Blue Ruin (2013) 3.43/5 (2)


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Rating: The Good – 77.4
Genre: Thriller
Duration: 90 mins
Director: Jeremy Saulnier
Screenplay: Jeremy Saulnier
Stars: Macon Blair, Devin Ratray, Amy Hargreaves

“No speeches, no talkin. You point the gun, you shoot the gun.” From simple ideas, great stories come and when in the hands of disciplined film makers, they can thrive on screen. With its spartan screenplay, understated performances, and strong direction, Blue Ruin is a case in point. Macon Blair puts in a strangely magnetic turn as a man left traumatised and homeless by the murder of his parents who returns to his hometown to exact revenge on their killer. Once done, he gets sucked into a war with the killer’s siblings which reveals an unconventional aptitude for (or at least commitment to) murder. A low profile support cast admirably fills out the rest of the movie but this one is all about Blair’s sympathetic lost soul performance and the  stirring originality of the central premise – a man with nothing to lose who gives as good as he gets. There’s nothing very original about the plot but through Jeremy Saulnier slow-roll direction and his spare but thoughtful script, it plays out in remarkably authentic manner. Never dragging and laced with genuinely shocking moments, Blue Ruin grabs hold of its audience in much the same manner that Blood Simple did. Like that movie, it suffers on the sound production front but, again, as with Blood Simple, the unprocessed vibe that comes with such indie film-making seems to champion the film’s aversion to any romantic notions of vengeance. In its place, we get that rarest of flowers, a revenge movie that delivers on what it promises but with the balancing forces of compassion, maturity, and social commentary. It’s raw, it’s gritty, it’s powerful and it’s just so damn fresh that Blue Ruin becomes the type of satisfying experience that every now and then pops up to reinvigorate the medium.

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