Starring: Macon Blair, Devin Ratray, Amy Hargreaves, Kevin Kolack, David W. Thompson
Directed By: Jeremy Saulnier
Written By: Jeremy Saulnier
Rating: R (US) Running Time: 1 hr 30 min
Blue Ruin gets off to a measured start, as we’re introduced to Dwight Evans (Macon Blair), a resourceful beach dwelling vagrant going about his daily life. Breaking into homes to take baths, eating out of trash cans, and sleeping in his bullet riddled car. Nothing much is said, but this quiet build up speaks off a mysterious tragedy, and sets up Dwight as a believable antithesis of a modern-day Paul Kersey (Charles Bronson in Death Wish).
What follows is a tale of revenge and violence that begets more violence. A tense story that works as a nice commentary on America’s gun culture, and an ideology that harkens back to the wild west as justice is served by the family, beyond the reach of the law. As Dwight takes steps to get his revenge, the plot thickens, and becomes more and more shocking as both sides of this conflict angrily run away from the light at the end of the tunnel.
Writer, director and relative newcomer Jeremy Saulnier has crafted a superb, yet lean thriller with Blue Ruin. And Macon Blair is perfectly cast as the relatable every-man, compelled to right a wrong and protect his family, even when his actions escalate the violence. I was happy to watch a film that patiently developed (mostly visually) its lead character and story, in a way that trusted the audience’s intelligence. Blue Ruin is one of those ‘under the radar’ films, that you’ll likely see in your recommended streaming list of movies because of a past interest in great thrillers. I recommend you transfer this film to your watch list, you won’t be disappointed!
This movie gets of to a slow start, but it’s loaded with visual clues that tell the story as loudly as any dialog. If you enjoy well made violent thrillers that trust you to fill in the blanks, then Blue Ruin is for you. The film is rated R due to its violent content.
Blue Ruin is well made, but not exactly the kind of story that requires a lot of visual spectacle. A streaming show on your TV, laptop or tablet will service this film well enough.
Best Moment: << mild spoiler >>
There are some really tense moments in Blue Ruin, and my favorite was early on in the film as Dwight prepares, and then ultimately deals with an invasion of his sisters home.