32 of 34 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Virginian nightmare, dreamt masterfully
In a stunning, practically wordless, opening thirty minutes, we watch Dwight (Macon Blair) living out of his car, scrabbling through bins and washing in strangers' bathrooms. Like Wim Wenders' Paris, Texas, here's a perfect example of how to engage the audience's attention from the word go; we needn't be slapped round the chops, just intrigued...
Published 7 months ago by R. J. Lister
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The film reminds me of zombie movies
"Blue ruin" is not a great film. It's just a curiosity.
But let me put a warning here: If this is the first review that you are reading and you are a real customer then be aware that some of the five stars reviews, especially "Regeneration and Revenge...", have unwarned plot spoilers that will ruin your viewing experience if you decide to order...
Published 26 days ago by lucas
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32 of 34 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Virginian nightmare, dreamt masterfully,
In a stunning, practically wordless, opening thirty minutes, we watch Dwight (Macon Blair) living out of his car, scrabbling through bins and washing in strangers' bathrooms. Like Wim Wenders' Paris, Texas, here's a perfect example of how to engage the audience's attention from the word go; we needn't be slapped round the chops, just intrigued. Writer-director-cinematographer Jeremy Saulnier uses the visual medium to encourage us to ask challenging questions: Who is this wretched guy and what happened to him? Who is he watching as they're released from prison? And why is he buying a gun?
The power of the film, particularly its early scenes, lies in knowing nothing. So I won't run through the plot, except to say this is a dark, violent, black-comic revenge thriller, set in an overcast Virginia, whose comparisons to the work of the Coen brothers - particularly Blood Simple and Fargo - are entirely justified. There's also much in common with No Country for Old Men, in terms of Saulnier's attention to detail maximising the tension during some extended, dialogue-free setpieces.
And this is a film all about tension - not just in the scenes where Dwight is hunting his prey, but also in his character: he exists, almost zombified, in the borderland between sanity and insanity. Resourceful, ambivalent, and often decent (after a shootout at his sister's house he returns the next day to cover a broken window), Dwight is no dribbling mad monster. That would be too easy a caricature. Instead, we're watching the creation of a killer, from impossible grief to automation. The "blue ruin" of the title ostensibly refers to Dwight's rusty blue Pontiac, although it could also refer to the corrosive nature of his unkempt depressive state.
Macon Blair has the schlubby appeal of Paul Giamatti, and a similar ability to engage our attention through the subtlety of his performance. When so little is said aloud, it's all about the eyes. He does share a couple of excellent dialogue scenes, too - the best being a roadside diner conversation with his sister, played by Amy Hargreaves, which is a masterclass in acting shared pain.
Blue Ruin doesn't quite carry the brilliance of its opening act through to the end. Rather than descending into some memorable unusual darkness, Saulnier ascends to melodrama and bellowing. It works on a narrative level, but tonally and stylistically it seems like a waste, at the final stretch, to dispense with the genuinely unexpected turns of everything that led up to it. But perhaps we've simply been spoiled - this is expert filmmaking, which can take its place alongside other recent Southern nightmares such as Killer Joe and The Paperboy.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A thriller par excellence,
Dwight is a loner and, to anyone who would perceive him, he is also a loser. Living in a wreck of a car and breaking into holidaymakers homes for a wash; he dines out of trash cans. Then the local police bring him news that shakes him from his cathartis. He has been so badly wronged in the past that his life derailed. The author of his downfall has now been released early from prison. He makes a decision to seek vengeance.
This means going back to the familial home he has abandoned. Once there he sets in motion a chain of events that will build up its own momentum, essentially driven by vengeance, family loyalty and pure emotion.
Dwight is played by Macon Blair, who has not had too many good roles until now. He excels as the frightened, yet driven man, who is essentially a good person, who has been forced into the role of vigilante avenger. He is able to convey so much tormented emotion in his facial expressions and the use of his eyes that his performance on its own would make this a 5 star film. All of the supporting actors are also excellent, but his performance just dwarfs all around him.
