshness or power it undoubtedly had back in '84.

    The movie has great strengths still however. Seeing Frances McDormand looking this cute reminds me of see Lucille Ball or Bette Davis in one of their first films when they were sex objects. And while John Getz gets swallowed up in his straight role Dan Hedaya (Cheers) on the other hand plays sleazy so well I forget I have seen it so many times since.

    Overall very well done if slightly slow paced and certainly worth a view just too familiar to encourage a repeat viewing.
    Full Review »