Blue Ruin Reviews

Top Critic
Ann Hornaday
Washington Post
January 5, 2015
The world doesn't need another empty genre exercise. But as Blue Ruin reminds us, it can always use more filmmakers of Saulnier's resourcefulness, sensitivity and quiet assurance.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Keith Staskiewicz
Entertainment Weekly
January 5, 2015
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.
Full Review | Original Score: A
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Wesley Morris
Grantland
May 8, 2014
Saulnier is also a cinematographer, and he's in complete control of the film's conflation of human-scale horror and tragicomedy.
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Soren Anderson
Seattle Times
May 8, 2014
Blair, an unheralded actor, carries the whole picture. He's in practically every scene, and his performance is fascinating because in his eyes you can see the character struggling desperately with himself.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Ben Sachs
Chicago Reader
May 8, 2014
Saulnier makes impressive use of silence and slow camera movements, allowing the suspense to simmer until violence seems practically inevitable.
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David Denby
New Yorker
May 5, 2014
Saulnier spills a lot of blood, but he's an extraordinarily responsible and appealing craftsman.
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Bruce Ingram
Chicago Sun-Times
May 2, 2014
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.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Tom Long
Detroit News
May 2, 2014
A riveting revenge thriller written and directed by Jeremy Saulnier and built around a singular performance by Macon Blair.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
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Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
May 2, 2014
To call Blue Ruin a revenge thriller is to sell this barbed-wire-sharp and altogether surprising American indie short.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Peter Keough
Boston Globe
May 1, 2014
As an exercise in cinematic style, "Blue Ruin" is well worth seeing.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Barbara VanDenburgh
Arizona Republic
May 1, 2014
"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.
Top Critic
Walter V. Addiego
San Francisco Chronicle
May 1, 2014
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.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Tom Huddleston
Time Out
April 29, 2014
It's a taut, unflinching first act ... But as the bodies pile up and the plot circles in on itself, that beautifully constructed web of suspense begins to unravel.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
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Andrew O'Hehir
Salon.com
April 27, 2014
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.
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Adam Nayman
Globe and Mail
April 25, 2014
Blair is excellent in the lead, but the filmmaking is the true star here.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
April 25, 2014
Director Jeremy Saulnier has worked largely as a cinematographer, and "Blue Ruin" is marked by careful compositions and lighting.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Dana Stevens
Slate
April 24, 2014
Blue Ruin's fierce narrative momentum derives from the inexorable logic of eye-for-an-eye reciprocity.
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Betsy Sharkey
Los Angeles Times
April 24, 2014
"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.
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Jeannette Catsoulis
New York Times
April 24, 2014
Mocking vigilante violence while slapping it on in gorgeous splatters, "Blue Ruin" is little more than an archipelago of attacks and retaliations that pay off only in blood spilled and vendetta advanced.
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Michael Sragow
Orange County Register
April 24, 2014
A gory instant-classic cult film about a maladroit revenge killer.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
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Claudia Puig
USA Today
April 24, 2014
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.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
April 24, 2014
Blue Ruin succeeds on the strength of Saulnier's skill at slowly escalating the tension, even with a would-be action protagonist who is almost comically inept.
Full Review | Original Score: 8.5/10
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Peter Howell
Toronto Star
April 24, 2014
Not much is said, but much is communicated in a blood-soaked film that acts as its own accuser.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Joe Neumaier
New York Daily News
April 24, 2014
A real trip.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
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Amy Nicholson
L.A. Weekly
April 24, 2014
As an action film - which, in small bursts, it is - Blue Ruin is disquieting and raw, like Commando turned inside out.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
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A.A. Dowd
AV Club
April 24, 2014
Blue Ruin is as visually striking as one might expect a film helmed by a talented cinematographer to be. But Saulnier has more than a great eye; he's got the soul of a natural filmmaker ...
Full Review | Original Score: A-
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Sara Stewart
New York Post
April 23, 2014
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.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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David Edelstein
New York Magazine/Vulture
April 22, 2014
Blue Ruin is more artful and evocative than any recent revenge picture, but it's still drivel.
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Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
March 31, 2014
A ripping-good revenge flick with a radically simple premise ...
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Todd McCarthy
Hollywood Reporter
January 14, 2014
Odd revenge genre low-budgeter keeps the tradition of revenge killing all too alive.
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Justin Chang
Variety
January 14, 2014
A lean and suspenseful genre piece that follows a bloody trail of vengeance to its cruel, absurd and logical conclusion.
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David Ehrlich
Film.com
September 5, 2013
A feral and staggeringly well-conceived revenge saga.
Full Review | Original Score: 8.6/10
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William Goss
MSN Movies
May 21, 2013
The violence is unfailingly nasty, the humor suitably dark, and the human center holds due to Dwight's endearingly short-sighted, continually fallible, yet understandably just mission against those who squandered his own happiness decades before.