This is edge of seat stuff, with proper violence - though far from gratuitous, it is the messy sort, the way it happens in real life and not stylised and glammed up for the movies. It has a brooding quality that makes the whole thing have a kind of effervescence that just grabs you by the hand and takes you along for the ride - and that means the whole journey. I was blown away by this, small budget, film. This is a master class in how to make a thriller. I can not recommend highly enough.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Recalls Blood Simple and bests it,
Murder Party was far from remarkable but it was a fun cosplay caper. Moving from that to something genre defying in Blue Ruin, as if its the work of two directors. I say genre defying as the film deviates from the romantic violence of the modern genre, instead calling back to a primal uncompromising violence. At the front and center is Macon Blair who expresses much through small movements and softly spoken dialogue, an ideology borrowed by director Jeremy Saulnier. The director patiently delves into the hopelessly dark nightmare that is vengeance in a way reminiscent of the Coen's Blood Simple. Not only does he recall that film, he bests it too. I may be a little late to the film, so everything that could be said has been said. I'll leave it at this - if Saulnier evolved from Murder Party to this who knows what his future holds, all I do know is he continues to amaze like this he is destined for great things.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars How slow can you take it?,
This review is from: Blue Ruin (DVD)
‘Blue Ruin.’ I’ve checked online and it’s definitely classed as a ‘thriller.’ Now, the word ‘thriller’ will probably conjure up images of high speed car chases and wall-to-wall tension. Based on that definition, Blue Ruin is definitely NOT a ‘thriller.’ It’s possibly one of the most ‘non-conventional’ thrillers you’re ever going to see.
It’s slow. Very slow. In fact, especially near the beginning, there are large portions of the film where people don’t even talk to each other (or even have anyone to talk to!). We meet out ‘hero.’ A scruffy, borderline vagrant, who finds a killer from his past his back and he sets out to deliver retribution. I guess it’s more of a ‘revenge’ film, but don’t go thinking of the ‘Death Wish’ saga, or ‘Kill Bill.’ The main difference is the hero himself. He’s possibly the least ‘hero-looking’ leading man you’re ever likely to see. He looks like a strong gust of wind would probably knock him over – hardly the sort who’s out for bloodthirsty revenge.
And he doesn’t do much – mainly ask for help and prepare. That’s mainly why it’s so slow. I was watching it wondering when something would actually happen. That may make it sound like I thought it was boring, yet when I checked the clock, practically an hour had passed.
Basically, you’re only going to enjoy the film if you know what you’re getting. If you’re hoping for a star-studded action-packed blockbuster, you’ll leave sorely disappointed (did I mention there’s barely a recognisable face in the whole film?!). However, if you’re in the mood for a more subdued little number which knowingly plods along, trying its best to be different, you’ll get your money’s worth here.
5.0 out of 5 stars MR BEAN TAKES REVENGE,
Dwight's (Macon Blair) reclusive. His hair is wild, his beard is long, he looks as cool as a 60s hippy. He's running away from the past and living it rough, eating out of garbage bins, sleeping in a rusty-old car, bathing in the homes of people who are absent, stealing to exist. When a kindly policewoman (Sidné Anderson) advises him that a double-murderer is being let out of prison early, Dwight is clearly disturbed. So disturbed he cuts of all his hair, shaves off his beard, changes his clothes, and looks like a dork. He heads back to where his family live but on the way takes ill-conceived revenge against the killer, starting up a whole lot more trouble in the process.
Blue Ruin (2013) is very different to any other revenge movie I ever recall seeing. Someone compared it to No Country for Old Men (2007) but it's hardly that, not by any stretch of the imagination. All the same, many of the scenes are violent, gruesome, and grisly. Macon Blair plays the role of hapless Dwight (who seems to have great powers of recuperation) to perfection as he bungles his way along on his mission impossible but gets by with a little help from a friend--super cool Ben (Devin Ratray). Another title for the movie could be 'Mr Bean Takes Revenge' as I could not help but laugh at some of the events and the dark humour must certainly have been intentional in this unusual revenge thriller with a most unusual avenger. In fact, it's one of the best movies I have seen for quite a long time.
Another thing that is different about this movie is that it is low on detail from the start but feeds the information along the way. We do get to know who is who and what had happened, eventually.
