There Will Be Blood


There Will Be Blood

Critics Consensus

Widely touted as a masterpiece, this sparse and sprawling epic about the underhanded "heroes" of capitalism boasts incredible performances by leads Daniel Day-Lewis and Paul Dano, and is director Paul Thomas Anderson's best work to date.



Total Count: 229


Audience Score

User Ratings: 254,762
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Movie Info

Writer-director Paul Thomas Anderson steps outside his contemporary world of dysfunctional Angelenos to explore a very different dysfunctional man -- an oil pioneer whose trailblazing spirit is equaled only by his murderous ambition. There Will Be Blood is Anderson's loose adaptation of the novel Oil! by Upton Sinclair, and it focuses its attentions on Daniel Plainview (Daniel Day-Lewis), a miner who happens upon black gold during a disastrous excavation that ends in a broken leg. Pulling himself up from the bowels of the earth, both literally and metaphorically, Plainview embarks on a systematic and steadfast approach to mastering the oil business. Using plain-spoken and straightforward language, Plainview launches a campaign to convince small-town property owners they should let him drill their land. Without him, they won't have the equipment to access the profit beneath their feet. He builds an empire this way -- and gradually becomes obsessed with the intrinsic value of power, growing increasingly irascible and paranoid in the process. Plainview meets his match in Eli Sunday (Paul Dano), a teenage preacher in the small California town of Little Boston, whose brother tipped Plainview off to the town's plentiful supply of untapped oil. To fully reap the benefits of the land, Plainview must suffer the opposing whims of this "prophet," whose legitimacy is questionable at best. And it's unclear if either man is prepared to pay the humiliating price the other wants to exact. There Will Be Blood features an anachronistic soundtrack by Radiohead's Jonny Greenwood, and it was shot in the same town where the James Dean epic Giant was filmed. ~ Derek Armstrong, Rovi


Daniel Day-Lewis
as Daniel Plainview
Paul Dano
as Eli Sunday/Paul Sunday
Ciarán Hinds
as Fletcher
David Willis
as Abel Sunday
Barry Del Sherman
as H.B. Ailman
Dillon Freasier
as H.W. Plainview
Sydney McCallister
as Mary Sunday
David Warshofsky
as H.M. Tilford
Colton Woodward
as William Bandy
Martin Stringer
as Silver Assay Worker
Kevin Breznahan
as Signal Hill Man
Colleen Foy
as Adult Mary Sunday
Jim Meskimen
as Signal Hill Married Man
Erica Sullivan
as Signal Hill Woman
Randall Carver
as Mr. Bankside
Coco Leigh
as Mrs. Bankside
James Downey
as Al Rose
Dan Swallow
as Gene Blaize
Robert Arber
as Charlie Wrightsman
Bob Bell
as Geologist
David Williams
as Ben Blaut
Irene G. Hunter
as Mrs. Hunter
Tom Doyle
as J.J. Carter
John Burton
as L.P. Clair
Robert Barge
as Bartender
Robert Hills
as H.W.'s Interpreter
Russell Harvard
as Adult H.W.
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Critic Reviews for There Will Be Blood

All Critics (229) | Top Critics (50) | Fresh (209) | Rotten (20)

  • This is a film by Paul Thomas Anderson that has overshot the runway of movie modernity with something thrillingly, dangerously new.

    Oct 18, 2008 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…
  • This sometimes magnificent, decidedly strange film is a portrait of a terrible, rapacious man.

    Oct 18, 2008 | Full Review…

    Bob Mondello
    Top Critic
  • One of the most wholly original American movies ever made.

    Oct 18, 2008 | Full Review…
  • It's a biblical parable about America's failure to square religion and greed. But most of all it is a marvellously entertaining soap: a sort Dickens does Dallas, without the sex or swimming pools.

    Oct 18, 2008 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…
  • There Will Be Blood establishes itself as a film of Darwinian ferocity, a stark and pitiless parable of American capitalism.

    Sep 18, 2008 | Full Review…
  • Daniel Day-Lewis bestrides the narrow world like a colossus as Daniel Plainview, a turn-of-the-last-century prospector for gold and silver who stumbles upon oil in rural California and goes after it with the ferocity, focus, and ethical sensitivity of a f

    Feb 5, 2008 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for There Will Be Blood

  • Aug 15, 2017
    There Will Be Blood should've been titled "Here Be Oil". If you were hoping for blood, violence and plenty of gore...put this film back and choose a Tarantino film instead. What we have though, is an extremely intelligent character study on an individual who is the definition of corrupt. Whilst mining silver, Daniel Plainview discovers an abundance of oil and rapidly starts his own oil extraction company. Success, money and power skews his moral compass as he slowly becomes one of the most unlikeable movie characters I've ever seen. He would do pretty much anything to maintain his company, much like any extreme tycoon enterpriser. Murder people? Definitely. Charm landowners to only then deceive them the next minute? Yeah, why not. Abandon your own son? Whoa now, a step too far. A subtle darkly comedic undertone surrounds the film, particularly with the theme of faith. Mind you, it becomes clearer during the final act where he repeatedly provokes someone into shouting "I am a false prophet!!". Whilst the narrative is savage and depressing, simultaneously the visual imagery is just as relentless. The scene where the oil well is accidentally set alight was a beautiful mess. I was entranced. I don't think prospecting or mining is a career I would want to pursue after watching this...! Daniel Day-Lewis deserved that Oscar, he was phenomenal. Yet another transformative performance. Felt sorry for Paul Dano who was excellent but completely overshadowed by Lewis. The musical score was abrupt yet fitting, really admired it. The film did slow down during the second act where Plainview meets a long lost relative, but picks up again in the third act. This deserves the critical acclaim, and perhaps with future viewings it will get the perfect rating. Cements Daniel Day-Lewis as one of the best actors ever.
    Luke A Super Reviewer
  • Feb 16, 2017
    "I have a competition in me." There Will Be Blood is an incredibly compelling character drama from Paul Thomas Anderson. Loosely based on the Upton Sinclair novel Oil!, the story follows and oil prospector named Daniel Plainview who attempts to buy up a small California town and build a pipeline to the coast. Daniel Day-Lewis gives an amazingly captivating performance that makes the film. And Paul Thomas Anderson creates a very atmospheric setting with his minimalistic directing style. However, the film does tend to drag at times and goes off on tangents. And, Day-Lewis has such tremendous screen-presence that some of the other performances get overshadowed. Nevertheless, There Will Be Blood is a powerful film about corruption and greed.
    Dann M Super Reviewer
  • Feb 25, 2015
    Paul Thomas Anderson's masterpiece - this is why you love cinema.
    Joshua H Super Reviewer
  • May 28, 2014
    While Daniel Day-Lewis' performance is nothing short of iconic and Paul Dano is spectacular, I can't help but feel like this movie could have been shaved down at least 30 minutes. The unnecessarily long scenes and scenic shots really drag the movie down and take away from the effect of the story and its central character. However, this movie is a must-see to witness the empire of Daniel Plainview.
    Ben B Super Reviewer

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