Blood Ties Reviews

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½ April 11, 2015
What a waste of talent.
Super Reviewer
March 30, 2015
Shot in a 1970s style, Blood Ties certainly has the right look. The film features a great cast, that made me desperately want to see it, but the problem is that it's a very common tale and it moves along at a snails pace. Even with a story that's been done over and over again, Blood Ties still could have been something special, because of it's cast, but that didn't happen simply because it is one of the most predictable films I've seen all year. The film features two brothers, Chris (Clive Owen) a career criminal, just released from prison, and Frank (Billy Crudup) a New York City Detective, who tries to help Chris get back on his feet. Didn't I see this movie in 2007 when it was called We Own The Night? That film has the exact same tagline, but fortunately wasn't as predictable. Billy Crudup stars as the good brother and was the only interesting character in the film, surprising considering the film features two of my favorite actors, James Caan and Charlie Tahan. Unfortunately neither of them have a particular big or interesting role, as everything centers around these two brothers. The con is played by Clive Owen, who honestly seemed like he didn't want anything to do with this role. He is emotionless, uneven, and every time he has any kind of long dialogue, I thought I was going to fall asleep. The bottom line, one's a cop, the others a con, I wonder what's going to happen? What happens is exactly what you think is going to happen, so why even bother to watching this extreme disappointment?
March 24, 2015
the only thing good about this movie was the classic cars and that's pushing it
½ May 25, 2013
Great 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.
March 16, 2015
For me, any movie that takes place in the 70s seems to drag on for much longer then it should: Boogie Nights, Blow, Donnie Brasco, fucking 3 hours of Zodiac... In the end Crudup holds down the ship on this one and it develops over time. Though sometimes letting things breathe for too long overshadows the point, i cant figure if this worked for or against this film in the end.
March 10, 2014
No love from critics, but I had no problem with it. Light plot, but great production design, soundtrack, lots of famous names. Good rental....
½ February 5, 2015
Another of these movies with great casts without an equally great script or story, seems to be happening more and more the last few years. It also hurts that the movie looks and feels like the whole current subgenre of "NY cop movie;" basically, it comes down to "been there, seen that" way too many times.
January 14, 2015
A good cast overall. Clive Owen's character was a bit of a prick throughout, but the 128 min feature ends on a satisfying note.
January 10, 2015
ITs a good movie about the love resentment that brothers can grow to have towards one another. The problem with the movie doh is the casting. They should've got some real new yorkers to pull off this movie or even actors who can just display that kinda charisma.
½ December 28, 2014
Great cast and amazing soundtrack, in my mind this movie is quite good.
November 12, 2014
at first I was ready to abandon it, but then I realized the pacing was like a French movie. I enjoyed the cast, and then realized the entire movie was foreshadowing for the last scene.
½ November 9, 2014
After serving twelve years for murder (for killing a rapist and murderer he caught in the act), Chris (Clive Owen) is released from prison in 1974. His ex-wife, Monica (Marion Cotillard), is a drug-addicted prostitute. She has a son and a daughter. Chris tries to go straight with his new girlfriend Natalie (Mila Kunis) but is betrayed and sabotaged in his pursuit of a legitimate business venture. Returning to his criminal ways puts him in direct conflict with his brother Frank (Billy Crudup) who happens to be a New York City cop. Their sister, Marie (Lili Taylor), and their sick father, Leon (James Caan), want Chris and Frank to just get along with each other. When arresting Anthony Scarfo (Matthias Schoenaerts) at his house Frank happens to meet his ex-girlfriend Vanessa (Zoe Saldana) again. Vanessa is now married to Anthony and has a daughter by him. But Frank and Vanessa get back together again anyway, and she decides to divorce. But in the meantime Frank becomes conflicted over allowing his brother Chris to flee the scene of a felony murder. When Anthony is released from police custody his first act is to seek revenge against Frank for destroying his home life. Chris uncovers the plot and must decide between saving his own skin and stopping Anthony in his tracks...

"Blood Ties" is a historic drama thriller that makes NYC in the 70s coming alive. I reckon with James Gray being involved we see similarities to other movies he has directed, which he didnīt do this time around. I see some similarities to "Carlitoīs Way" as well. With that said I think the plot and story is hardly anything special or for that matter that unique. Itīs slow paced and a bit too long. But, the fact that family is the focus point here thereīs something we all can relate to, and I think everybody involved does a great acting job. I personally think Billy Crudup is a very underrated actor, and I think heīs great here as Frank. Without the great performances "Blood Ties" wouldīve been hardly that rememberable. I like that we get to see the great Marion Cotillard and the equally great Matthias Schoenaerts together in yet another movie, even if they donīt have any scenes together. They just add weight to the film like James Caan. "Blood Ties" is not too shabby, but neither a unique one either.
½ October 26, 2014
While it starts slowly with a story of two brothers living on opposite sides of the law, but at the end you will be rewarded with a great ending.
October 9, 2014
on one hand this film is perfection. Exquisitely designed and decorated with a setting that I love; a cast that is superb with every role and cinematography that looks so damned authentic to the period. Yet I have a huge problem with the overall narrative and the cohesion to the story and that ultimately sells the film short. this film is almost like they had a 100 great scenes to shoot and when they put it together they forced it without smoothing out the edges. That and they definitely were paying homage to GoodFellas. It was almost as if this was really just deleted scenes from the Scorsese classic. Still, my type of movie all the way.
October 8, 2014
An old school romp through the 70's crime thriller genre. But its an one time view drama.
October 1, 2014
La pelicula estubo mas o menos.. nada fuera de lo normal... pero QUE SEXY estubo Marion Cotillard en esta movie... la escena del bar estubo de poca...
September 30, 2014
Un bel hommage aux polars des seventies.
½ July 13, 2013
What I liked : Zoe Saldana is amazing, the best in this movie. Billy Crudup is the second best. Mattias Schoenaerts has all the potential to become a legendary actor ! Yodelice's music is great. The whole atmosphere of the movie makes you believe you're in the 70s.

What I didn't like : Marion Cotillard's accent, get a real American-Italian to do the accent, it's a hard one. It's a really nice movie, very well-made, but I don't really see the point of the movie.. I guess the "blood ties' of those 2 brothers (which should have been the central element of the movie) is over shadowed and over-layed by the individual stories of every character (interesting stories but in the end useless)
September 9, 2014
I was expecting more action and less drama. So obviously I was disappointed.
September 7, 2014
Great plot, awesome acting, huge cast! Lots of unsuspected turns. Reminded me of Goodfellas. Terrific job on this one. Really enjoyed it and would watch it again for sure.
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