Blood Ties - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Blood Ties Reviews

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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 12, 2015
Great film that could relate to families that have "good" & "bad" people. Demonstrating harshness & difficulties of families divided by crime & imprisonment. All actors do not hold back in this film. Showing that making the best choice for the greater good of your family isn't easy to make at all. Underrated film
March 8, 2015
All-Star Cast, Solid Ending, but in the end I give the soundtrack 2 more stars than the movie itself.
February 21, 2015
some good 70's moments,just needed a better director for this great cast.
February 20, 2015
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 18, 2015
Slow burner but decent movie w/solid ending.
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 January 8, 2015
Plodding film, didn't realize potential
½ December 28, 2014
Great cast and amazing soundtrack, in my mind this movie is quite good.
½ November 20, 2014
Some fantastic chemistry, brilliant performances, amazing attention to detail, and fine, gritty, atmospheric direction, but all in all not nearly enough to carry the film beyond generic expectations. A good film that could've been great.
November 19, 2014
Great cast and good plot. Writing seemed a little weak to me. Characters not as believable as they could have been.
November 15, 2014
Decent 70's Style Caper Movie....
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.
October 26, 2014
I quite enjoyed this film not the best but it's okay
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.
½ October 26, 2014
blood ties is an OK crime drama about two brothers in 1974 ones a cop and the other one is involved with a criminal mob as a clash over different things that happen. Very good cast Clive Owen Mila Kunis and Billy Crudup and James Caan. B- (2014)
½ October 19, 2014
"Despite a strong cast, "Blood Ties" is a heavy-handed crime drama"
DVD Movie Review: Blood Ties
Date Viewed: July 2 2014
Directed By Guillaume Canet (Tell No One and Little White Lies)
Screenplay By Guillaume Canet and James Gray, Story By Jacques Maillot, Based on "Les liens du sang" by Jacques Maillot
Starring: Clive Owen, Marion Cotillard, Billy Crudup, Zoe Saldana, Mila Kunis, Matthias Schoenaerts, Noah Emmerich, Lili Taylor, Mark Mahoney, Charlie Tahan, Griffin Dunne, Austin Williams and James Caan.

"Blood Ties" maybe a lovely tribute to the crime thrillers from the 70's but it suffers from a familiar narrative and cop drama cliches. It has an incredible cast and it was co-written by James Gray (The Yards and We Own The Night), so I had high expectations for "Blood Ties" but it comes off as a second-rate version of "The Departed".

Giving his best performance since "Children of Men", Clive Owen plays Chris Pierzynski, a fifty-year old criminal who is being released from prison early due to good behavior. After being in jail for 12 years, Chris is living with his brother Frank (Billy Crudup), who is a New York cop. At the same time, Chris and Frank's ailing father Leon (James Caan) just got released from the hospital and he is able to go back home. Chris is also reunited with his former lover, a prostitute named Monica (Marion Cotillard). Chris finally meets the kids he never had, Monica and Chris had two kids together but they never met their dad.

Then we get a subplot involving Frank and his one-time girlfriend, Vanessa (Zoe Saldana). Their relationship gets strained after Frank jails Anthony Scarfo (Matthias Schoenaerts, of "Rust & Bone"), a thug who's now married to Vanessa. After Anthony gets thrown in jail, Vanessa tries to stay away from Frank but soon they are in love again. While Chris gets a job at a garage, he falls in love with a co-worker named Natalie (an effective Mila Kunis). After they get married, Chris returns to his criminal life and Frank is faced with a choice. Does he take down his own brother and sent him back to jail or let him continue his crime spree.

Set in Brooklyn in the 1970's, the cinematography by Christophe Offenstein is beautiful to look at and the cars look great but the characters and story matter. Based on a French thriller by Jacques Maillot, director and co-writer Guillaume Canet (Tell No One and Little White Lies) borrows elements from crime dramas that are so much better than his heavy-handed period piece. "Blood Ties" was like watching Sidney Lumet directing "Prince of the City" in his sleep. We also get too many subplots and characters, "The Departed" may had too many characters but we understood their motivations and the story was much stronger.

"Blood Ties" premiered at Cannes last year and critics weren't exactly impressed. I wasn't compelled by this cops-and-criminals story either.
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