Blue Ruin Movie Review
The revenge thriller is a dying breed. A good revenge thriller? Almost unheard of these days. But the limited release/On Demand movie Blue Ruin is just that, a refreshingly good, gripping and unpredictable movie that is among the year's best.
Blue Ruin stars Macon Blair as an awkward, quiet individual who decides to take matters into his own hands after a killer is released early from prison. But what begins as a simple act of vengeance turns into a life-and-death battle between two families.
Blair, whose only claim to fame is an episode of "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit," is terrific in the lead role. It's hard to recall another character quite like the one he embodies here, a man who has a sense of family commitment and justice yet is hardened to the cruel actions he himself inflicts upon others. He is both innocent, a victim of circumstance, and a perpetrator, an amateur assassin with little remorse for killing.
Written and directed by Jeremy Saulnier, who you certainly haven't heard of, Blue Ruin looks terrific and operates at the perfect pace. The movie walks a fine line between drama and thriller; it isn't an edge-of-your-seat thriller, but tension persists throughout. Saulnier never dwells on any one scene for too long, but he never rushes the story nor character development.
Even though the plot is simple, you never know exactly where the film is going to go next. It's a thriller that feels like it is set in the real world; it isn't bound by Hollywood convention nor cliché plot elements.
Blue Ruin is one of the best movies releases so far this year, a well made, superbly acted drama-thriller.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.