Blood Simple

1984

Blood Simple

Critics Consensus

Brutally violent and shockingly funny in equal measure, Blood Simple offers early evidence of the Coen Brothers' twisted sensibilities and filmmaking ingenuity.

94%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 99

88%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 39,031
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Movie Info

In the first film of brothers Joel Coen and Ethan Coen, M. Emmett Walsh plays Visser, an unscrupulous private eye hired by Texas bar owner Marty (Dan Hedaya) to murder Marty's faithless wife Abby (Frances McDormand) and her paramour, Ray (John Getz), one of Marty's employees. But Visser is no more up-front with Marty than with anyone else; he makes some slight modifications of the original plan so that it better serves his own best interests. After a surprise double-cross and the murder of one of the important players, matters spiral out of control, and the plot gyrates through a complicated string of darkly humorous events. False assumptions, guilt, and fear all lead to a frantic attempt to conceal evidence and the heart-pounding, irony-filled denouement. Blood Simple was re-released in the summer of 2000 with a digitally-remastered soundtrack and -- at the Coens' behest -- a few minutes of dialogue trimmed. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

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Critic Reviews for Blood Simple

All Critics (99) | Top Critics (23)

  • A gripping, drum-tight noir masterpiece to compare with Touch of Evil.

    Oct 5, 2017 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…
  • One of the great debut features of modern times.

    Oct 2, 2017 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…
  • "Blood Simple" becomes a dazzling comedie noire, a dynamic, virtuoso display by a couple of talented fledgling filmmakers who give the conventions of the genre such a thorough workout that the result is a movie that's fresh and exhilarating.

    Jul 28, 2016 | Full Review…
  • Watching this beautiful restoration of "Blood Simple" I was actually struck by how non-bleak it is, how much the strength of the film lies in images of beauty, defiance and survival.

    Jun 30, 2016 | Full Review…
  • It's a trailblazing masterpiece in any form.

    Jun 29, 2016 | Rating: A | Full Review…

    Mike D'Angelo

    AV Club
    Top Critic
  • Though the film has a few exposed seams, it's tightly composed and beautifully shot in a way that easily rivals more expensive features.

    Jun 29, 2016 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Blood Simple

  • May 09, 2018
    The Coens' first film was this extremely well-written and well-directed neo-noir that blends violence and humor and relies on an insane amount of misunderstandings and absurdities involving its characters - something that would become their trademark narrative style.
    Carlos M Super Reviewer
  • Feb 28, 2017
    Blood simple is a noir film with all the familiar ingredient except there are countless of twists. This is Coen brothers' first feature film, they've got what it takes to make masterful works at such an early age.
    Sylvester K Super Reviewer
  • Mar 28, 2016
    I found most of it boring, but the ending pretty much redeemed the entire film.
    Maymay A Super Reviewer
  • Jan 05, 2015
    Watching a directorial debut is a fascinating practice, partially because you can see a filmmaker's trademarks already fully formed. With that in mind, Blood Simple is most definitely a Coen Brothers film, parts dark and deliriously funny. The Coen Brothers have proven themselves to be the best directors out there when it comes to "crime gone wrong" films, but it still manages to be shocking that they already had it down pat right out of the gate. The less you know about Blood Simple going in, the better. Just know that it's stylish, funny, and written with an efficiency that most screenplays lack. Pile on some great performances on top of that and you have a debut film on the level of Reservoir Dogs.
    Jacob E Super Reviewer

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