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Blood Work (2002)


Average Rating: 5.6/10
Reviews Counted: 150
Fresh: 79
Rotten: 71

Critics Consensus: Blood Work is a routine, but competently made thriller marred by lethargic pacing.

Average Rating: 5.9/10
Reviews Counted: 39
Fresh: 25
Rotten: 14

Critics Consensus: Blood Work is a routine, but competently made thriller marred by lethargic pacing.


Average Rating: 3/5
User Ratings: 22,000


Movie Info

A retired detective must battle former colleagues and his own failing health in order to bring a murderer to justice in this action drama produced and directed by its star, Clint Eastwood. Terry McCaleb (Eastwood) was one of the best and most thorough detectives at the FBI's Southern California office, until a massive heart attack sidelined him from police work for good. Following a heart transplant which saved his life, McCaleb has resigned himself to living quietly on a houseboat for the rest … More

R (for violence and language)
Drama , Action & Adventure , Mystery & Suspense
Directed By:
Written By:
Brian Helgeland , Michael Connelly
In Theaters:
Dec 27, 2002
Box Office:
Warner Bros. Pictures - Official Site


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Critic Reviews for Blood Work

All Critics (152) | Top Critics (40) | Fresh (79) | Rotten (71) | DVD (34)

Typically for Eastwood, there are modest touches to savor.

Full Review… | February 9, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

It's mostly a pro forma police procedural spiced by a baroque twist that Eastwood doesn't really know what to do with.

Full Review… | September 26, 2002
New York Magazine/Vulture
Top Critic

It doesn't sound bad...but Bloodwork is bad, oh, lordy, yes, it is.

August 20, 2002
Rolling Stone
Top Critic

It can be argued, I suppose, that Blood Work was designed from the outset not so much as a whodunit as a why-and-how-dunit, and here the film becomes metaphysically ingenious.

August 16, 2002
New York Observer
Top Critic

Even as it ends in a flurry of absurd plot twists, Blood Work holds you in a vise.

Full Review… | August 11, 2002
Boston Globe
Top Critic

It's always nice to see Clint.

Full Review… | August 9, 2002
Washington Post
Top Critic

This vehicle—the cinematic equivalent of a supermarket paperback—plays like the best-ever episode of Matlock rather than a truly distinguished feature film. [Blu-ray]

Full Review… | June 4, 2012
Groucho Reviews

Disappointing, predictable, and graphic.

Full Review… | December 22, 2010
Common Sense Media

The pivotal teaser is a numerical code that baffles experts but gets cracked in one curious gaze by a schoolboy.

Full Review… | August 7, 2008
Sacramento News & Review

Eastwood's sharpest filmmaking since the gig that won him an Oscar.

Full Review… | July 23, 2007

Master filmmaker Clint Eastwood continues in the classic Howard Hawks/John Ford tradition with unobtrustive direction, relaxed pacing, and strong characters and storytelling.

Full Review… | May 26, 2006
Combustible Celluloid

The movie could have used a heart transplant of its own, for its ultimate undoing is its minuscule, phoned-in energy level.

Full Review… | January 7, 2005

If you like genre films, Blood Work will not disappoint.

Full Review… | October 7, 2004

The talent just isn't there to raise the level of this film past television drama.

Full Review… | February 1, 2004

It's still fun to watch [Eastwood] chase the bad guys, and he still has that indescribable aura about him.

Full Review… | January 6, 2004
Star-Democrat (Easton, MD)

Very silly: sometimes almost enjoyably so, often just in a tired way.

Full Review… | June 20, 2003
Empire Magazine

Blood Work is a lot like a well-made PB & J sandwich: familiar, fairly uneventful and boasting no real surprises - but still quite tasty and inviting all the same.

Full Review… | February 25, 2003

I'm sorry, the guy may be tough, or good-looking, or a respected Hollywood elder, but CLINT EASTWOOD IS NOT A VERY GOOD ACTOR. There, I said it.

Full Review… | February 8, 2003
Film Quips Online

Eastwood should spend the next five years gargling to get rid of the taste.

Full Review… | January 16, 2003

The murder mystery develops in engaging fashion, but disappointment comes when Blood Work intermittently leaves its clever roots to honor dull Hollywood conventions.

January 10, 2003

Clint still has presence, but he now looks very elderly, with stunt doubles to do fights and running and, for all I know, walking and breathing too.

Full Review… | January 6, 2003

It's badly made, the plot is ridiculous and what's more, it confirms that Clint, like Woody Allen, is now much too old for love scenes of any kind.

Full Review… | January 4, 2003

Efficient but fairly unexciting.

Full Review… | December 23, 2002
Shadows on the Wall elegant, well-paced, low-key mystery filled with intriguing characters and fascinating details.

Full Review… | December 14, 2002
Movie Metropolis

A classy item by a legend who may have nothing left to prove but still has the chops and drive to show how its done.

Full Review… | November 16, 2002
Urban Cinefile

Audience Reviews for Blood Work

A crafty, old school and first-class edge of your seat suspense thriller. Clint Eastwood is magnificent, he still has all the right moves as a director and performer. One of the best performances of his career. A well made mystery of the best standards. A gritty, sharp, edgy, sophisticated and riveting thriller. It hits all the right notes and manages to be stable and engrossing entertainment.

Al S

Super Reviewer


Terry McCaleb: Remember how you said I was your friend, and I could tell you the truth? Well I don't need you at all. 

"He's a heartbeat away from catching the killer"

Blood Work gets a lot of shit and it is easy to see why. This is a predictable and lazy thriller from Eastwood. The plot is interesting enough to make it passable, but when you think Eastwood, you think of high quality films; not this. The supporting cast is extremely bad. Eastwood even seems to be sleepwalking through his role, a role which he has played a hundred times. He plays his standard old detective, who is done with his career, but wants to solve one last case. 

A woman comes to McCaleb, a retired FBI man who has just gotten a heart transplant. The woman who comes to him, had a sister killed and that sisters heart went to McCaleb. So he feels that he must help her out, despite objections from his doctor and the authorities. He starts to piece things together, such as linked murders. The killer is also leaving messages, he says at all of his killings, "Happy Valentine's Day."

This is a very average and pretty dull film from Eastwood. It isn't up to par with the majority of his work, but it also isn't his worst. If you're a big fan of Eastwood, it is still worth a look. Bad Eastwood is still decent when you look at what other directors throw out there.

Melvin White

Super Reviewer


A run of the mill procedural cop/serial killer movie. The low rating is because of how low on surprises this was. Honestly, it was ridiculously easy to solve. If I'm watching a film about an FBI profiler I shouldn't be 1 hour ahead of him. I worked out the plan, the motive, and the killer within the first 45 minutes. It was annoying watching Clint being so dim and behind the times. It wasn't even represented as him being too old anymore, he was supposed to be one of the best. I guess profiling has come along way in 9 years, or maybe I've just seen too many episodes of Criminal Minds. The lines are cheesy, with Paul Rodriguez giving an awful performance of your run of the mill antagonist cop. Wanda De Jesus was simply selfish in asking for Eastwood's help, and there's even a scene where a child is ahead of Eastwood in the investigation. I'm very surprised that Eastwood directed this, as it was so plain. I hear they changed details from the books, which is no big deal, but they even changed the identity of the killer. Probably why it was so obvious, as no thought had been put into the reveal.

Luke Baldock

Super Reviewer


A chilling movie with a predictable plot, good acting, great concept, interesting conclusion. So basically, Im glad I saw it.

Jim Careter

Super Reviewer

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