VJ - Movies and Books World
5.0 out of 5 stars Spellbinding!,
With so many huge blockbuster movies already being released in preparation for summer, we often forget about some of the more tense and enthralling stories that are being released on a smaller scale. In this new age where technology is everywhere we turn and movies are at our disposal at all times, most companies have wised up and begun releasing films through platforms like Itunes, Vudu, and Video On Demand. One of the most recent flicks that caught my eye, already picking up steam at this year's Cannes Film Festival, is the riveting new revenge-thriller `Blue Ruin'.
Starring newcomer Macon Blair, it follows a mysterious beach bum who's quiet life is quickly turned upside down by dreadful news. Setting off for his childhood home to carry out an act of vengeance, we see his emotional transformation as he winds up in a ruthless fight to protect his estranged family.
Trust me, as vague as that plot description was, it's the way you should enter the film. With surprises and shocking moments at every corner, you will certainly be glad that it wasn't spoiled. Spellbinding from beginning to end, `Ruin' is unlike any other film you will see all year, and it may be the best. Blair delivers an astounding performance, inhabiting the character at all times, and never letting up for a second.
Do yourself a favor and check this film out, you won't regret it.
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "No regrets",
BLUE RUIN is a beautiful revenge-thriller full of graceful photography and violent pulp goodness. Filmmaker Jeremy Saulnier pulls off several visual tricks but my favorite is how lead actor Macon Blair is often bathed in a symbolic blue light. And Blair does an amazing job as protagonist Dwight making him simultaneously sweet and creepy. Small touches of humor lighten the mood and, for the blood lovers, there are a few instances of gore with great special-effects.
BLUE RUIN is an A+ crime-movie with unlimited re-watch potential. A new cult-classic showing Revenge as an action that can harm those who did nothing.
4.0 out of 5 stars Best Served Cold,
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
For a change, an 'indie' film that lives up to the reviews. I didn't really enjoy Winter's Bone - on the face of it a similar set up - as much as I thought I would but found this film more satisfying. We follow Dwight as he seeks revenge against his parents' killer. An alienated figure, adrift in an America of gas stations and road houses, our protagonist is edgy and almost silent. So far so indie, but here it's done in a way that isn't annoying or gimmicky. Macon Blair (Dwight) is rarely off the screen, and carries his central role with aplomb. The supporting cast are excellent too and again, have an air of the believable.
Some films try to wrap an enigma in a mystery for the sake of it, but in Blue Ruin the plot is revealed in a way that drives the film forward, rather than sending it in circles.
There's action and suspense too, and the elegaic shots of fields and broken-down cars never go on long enough to annoy, but rather add to the strange mix of alienation and panic.
Dwight's attempts at revenge are not as innefective as some reviews would suggest, but Blue Ruin and its decisive denoument do suggest that revenge is a dish best served cold.
4.0 out of 5 stars THAT'S WHAT BULLETS DO,,
Dwight (Macon Blair) lives in a blue rust bucket vehicle as an unkempt homeless person, living out of dumpsters, petty thievery, and an occasional home break-in. He is our antagonist protagonist in a different sort of crime drama. It seems Dwight's has not been able to move on after Wade Cleland shot and killed his parents.
Upon finding out that Wade has been released from prison, this sets off an odd family feud with a minor twist of past events.
Macon Blair played an interesting, yet unexciting Dwight. The story line is different from the typical formula which is what makes the film interesting. However, there were numerous boring scenes like Dwight being informed, eating a sandwich with his sister, or walking along the beach. How about a flashback scene to make Dwight's current life seem realistic?
Parental Guide: F-bomb. No sex or nudity. 3 1/2 stars
4.0 out of 5 stars Slow burning revenge drama,
When you set out on the path to revenge you'd better dig two graves. That famous line well applies to this slow burning revenge drama about a man; destroyed by the death of his parents, who sets out to kill the man who did it when he is released from prison.
The first 19 minutes is slow but fascinating as we see the man that Dwight has become and then explodes in a violent revenge killing.
Only the victim also has family and Dwight is no action hero as we see him desperately trying to protect his family and friend.
This is no all guns blazing action movie and the violence when it comes is realistic and believable with all its nasty consequences.
Remember that first line, all will become clear.
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Blue Ruin [Blu-ray] by Jeremy Saulnier (Blu-ray - 2014)