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film review

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.

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.