Metascore
77

Generally favorable reviews - based on 32 Critics

Critic 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: Andrew O'Hehir
    Apr 25, 2014
    100
    It’s a brilliant, slow-burning American revenge thriller that hardly puts a foot wrong, a work of startling violence and profound conscience that announces the arrival of an exciting young director.
  3. Reviewed by: Amy Nicholson
    Apr 22, 2014
    100
    As an action film — which in small bursts it is — Blue Ruin is disquieting and raw, like Commando turned inside out.
  4. Reviewed by: A.A. Dowd
    Apr 23, 2014
    91
    Blue Ruin rarely resembles anything but itself. Much of the singularity can be attributed to the film’s atypical hero, surely one of the year’s great characters.
  5. 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.
  6. Reviewed by: Gabe Toro
    Dec 20, 2013
    91
    It’s easily the most suspenseful American film of the year, a thriller that feels like lightning across a quiet night sky; sudden, terrifying, and excitingly singular.
  7. Reviewed by: Steven Rea
    May 2, 2014
    88
    The lack of any readily identifiable star - no Cage, no McConaughey - makes Blue Ruin feel even more authentic, more rooted in this frightening world.
  8. Reviewed by: Bruce Ingram
    May 1, 2014
    88
    You couldn’t ask for a more unlikely avenger than the ill-equipped sort-of hero of Blue Ruin, and that’s precisely why it’s far, far more suspenseful than the typical violent revenge thriller. It’s also why it functions equally well as a potent reflection on the futility of revenge.
  9. 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.
  10. Reviewed by: Adam Nayman
    Apr 24, 2014
    88
    Blair is excellent in the lead, but the filmmaking is the true star here.
  11. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    Apr 24, 2014
    88
    Blue Ruin is the rare film that is nearly consistently tense, the suspense only temporarily subsiding about an hour into the story. It's a welcome respite.
  12. Reviewed by: David Ehrlich
    Dec 20, 2013
    86
    A feral and staggeringly well-conceived revenge saga.
  13. Reviewed by: Barbara VanDenburgh
    May 8, 2014
    80
    Blue Ruin is a movie about revenge, but it reaches far past the bottom-shelf titillations of fantasy to tell a richer, character-driven story with a protagonist who's less avenging angel than ghost.
  14. Reviewed by: Patrick Gamble
    May 3, 2014
    80
    A nefarious misadventure that's technical prowess and heartbreaking lead performance belies its economical pedigree, Saulnier's farcical tale is punctuated with irregular scenes of dark, bumbling humour whilst a wanton disregard for the bellicose testosterone of similar tales successfully constructs a tense and naturally opaque mood that broods with the clammy tension of an impending storm.
  15. Reviewed by: Tim Robey
    May 3, 2014
    80
    There’s nothing Saulnier does better here than unveil his premise and bring the siblings together for their handful of scenes, but his film remains deftly shot and dynamic to the end.
  16. Reviewed by: Kim Newman
    Apr 28, 2014
    80
    A lean, tough, thoughtful thriller with depth, Blue Ruin establishes Jeremy Saulnier as a promising indie auteur and Macon Blair as an unusual leading man.
  17. 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.
  18. Reviewed by: Dana Stevens
    Apr 25, 2014
    80
    Blue Ruin is a Clint Eastwood vigilante fantasy with an anti-Clint at its center—small-statured, round-faced, nervous Dwight (Macon Blair), whose burning desire to avenge the long-ago murder of his parents doesn’t make him one whit less terrified of actually doing it.
  19. Reviewed by: Scott Tobias
    Apr 24, 2014
    80
    Like Blood Simple, Blue Ruin deals in crimes of passion, carried out by human beings who are flawed yet tragically relatable—one is about mopping up the blood, the other about the impossibility of stanching the flow.
  20. Reviewed by: Marjorie Baumgarten
    Apr 23, 2014
    78
    Appearing in almost every frame of Blue Ruin, Blair – who previously starred in "The Man From Orlando" and writer/director Jeremy Saulnier’s first feature, "Murder Party" – owns this film.
  21. 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.
  22. Reviewed by: Sara Stewart
    Apr 23, 2014
    75
    Sparse of dialogue, terrifically ominous and full of low-key, high-quality performances, Blue Ruin is a vigilante tale even haters like me can get behind.
  23. 75
    Blue Ruin joins “Shotgun Stories” and “Joe” as vivid reminders that however homogenized American culture seems, there are still pockets that are distinct, with people who live by their own rules and their own bloody code.
  24. Reviewed by: David Denby
    Apr 27, 2014
    70
    It's only at the end of Blue Ruin that my pleasure drained away. [28 April 2014, p.86]
  25. 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.
  26. Reviewed by: Jeannette Catsoulis
    Apr 24, 2014
    70
    Stingy with details and dialogue, but more than generous with atmosphere, this seductively photographed thriller (written and directed by Jeremy Saulnier, who also wielded the camera) sells its empty calories with great skill.
  27. Reviewed by: Justin Chang
    Dec 20, 2013
    70
    A lean and suspenseful genre piece that follows a bloody trail of vengeance to its cruel, absurd and logical conclusion.
  28. Reviewed by: Jesse Cataldo
    Apr 21, 2014
    63
    By reducing its principals to stock figures in an extended chess game, it ends up providing steady, neatly staged thrills, but little else of substance.
  29. Reviewed by: Joe Neumaier
    Apr 24, 2014
    60
    Saulnier accomplishes something rare here. He has an ability to convey depth of feeling and ominousness without tricks or even musical cues.
  30. Reviewed by: Tom Huddleston
    Apr 22, 2014
    60
    The result is a film that starts with a bang and ends with a shrug, but keeps us entertained throughout.
  31. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    Dec 20, 2013
    60
    Blue Ruin is a talented but sophomoric low-budgeter that straddles the divide between genre thriller and art piece with mixed results.
  32. 50
    Blue Ruin is more artful and evocative than any recent revenge picture, but it’s still drivel.
User Score
7.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 45 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 16
  2. Negative: 1 out of 16
  1. Jul 11, 2014
    3
    This review contains spoilers, click full review link 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. Full Review »
  2. May 26, 2014
    5
    Venomous in it's visual style but a waste of time overall. It begins as a suspenseful, psychological thriller but ends as an over the top action-oriented movie with poor acting. Full Review »
  3. May 3, 2014
    8
    This was a good, if not utterly perfect movie. It's tightly wound and packed with suspense, but there were a few moments that hung. The movie was shot beautifully and the lead actor Macon Blair turns in a genuine, powerful performance. Overall, it's worth a watch. Full Review »