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Blue Ruin: A thriller showcased by talented filmmaking

A classic American revenge story, Blue Ruin follows a mysterious outsider whose quiet life is turned upside down when he returns to his childhood home to carry out an act of vengeance.


3.5 out of 4 stars

Written by
Jeremy Saulnier
Directed by
Jeremy Saulnier
Macon Blair, Devin Ratray

Blood is thicker than water and all over Blue Ruin, a gruesome thriller about a family feud that just keeps amassing casualties on either side.

Brilliantly shot and staged by director-cinematographer Jeremy Saulnier (who also wrote the script), the film locates the sweet spot between poised art cinema and exploitation-flick pandering and hits it over and over again; what keeps Blue Ruin from simply being a bludgeoning experience is Saulnier's cleverness in knowing precisely how and when to throw his haymakers.

The film's title refers to the dilapidated Pontiac that serves as a mobile home for Dwight Evans (Macon Blair), a thirtysomething, righteously bearded Virginian, but also evokes an overall state of decay. Blair is excellent in the lead, but the filmmaking is the true star here.

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About the Author

Adam Nayman is a contributing editor for Cinema Scope and writes on film for Montage, Sight and Sound, Reverse Shot and Cineaste. He is a lecturer at Ryerson and the University of Toronto and his first book, a critical study of Paul Verhoeven's SHOWGIRLS, will be published in 2014 by ECW Press. More


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