There Will Be Blood - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

There Will Be Blood Reviews

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April 11, 2017
Daniel Plainview (Daniel Day-Lewis), a rags-to-riches oil miner whose psychopathic tendencies bound him not on what he is willing to do to get the upper hand in a relationship with another person, will live down as one of the most terrifyingly glamourized characters in movie/TV history, right up there with Travis Bickle and Walter White. And similar to Taxi Driver and Breaking Bad, director-writer Paul Thomas Anderson introduces the character as just another person who cares deeply about what he loves. Overtime, we dig deeper into their motivations, their relationship with the world, and discover a frightening, despicable person that we had first tried to love or admire. Plainview is a hero to the working class, starting from nothing and working his way to the top of the food chain. We want to root for him, because he represents everything we dream of becoming. Then we see how he handles his personal affairs, feigning compassion when it is means to the ends -- more money / power. Even in moments where it seems like he redeems himself for his selfish ways, there are signs of deceit, resentment, full-fledged disgust towards anything to do with other people. And again, much like Taxi Driver and Breaking Bad, P.T. Anderson does an excellent job in coordinating cinematography, lights, sound (good grief, does Radiohead guitarist Jonny Greenwood know how to use an orchestra for crawling under your skin without indulging in full atonality), costumes, and makeup (the use of oil and mud to dehumanize characters in scenes is one of the film's greatest strokes of genius), all for the purpose of seeing the world through the eyes of Daniel Plainview. An additional round of applause for Paul Dano as Eli Sunday, a small-town church priest who bears little mercy for the sinners, but enough such that everyone has the chance to be saved. Day-Lewis and Dano each commit to characters whose beliefs are near polar opposite, yet have unnervingly similar psychopathic tendencies. Point being, there are no heroes in There Will Be Blood. Only people whose voices shout the loudest.
½ April 10, 2017
n actor nonpareil. His performance, the execution, and the screen play of There Will Be Blood are without spot or blemish. An artistic blessing. It fails as a gnomon. If it wishes to make love to the zeitgeist, the current and long-standing myth that self-built fortunes are at the loss of blood equal in value to the amassed plenitude, it has wasted great performances on a script already taught in public schools. Upton Sinclair wrote many anti-capitalist tomes including his most famous, The Jungle. All failed, as did his spiritual heir Bernie Sanders, to logically complete their task by failing to understand that economics involves factors allowing both parties to a transaction to profit.
½ April 4, 2017
The "rise and fall" archetype is often complimentary for gangster films. I wouldn't call "There Will Be Blood" a gangster movie. However, it was interesting how they implemented that archetype into this film. They did so with great results.

The rise of a miner named Daniel Plainview turned wealthy oilman is explored in this film from the years 1898 - 1927. The film shows how he becomes wealthy, and how he takes advantage of those around him in order to achieve his goals at all costs.

This movie is very depressing in many ways. After H.W.'s father dies in an accident when he's an infant, Daniel adopts him, and he pretends that he's his son. He uses him just so he can help him deceive the Sunday family more. Also, it's really hard to watch the scene where he becomes deaf in an accident. However, despite everything he experienced in the film, his character represents hope. He shows that even though Daniel used him as a ploy for better business and wealth, he is still able to break free of the chains he's held down with. Since he and Daniel Plainview are more educated than the Sunday family, he is easily able to see through all of it and know that what Daniel is doing is wrong.

After you think about the film a little bit, you start to realize how Daniel used every character he met in the film. After he becomes fed-up with H.W., he spares no time in finding an excuse to get rid of him by sending him to a school for deaf kids. He just works with his long-lost brother to keep deceiving his workers with the family image. If his brother leaves the film, he - only then - brings his son back. Daniel Plainview is a really memorable character, because he is able to expertly deceive those around him without them being able to notice nor do anything about it. At some points in the film, the viewer starts to be tricked into liking Daniel Plainview and it's very easy to forget about his true colors as a result.

