Metascore
76

Generally favorable reviews - based on 25 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 25
  2. Negative: 0 out of 25
  1. Reviewed by: David Rooney
    Mar 18, 2013
    100
    A riveting first feature of startling maturity and intelligence.
  2. Reviewed by: Gary Goldstein
    Sep 19, 2013
    90
    Proves a highly auspicious feature debut for Moors and Porto as well as a much-deserved return to the limelight for Washington. Don't miss it.
  3. Reviewed by: Alan Scherstuhl
    Sep 10, 2013
    90
    The key question is whether this procedural—as in, here we watch killers proceed—contributes to any greater understanding. I believe it does.
  4. Reviewed by: Justin Chang
    Mar 18, 2013
    90
    Precision-honed performances and a nonsensationalistic approach distinguish this impressive first feature from French helmer Alexandre Moors, which avoids pat explanations as it offers a speculative glimpse into murderous minds.
  5. Reviewed by: Kyle Smith
    Sep 30, 2013
    88
    Blue Caprice takes a minimalist, documentary-style approach that proves harrowingly effective.
  6. Reviewed by: Peter Travers
    Sep 12, 2013
    88
    Blue Caprice is a cinematic punch to the gut, a mind-bending meditation on how to mold a killer, and one of the most potent and provocative true-crime movies ever made.
  7. Reviewed by: Tomas Hachard
    Mar 18, 2013
    88
    The filmmakers are more interested in questioning what brings people to commit senseless and merciless acts than they are preoccupied with the historical record.
  8. Reviewed by: Gabe Toro
    Sep 13, 2013
    83
    Washington’s performance is one of the best of the year, a high-wire act that is careful not to dip into survivalist caricature.
  9. Reviewed by: Eric Kohn
    Mar 18, 2013
    83
    Moors isolates a well-known drama with the fleeting nonfiction prologue and explores it from the inside out: It's not an attempted reenactment, but it does aim to get at certain truths.
  10. Reviewed by: Bill Goodykoontz
    Sep 26, 2013
    80
    Moors is neither showy nor exploitative in his telling of the story. He just lays out the details, making “Blue Caprice” not just a story of horror, but of tragedy.
  11. Reviewed by: Ian Buckwalter
    Sep 13, 2013
    80
    Moors' film is at its best when it worries at notions of how evil is born, fostered and brought to bloom.
  12. Reviewed by: A.O. Scott
    Sep 12, 2013
    80
    The Beltway sniper case was solved a long time ago. But in some respects, Mr. Moors’s haunting film suggests, it is still a mystery.
  13. Reviewed by: Keith Phipps
    Sep 11, 2013
    80
    It finds no clear answers, but that suits both the horrific event and this haunting, elusive film.
  14. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    Sep 26, 2013
    75
    The film’s a character piece with a tightening noose of suspense, and while it has its artsy-indie-dawdly moments, it’s disturbing in ways that aren’t easy to shake. Is the movie necessary? Do we need a “John and Lee: Portrait of Two Serial Killers”? Because it shines a light, however hesitant, into the cramped, resentful mind-sets that fester in the corners of America, I’d have to say yes.
  15. Reviewed by: Marc Mohan
    Sep 26, 2013
    75
    Even more impressive is young Tequan Richmond (TV’s “Everybody Hates Chris”) as the quiet, intense Malvo, a kid so desperate for a father figure in his life that he becomes putty in the hands of a killer.
  16. Reviewed by: Rene Rodriguez
    Sep 26, 2013
    75
    Blue Caprice only spends a few minutes reenacting their crime — the movie shows us exactly how they did it in just a couple of scenes — because the facts of the case aren’t the movie’s focus. Instead, this lyrical, frightening film is a portrait of a man consumed by self-hatred who decided to take it out on the world.
  17. Reviewed by: Nick Schager
    Sep 11, 2013
    75
    Blue Caprice otherwise proves a deft mood piece, one that probes its characters’ states of mind while remaining wholly unmoved by their grievances and hang-ups.
  18. 75
    Blue Caprice is a chilling portrait of motive, manipulation and mass murder.
  19. Reviewed by: Matthew Kassel
    Sep 3, 2013
    75
    Blue Caprice, a disturbingly intimate look at the Beltway sniper attacks of 2002, isn’t a horror film, but it certainly feels like one.
  20. Reviewed by: Ann Hornaday
    Sep 27, 2013
    63
    As admirable as Moors’s oblique style is, though, Blue Caprice doesn’t offer the sense of catharsis or closure, let alone new information, that makes it more than a cold, if disciplined, directorial exercise.
  21. Reviewed by: Jordan Hoffman
    Sep 12, 2013
    60
    Director Alexandre Moors turns the project into something of an art film, requiring patience for repetitive editing and slow-burn scenes before the movie ultimately works itself under your skin.
  22. Reviewed by: Joshua Rothkopf
    Sep 10, 2013
    60
    Blue Caprice is probably what more post-9/11 cinema should have been: desperate for explanations, inchoate and wrapped in unspoken loneliness. Even though we can stomach it better a decade later, we’re still not healed.
  23. Reviewed by: David Lewis
    Sep 19, 2013
    50
    Blue Caprice tells its story in fragments, a provocative strategy that sometimes works to chilling effect, sometimes not.
  24. 50
    The movie substitutes milky, washed-out color and funereal music for insight. The murders are purposely un-fluid: When you see Mohammad or Malvo take a shot, you don’t see the impact of the bullet. When you see the victim struck, you don’t see the shooter.
  25. Reviewed by: Dana Stevens
    Sep 12, 2013
    50
    For all its tasteful spareness and eerie, diaphanous mood, Blue Caprice feels, in the end, insubstantial. It’s a true-crime story that illustrates little about the crime in question and a character study whose characters, even when haunting, remain stubbornly opaque.
User Score
7.3

Generally favorable reviews- based on 23 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 7
  2. Negative: 0 out of 7
  1. May 16, 2014
    4
    BLUE CAPRICE is a slow, meandering, quiet and brooding character study that does not translate into any insight or depth. This is just a lot of stuff. Then it ends. Full Review »
  2. Mar 2, 2014
    6
    This is film that while put together well doesn't deal with the underlying reasons for this evil just to say that John Allen Muhammad felt wronged by society. Nevertheless a worth while effort. B Full Review »
  3. Jan 22, 2014
    5
    This work takes the story of the Beltway killings and strips it of any sentimentality. Like its subjects, this movie is cold and calculated in its study of the perpetrators and their descent into psychopathy. These men were depicted as anti-social in the most diagnostic sense of the term - they were amoral, capable, logical killers, completely confident in their mission to expose mankind to its own demons through premeditated acts of violence. Why then, with such compelling subject matter, did this film feel so long and redundant? The lack of dynamics in the story telling would be my best guess. Full Review »