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Mixed or average reviews - based on 16 Critics What's this?

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6.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 13 Ratings

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  • Starring: , , , , , , , ,
  • Summary: New York, 1974. Fifty-year-old Chris (Clive Owen) has just been released on good behavior after several years in prison following a gangland murder. Reluctantly waiting for him outside the gates is his younger brother, Frank (Billy Crudup), a cop with a bright future. Chris and Frank haveNew York, 1974. Fifty-year-old Chris (Clive Owen) has just been released on good behavior after several years in prison following a gangland murder. Reluctantly waiting for him outside the gates is his younger brother, Frank (Billy Crudup), a cop with a bright future. Chris and Frank have always been different, and their father, Leon (James Caan), who raised them alone, seems to favor Chris despite all his troubles. Yet blood ties are the ones that bind, and Frank, hoping that his brother has changed, is willing to give him a chance—he shares his home, finds him a job, and helps him reconnect with his children and his ex-wife, Monica (Marion Cotillard). But Chris’ inevitable descent back into a life of crime proves to be the last in a long line of betrayals, and after his brother’s latest transgressions, Frank banishes him from his life. But it’s already too late, as the brothers’ destiny is bound together, forever. Collapse
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 16
  2. Negative: 3 out of 16
  1. Reviewed by: Marc Mohan
    Mar 20, 2014
    75
    Blood Ties not only convincingly recreates its era, it seems like it could have been made then.
  2. Reviewed by: Glenn Kenny
    Mar 21, 2014
    63
    While Canet's direction can't be said to be all over the place, the movie never settles into the groove it so dearly aspires to.
  3. Reviewed by: Gary Goldstein
    Mar 20, 2014
    60
    There's a heft to the proceedings that keeps us invested even when the story's various strands start to unravel.
  4. Reviewed by: Sara Stewart
    Mar 20, 2014
    50
    It’s all headed for a showdown, of course, and duly delivers, though Crudup and Taylor are the only ones who really seem to have a handle on the New Yawk accent.
  5. Reviewed by: Stephen Holden
    Mar 20, 2014
    50
    There are some very good performances and parts of performances in Blood Ties, but the movie fails to convey a sense of tribal identity within this world.
  6. Reviewed by: Tom Huddleston
    Aug 13, 2014
    40
    The soundtrack is crammed with ’60s and ’70s pop gems – several of them instantly familiar from Scorsese’s movies – while the colour palette is all muted corduroy brown and rainy urban grey. The result is less a homage than a slavish, overproduced cover version, lacking all the spark and integrity of the original.
  7. Reviewed by: Joe Neumaier
    Mar 20, 2014
    20
    Fine actors are let down by a comatose script and wayward direction in this retro crime drama.

See all 16 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 3
  2. Negative: 0 out of 3
  1. Mar 26, 2014
    9
    I loved it. Some movies just make sense too much that they absorb you into their world. And Blood Ties is exactly that film. Clive Owen wasI loved it. Some movies just make sense too much that they absorb you into their world. And Blood Ties is exactly that film. Clive Owen was great, I enjoyed his performance- it was very realistic. Mila Kunis is good as well. The story is very new- two brothers one is a cop and one is a criminal. I find films like this very refreshing and interesting. It's very rare you see a film like Blood Ties. But the film is slow and a bit boring at times but the film is worth the wait and the climax. Miss it and you will be missing one of the greatest dramas of the year. Expand
  2. Aug 11, 2014
    9
    I really liked this movie.

    I don't quite understand the mixed and/or negative reviews. Clive Owen, Billy Crudup, and James Caan are all
    I really liked this movie.

    I don't quite understand the mixed and/or negative reviews.

    Clive Owen, Billy Crudup, and James Caan are all very good...as is the rest of the cast. Yes, this is a long movie. However, its length isn't a problem because the content is compelling...at least it was to me, anyway.

    I have brothers. All of my siblings are very different from one another...although not quite as different as the two central characters in "Blood Ties".

    Many years ago, my youngest brother dragged me (at his insistence...I didn't want to go) to a viewing of the just-released "Blade Runner". The critics hated it...I loved it. Now, it's (appropriately) regarded as a science-fiction classic.

    You can listen to the critics on "Blood Ties"...or, see it for yourself.

    This is a quality film with a terrific cast...among so many other less-worthy choices.

    Don't miss it...especially if you have one or more brothers.

    It rings true.
    Expand
  3. Dec 20, 2014
    5
    Great on paper but never delivers what we expect. Extremely long, unoriginal (we've seen this story tons of times before), predictable andGreat on paper but never delivers what we expect. Extremely long, unoriginal (we've seen this story tons of times before), predictable and basically a copy of all gangster movies ever made. For those who watched Les Liens Du Sang, the movie in which Blood Ties is based on, we'll see the exact same thing they did in 2008, except it's in New York. Performances are great because the cast is superb but accents are bizarre (Marion Cotillard is Italian but speaks English with a French accent) and female roles are terrible (Lily Taylor is almost a figurant) and completely dependent on men. Funny since the most interesting thing in this film are women. Costumes and cinematography are quite good and soundtrack is nostalgic, even though it's forced and inadequate sometimes. Anyway, these technical aspects don't compensate the lack of development in the script and lack of creativity of the director, the once promissing Guillaume Canet. Expand

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