The cinematography in this movie is excellent. The shots of the desert are gorgeous to look at, and the shots of the ranch feel atmospheric. Every shot makes you feel like you're actually in the time period this movie takes place in. One of the shots that the movie does very well is how it shows you how insignificant the characters are. It shows you a shot of a character. Then, the camera would move up to make it seem like they're in the middle of nowhere. This technique is best utilized in the beginning. After Daniel falls into a mine and breaks his leg, he has to climb out and crawl back to his fellow miners. A shot is pointed at him crawling on his back. Then, the camera moves up and shows us how much he has to trek back. This is a powerful shot, and it's good that they made this technique clear by utilizing it very well in the beginning. That way, the viewer would continue to be immersed every time they did this in the film.

The acting was really good. Daniel Day-Lewis as Daniel Plainview stole the show. He deserved that Oscar he won. Every single line he spoke was convincing. Near the beginning of the film, his voice continuously evoked a slight feeling of distrust. As he got more suspicious and as he made more enemies, his facial expressions gave the viewer a feeling that something bad was about to happen. The highlight of his performance was at the end of the film though. He gives reactions so convincing that they might as well by passed off as genuine. When he slowly goes insane, the viewer feels like the same is happening to them. I honestly can't decide who I liked more: Javier Bardem in No Country for Old Men or Daniel Day-Lewis in this film. Both of them were about equally amazing. I liked most of the cast. They were pretty good. However, if I'd have to criticize one actor, it would have to be Paul Dano as Eli Sunday. His performance was good for the most part. However, I felt like he lost some of his believability during the scenes of him preaching at his church. He seemed a bit over-the-top in those scenes. Also, there were a few other parts in the film where when he was yelling, his voice got a bit high-pitched and that didn't fare too well with me. Overall, however, he gave a good performance. He just didn't balance out the impact that Daniel Day-Lewis left.

The soundtrack works very well in the movie. There are some songs which sound very haunting, and they do a very good job at representing the feelings of deception that the movie provides. An example of a really effective soundtrack comes in during the gas blowout scene. The striking minimalist soundtrack sets a feeling of urgency, and it makes the scene suspenseful as a result. While the soundtrack worked very well in the film, I found it a bit uninteresting and bland to listen to on my own. It was a soundtrack which was meant to be listened to in the movie. It was still pretty good, but I'm not going to be signing off on its praises anytime soon.

In conclusion, this was an amazing movie which was almost perfect. Daniel Plainview and the tension he had with other characters in the film was great and the cinematography was very well-done. For the most part, the acting was good and the soundtrack was still good despite its flaws. This movie is often compared to "No Country for Old Men" as the 2 were filmed in the same desert. I think that this was an amazing film. However, I liked "No Country for Old Men" a little more.
March 25, 2017
In my top 5. Epic, unforgettable. Daniel Day-Lewis' grim masterpiece.
March 21, 2017
PTA's Masterpiece. DDL best acting. Wonderful soundtrack.
March 14, 2017
The opening ten minutes are a comical observation of the misery oil miners put themselves through for the profit of oil. The shot of Daniel Plainview's hand covered in oil resonates with a common picture that would replace oil with blood; the title of this film has "Blood" in it to eerily forbade that there will be blood on this man's hand in the form of oil, liquid gold. The evil is blatant. Intercut this with the sincerity of a father, Daniel, one that we know is greedy, kidnapping this child for his own benefit to help grow an empire as his right-hand. Cut to years later, they are a successful capitalist family, the great Plainviews. The death of a worker had no bearing on Daniel's mission to conduct further oil business, his need to further profits extending to a town hall meeting, seeking approval, which he takes full control of.

He's shameless in his pursuit, no loyalty to anything else, nor true membership to a church. He's such an honest, smart capitalist that he fully knows the capitalism in others. When Eli reveals his desire to have more attention from his townsfolk, Daniel jokingly agrees to help, only to put Eli in his place by not actually fulfilling any obligation. The shot of Daniel walking up the steps out of focus while in the background, Eli stares disappointed in focus, is a perfect example of this. Eli is best captured in his natural setting: the church. It's shot through an atheistic lens as he manipulates the old woman to believe he's a great healer, a shameful sideshow proving his true capitalism. Daniel can confidently look upon churchgoers with absolute confidence in his power over them. He also knows Eli is just as interested in the liquid gold oil as anybody else.

Daniel takes absolute authority when he manipulates the Stephen's daughter to be his own because she gets hit by her father; he audaciously causes this scene right in front of the father.

