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Blood Ties Reviews

Page 2 of 5
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.
September 1, 2014
Solid drama which can be a little slow at times but decent enough. 7/10
August 31, 2014
Okay 70's crime thriller but nothing we haven't seen before.
August 30, 2014
Great story performed brilliantly by the cast of amazing actors.
It is like American Hustle, but with better acting. a better storyline and far more interesting stakes.
Big recommend.
August 21, 2014
After the well-received Little White Lies and Tell No One, French director Guillaume Canet makes his English language debut with a remake of Les liens du sang (2008), a film he originally starred in. Transplanted to Scorsese and Lumet inspired 70's New York streets, the retitled Blood Ties tells a story of rival brothers on different sides of the law. Fresh out of prison, Chris (Clive Owen) is looking to get his life back on track, go straight, make amends with his ex-girlfriend Monica (Marion Cotillard) and all that good stuff, whilst his clean cut brother Frank (Billy Crudup), usually the beacon of the police force, is playing on dangerous ground while shacking up with Vanessa (Zoe Saldana), the girlfriend of a thug he's just put behind bars (Matthias Schoenaerts). As Chris tries and fails to stay out of trouble the brothers are set on a collision course - but they need each other's help more than ever before. Also, James Caan is in it.

There is plenty wrong with Blood Ties but, propelled by an all-star cast and lovingly observed period design, it's able to get away with far more than it should. The Coupe DeVilles and Chevrolets purr around city streets above steaming manholes, the Isley Brothers spin on a record player and Clive Owen hulks around the underworld in a leather jacket - it's not a bad little world to spend two hours in. But although this familiarity is the film's charm, it's also ultimately its downfall.

Right from the opening credits on a black screen with the sound of the city heard through an open window we are thrown back to Serpico or Popeye Doyle's apartment. Canet has well understood these surface ticks and small details - but has become so wrapped up in them he's forgotten to actually portray any depth in his characters. They all brood and ache like Scorsese characters but the tortured souls are artificial. While the impressive cast all turn in solid work, they are largely wasted and reduced to the most by-the-numbers dialogue imaginable. The female characters in particular are given next to nothing to do, with Marion Cotillard, Mila Kunis and Zoe Saldana seemingly just appearing so their names can adorn the poster. One shining light though is the English language debut of Belgian Matthias Schoenaerts whose intense brooding presence was so perfect in Rust and Bone (2012) and Bullhead (2011). His role here is minor and little more than slickback-gold-chain-bad-dude, but a glimpse of his flawless New York accent is a tantalising hint of far greater things to come.

Storytelling also goes wanting in favour of the slavish homage to Canet's heroes. The fairly linear narrative is treated with a staccato rhythm, and an erratic pace that either crawls or sprints never allows the film to find its centre. There is a catalogue of moments and individually compelling scenes, but without an overall cohesion these just appear as a patchwork pieced together from other sources. Despite these technical flaws Blood Ties still beats with a tangible feeling of the genre and period it has chosen to ape - and plays as decent minor league entertainment. The twists, turns, cinematography and dialogue are all the most expected, but if you love the 70's underworld grit as much as Canet, where's the harm in that. There's no such thing as too many climactic shoot-outs in a packed Grand Central station.
Sgt. Cockstrain
August 20, 2014
A very convincing 1970's set crime drama featuring a solid cast and a decent character based story. Clive Owen is a truly fine screen presence and he's great in this, and because he and everyone else are so good, along with the few bits of gripping and intense action, meaning that the flaws in the script and a couple of minor issues here and there don't really matter that much. This will likely get seen by about half as many people than it deserves, but despite that, and for Mr Clive Owen especially, this is worth a very nostalgic trip to the cinema.
August 4, 2014
transitions between ideas in the movie were abrupt.
August 2, 2014
Reaches for an epic sweep of criminal desires and tortured decisions, and while it doesn't quite achieve everything it sets out to do, the basics are handled with care by Canet, who has a clear affinity for the actors and the era. I say RENT IT!!!
bill s.
July 31, 2014
A paint by numbers wanna be Heat.
July 30, 2014
Another average ... i agree you should watch we own the night ... it is something like blood ties.

Super Reviewer

June 3, 2014
So much talent. So little result.
July 14, 2014
Clive Owen anchors a strong cast in an excellent movie. The soundtrack is phenomenal as I found 2-3 songs I want to download on iTunes. There's the perfect amount of ultraviolence as Clive plays a legit badass. I also feel that James Caan makes anything better just by being in it. Definitely recommend this movie.
July 13, 2014
This film is so very under rated. I watched it last night for the first time, and again this morning. I loved it. It brought out so many emotions from my own life (which relates zero to this film lol) This movie is EPIC.
July 12, 2014
you may hate you own brother but he will be there for your trouble.
March 7, 2014
This tells the story of 2 brothers. Chris (Clive Owen) a released prisoner after a murder and Frank (Billy Crudup) are police officer and the 2 couldnt be more chalk and cheese if they tried. Chris resorts to his old ways forcing Frank to banish Chris from his life and hand in his badge so he wouldnt have to get involved with any of Chris' affairs though it would prove too late. This is an excellent, gritty well told crime thriller with excellent performances from Clive Owen and Billy Crudup who play off each other excellently
June 24, 2014
powerful good drama gr8 cast
Al S

Super Reviewer

June 20, 2014
A powerhouse crime-drama that shines with the gritty storytelling of Scorsese. A strong script, a gorgeous cast and a great soundtrack are only a few things that stand out in this project. A tough, stylish, gritty and mesmerizing movie that explodes with drama and action. A powerful and outstanding movie that's riveting, exciting and action-packed. The best crime-drama since The Town. Writer, James Gray and Director, Guillaume Canet craft a dazzling and epic piece of crime and brotherhood. It's one of the best movies of 2014. An instant classic. A hard-hitting and deeply absorbing character study. A remarkable all-star cast. Clive Owen gives a powerful and explosive performance, its his best role in years. Billy Crudup is outstanding. Mila Kunis is terrific. Zoe Saldana is excellent. Marion Cotillard is fantastic. A film that will entertain you all the way to its beautifully tragic ending.
July 8, 2014
When you look at the lineup of actors in Blood Ties you think that this should be a pretty capable movie, but it really isn't. I like Clive Owen. He's got a sense of cool that comes across the screen, and it does here again. However, this movie tries to be edgy, but it just isn't. The good bro/bad bro just doesn't carry any intensity. It's like the movie wants you to be all in, but the movie itself isn't. Don't get Redboxed by this one, hit the skip button on the screen.
October 14, 2013
An hour into the movie I was still wondering where things were going. Strong performances from the entire cast elevate this crime drama to an acceptable level. But with the talent involved you'd expect this to be a killer, instead it's dead on arrival.
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