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Generally favorable reviews - based on 32 Critics What's this?

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7.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 72 Ratings

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  • Starring: , , ,
  • Summary: A beach bum finds his quiet life upended by dreadful news and sets off for his childhood home to carry out an act of revenge. Proving an inept assassin, he winds up in a brutal fight to protect his estranged family.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 28 out of 32
  2. Negative: 0 out of 32
  1. Reviewed by: Jamie S. Rich
    May 1, 2014
    100
    This smart crime story from writer/director Jeremy Saulnier avoids wading into the waters of righteousness that drown many violent movies.
  2. Reviewed by: Keith Staskiewicz
    Apr 23, 2014
    91
    With the same brand of realist irony the Coens used to cool down "Blood Simple," writer-director Jeremy Saulnier slows the genre’s heartbeat to gripping effect.
  3. Reviewed by: Susan Wloszczyna
    Apr 25, 2014
    88
    The bloody fingerprints of Quentin Tarantino and the Coen brothers — among other violence-prone auteurs — are smeared all over his tidy and tautly-told Blue Ruin.
  4. Reviewed by: Jamie Graham
    Apr 28, 2014
    80
    A cunning, suspenseful thriller that bears comparison to the Coen brothers’ Blood Simple, Blue Ruin is an impossible-to-ignore calling card from writer/director Jeremy Saulnier. Hollywood awaits.
  5. Reviewed by: Walter Addiego
    May 1, 2014
    75
    The filmmaker works with economy and has a knack for creating a sense of foreboding, which is good because the plot is simply a working out of the old saw that violence begets violence.
  6. Reviewed by: Betsy Sharkey
    Apr 24, 2014
    70
    Blue Ruin is an uneven film, and there are slip-ups along the way, but the tension that settles in slowly like a low-grade fever keeps you with it.
  7. 50
    Blue Ruin is more artful and evocative than any recent revenge picture, but it’s still drivel.

See all 32 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 23
  2. Negative: 1 out of 23
  1. May 3, 2014
    10
    A seemingly homeless man (Arlington native Macon Blair in a touching, nuanced performance) sets out for a revenge that grows out of control.A seemingly homeless man (Arlington native Macon Blair in a touching, nuanced performance) sets out for a revenge that grows out of control. Comparisons to early Coen Brothers are inevitable: a sly objective point of view, careful pacing, interesting observations, understated emotion and abrupt violence. Jeremy Saulnier (also an Arlington native), who wrote/directed/shot shows a mature mastery of style and cinematic confidence that augers well for his future (especially after the mess that was "Murder Party"). Every frame of this compelling film is quietly gripping and intelligent fun. Expand
  2. Sep 1, 2014
    9
    When you read reviews of movies oftentimes you'll here words like "raw", and "in your face" and it's difficult to really get a handle on whatWhen you read reviews of movies oftentimes you'll here words like "raw", and "in your face" and it's difficult to really get a handle on what that really means until you actually see a movie and you think of those words yourself. Those were two things that I thought of specifically after watching "Blue Ruin", the little known thriller and the next edition of my "Netflix Gems" series.

    It follows Dwight Evans, a disheveled homeless man who, despite his shortcomings, is resourceful enough to carve out a nice little niche for himself for a guy living in his car and eating leftovers from the garbage. He gets picked up one day by a police officer and is told that the man who murdered his parents has been released after a prison sentence. Hearing this news and seeing the look in his eyes, you can sense the type of baggage this man has been carrying for years and start thinking of how a tragedy of that magnitude can affect a person at such a vulnerable age. It then sets us up to follow Dwight on a cold and bloody journey for revenge

    It's easy for anyone to think of the "what I would do in this situation" scenario when watching a movie like this. More often then not, you'll hear someone say "I would totally do the same thing, I would straight up go after and kill that guy", hell, you might even think those thoughts yourself. It could even be seen as normal for those type of thoughts to cross your mind but actually acting on them is something else entirely. The majority of those who have those thoughts will eventually run into that last shred of their conscience that will hold them back from that combination of satisfying revenge and life ruining mistake. However, there is always that potential that there is that person who does break through that mental block and goes through with it. "Blue Ruin" is saying just that which is a reason why it's cast is filled with all new faces and unfamilars (except for Devin Ratray, last scene in the immortal role as Kevin McCallister's older brother Buzz in the "Home Alone" franchise) because they want to put a face to that potential and it reinforces the idea of how "Dwight" could be inside anyone depending on the circumstances.

