User Score
8.8

Universal acclaim- based on 54 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 53 out of 54
  2. Negative: 0 out of 54
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  1. Jul 8, 2014
    6
    This review contains spoilers, click expand 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.
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  2. RickJ.G.
    Aug 21, 2003
    10
    There must have been at least a decade time gap between my viewing of the original and the director's cut, so I have no idea what is different about the two versions. My impression of this great movie was not changed in the least by this version of it. One of the great American movies.
  3. PatC.
    Jan 12, 2004
    8
    Vintage Coen. Their style is too quirky and volatile to manufacture a reliable product. They go too far into themselves in their creative process to step back and evaluate their ongoing work. Good thing I'm here. Fargo & Raising Arizona were superior efforts. You can see their better influences in this early work. Definitely not for all tastes, but I say Go with it.
  4. RyanM.
    Sep 14, 2001
    10
    A pre-ordering to "Fargo" and "The Usual Suspects" that makes you sqiurm in your seats while you're completely riveted in every way--one of the ten greatest thrillers of all-time!
  5. BeauF.
    Aug 27, 2002
    10
    I never saw the original version, but the Director's Cut is incredibly good. M. Emmet Walsh as you've never seen him!
  6. YoonC.
    Sep 14, 2003
    7
    An indie movie that showed alot of promise and cleverness, and for better or worse, anticipated both the talent and shortcomings of the Coen Brothers in their successive films. It's at its best with the oddball private detective around and mostly rudimentary regurgitation of noir coventions with the other three principals.
  7. BillC
    Aug 29, 2009
    7
    A movie that doesn't follow a set pattern and you never know what is next. Bravo!
  8. R.Yacuk
    Nov 23, 2001
    10
    Great. Tense. Unpredictable. Absolutely no cliches. Reaks of Hitchcock, yet not deliberately.
  9. CameronS.
    Jul 21, 2004
    10
    Beautiful in the most unconventional way, "Blood Simple" is one of two odes the Coen's do - film noir. Every silhouette is atmospheric, and the all events unfold with all due interest like an engaging pulp novel, with the characters in situations that they know how they got into but have no idea how to get out.
  10. J.RyanG.
    Jun 17, 2005
    9
    Like "Fargo" and "Raising Arizona," and unlike just about every other deliriously overrated Coen movie, this one is stripped down to its twisted soul. It exposes people who are at their worst regardless of the place or time of day - and aren't there so many of them walking the earth! One can see from this early film that the Coens had Orson Wellesian potential, though it was only Like "Fargo" and "Raising Arizona," and unlike just about every other deliriously overrated Coen movie, this one is stripped down to its twisted soul. It exposes people who are at their worst regardless of the place or time of day - and aren't there so many of them walking the earth! One can see from this early film that the Coens had Orson Wellesian potential, though it was only seen again (and fully realized) in "Fargo." Expand
  11. Nov 3, 2014
    8
    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.
  12. Jul 11, 2014
    8
    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.
Metascore
81

Universal acclaim - based on 22 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 22
  2. Negative: 0 out of 22
  1. I love the movie's originality, its sense of macabre humor, its resourcefulness, and the great Walsh, whose memorable narration kicks off the movie.
  2. It is an exploitation picture disguised as a hipster comedy.
  3. I love the unsettling details.