How can one even speak of the beauty in the transition from daylight to the oil tower going up in flames with black smoke, transitioning this methodical scene into total darkness as the music carries us scene to scene? Anderson harkens to a Kubrick style of filmmaking - we sense the darkness in what humanity will endure for profit. A dark light hanging over Eli exemplifies this idea, and it speaks volumes. Or in his use of music, exemplified by a single string note playing over HW going deaf, Daniel trying to speak to him to no avail. And then Daniel's evil completes itself, perhaps too soon, when he abandons HW for being deaf and useless.

What lengths will Daniel Plainview go to? For the sake of good business ties to the town, he sincerely humiliates himself amongst the congregation, allowing Eli to baptize him. The comedy is so outlandish and absurd, yet truthful, again impressing the lengths men will go to for profit.

HW makes a surprise return two hours into the film, and like HW, we haven't forgive Daniel, yet we see him trying. We know why Daniel has brought HW back, and it's merely for his reputation. There's no love emitting from this cold man. How much madder does it get? He eventually tells HW the truth of his existence, revealing his shitty plan, degrading HW into absolute nothingness, a "bastard from a basket" who he used for his own image. This is about as purely rotten and soulless as it gets. The film delivers its expectation to take us from most cruel to most cruelest.

What I love most about this film is that I can never really say where it's going. Traveling through time to 1927, we see Daniel's upscale mansion, living amongst spoils and hoarding, sloppy, disorganized madness. It ends on an awkward yet poignant note, and it's all we need to wrap up the experience.
February 27, 2017
Among the best films ever made.
February 27, 2017
This brilliant analysis of the American dream boasts an eerie atmosphere thanks to a dark soundtrack and beautiful cinematography. The powerful direction gives much space to the stellar acting by Daniel Day-Lewis, who gives a performance for the ages as a ruthless, evil oilman. Paul Dano gives an incredible perfromance too, even if easily overshadowed by his co-star. An epic odissey that ranks as one of the best movies of the decade.
February 25, 2017
DD Lewis is exceptional and for once in a long time 'those folks' who hand out Oscars got it right. Arguably should have won Best Pic as well. Gripping story of man who always controlled his own destiny and took no prisoners keeping it firmly in his grasp. Brilliant!
Super Reviewer
February 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.
½ February 8, 2017
I think... if the score werent what it was this movie would not have gotten even close to the amount of acclaim this got. It was a hard movie to watch, that was sad, and just nothing really positive to come from it.
February 1, 2017
Might as well be called American Dream: The Movie, and that is in no way a derogatory statement. An epic study on power and how it corrupts those it touches, nearly perfect in every way. This will go down as one of the seminal movies of our time.
½ January 31, 2017
There Will Be Blood is a gripping and well-crafted drama that is elevated by Daniel-Day Lewis and Paul Dano's committed performances, P.T. Anderson's assured direction, beautiful cinematography and a haunting score from Jonny Greenwood.
January 31, 2017
Simply a perfect movie. Acting, script, soundtrack, and cinematography all on point.
Super Reviewer
January 27, 2017
Glistened by Daniel Day-Lewis' flawless performance, the film undertakes a greed-driven story under the light of an oil-boom-era and turns it into an eerie sensation. There Will Be Blood is upheld by Paul Thomas' Anderson's masterful direction, disturbingly-powerful score and once again, Daniel's stroke of genius, which is still considered one of the actor's more recognizable pieces of work. 4/5
January 25, 2017
All I have to say is Daniel Day Lewis! This man once again just absolutely transforms into his character. He is not acting Lewis turns into Daniel Plainview. Paul Thomas Anderson does a great job at directing this slow burn epic. Paul Dano would be the second stand out of this film. Great performances from everybody in this beautiful film.
January 22, 2017
A near-perfect movie. Wow
January 21, 2017
A film with a strong cast, and intense moments that really doesn't overcome it's monotonous plot and score.
January 20, 2017
The best movie I've seen in a long, long time. Profound story of geniously created character Daniel Plainview stays in your head forever.
January 14, 2017
Not quite the masterpiece everyone makes it out to be, but still very good.
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