    It's because of these ideas why the we can relate to Dwight in way, whether its his fumblings with acts of violence, his regret after making mistakes, and just the obvious thought of being scared out of your mind when traveling down this type of road. It's so easy to be able to think about killing those who have killed your own because that Hammurabian mindset is so quick and easy, "You take mine then I take yours, done". We've grown as people from that kind of philosophy because we know that kind of brutality resonates and will eventually blow everything up on its side. "Blue Ruin" takes us on the journey of a man with nothing to lose and nothing to gain but revenge and the knowledge that that revenge won't ease his mind and lessen the effects of the trauma from his past. Dwight Evans is just a man who believes in a sense of right and wrong and that it is only right to destroy those who have done such terrible wrongs to him and his own in order to try and bring a sense of balance to his universe.

    We all want balance in our universe but it's hard to decide what we are able to do in order to maintain that balance.
    Expand
  3. Aug 1, 2014
    9
    Unknown cast and crew, probably could have gone unnoticed if it was not attended film festivals. Todays Sci-fi and Fantasy cinema worldUnknown cast and crew, probably could have gone unnoticed if it was not attended film festivals. Todays Sci-fi and Fantasy cinema world 'revenge movies' are the most rare. In those, all are not impressive, but now and then a movie like this would do. I am glad I saw this. It was simply a revenge movie that how it looks when horses and desert landscapes were trimmed out of the western genre and of course that set in a modern era.

    Dwight is a homeless who lives in a car. One day he gets a message that the man who murdered his parents is to be out soon from prison. All these years filled with vengeance inside looking for this day finally arrives. He marks his target and goes after it by not thinking of the consequences of it. So the hunting game begins striking one after another shedding bloods between these two foe family. Takes turns and twists before it concludes.

    ‘‘I'd forgive you if you were crazy, but you're not.
    You're weak.’’

    Revenge movie is not a man go and shoot all his enemies down. I saw in this movie the lead character Dwight was eager to avenge his parents' death, but fear in the eyes, trembling hands and amateur killing instinct, totally a realistic appeal. Indeed an excellent performance by the lead man. A simple story, but awesomely developed with every scene. Almost a masterpiece work of this director that quite reflects the Coen brothers style of filmmaking.

    The word 'revenge' needs an explanation why it's taking place and here it won't bother to describe in a flashback, but makes sure that you get the reason behind it. It is kind of tricky to understand, it might be either make-up or graphics, but all those wounds, gunshots and bloodsheds were looked surreal. Kind of running and chasing type of tension movie, whenever those crucial clash happens, it pulls us to our seat's edge. It serves potentially what viewers would expect from this genre. A must see for those who like gore and vengeance themes.
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  4. Oct 12, 2014
    8
    Blue Ruin is a mysterious movie directed beautifully by Jeremy Saulnier. A movie so meticulously crafted,you can say its literally flawlessBlue Ruin is a mysterious movie directed beautifully by Jeremy Saulnier. A movie so meticulously crafted,you can say its literally flawless out of a technical aspect,a shame its not that riveting. Expand
  5. Jan 19, 2015
    7
    Blue Ruin is an extremely articulate revenge thriller, with a suspenseful and smart screenplay that packs a heavy punch. A relative unknown,Blue Ruin is an extremely articulate revenge thriller, with a suspenseful and smart screenplay that packs a heavy punch. A relative unknown, Macon Blair, leads the adventure as Dwight Evans - making for one of the best breakthrough performances of the year. Expand
  6. Aug 10, 2014
    7
    Positives: Strong performance from the lead, some very tense riveting moments
    Negatives: A bit meandering, some small plot holes
    Overview: A
    Positives: Strong performance from the lead, some very tense riveting moments
    Negatives: A bit meandering, some small plot holes
    Overview: A solid revenge thriller that has a great lead performance
    Grade: B
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  7. Jul 11, 2014
    3
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. another indie film praised to the sky that did not impress. i was intrigued until i found out the motivating factor for dwight's rampage, about halfway through the film. not that his parents' deaths weren't reason enough for him to seek revenge, but there should've been more set up to his rage. he goes from a sorry homeless guy to a calculating killer in about 2 secs. Expand

See all 23 User Reviews

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