Excerpt: Saulnier and his best friend/star Blair have created an intriguing, inept antihero but the old crime that haunts him and the family behind it are so crudely drawn that the film turns into a genre exercise.
Excerpt: What sets Blue Ruin apart is its centre: Dwight is a frankly dreadful avenging angel. He’s almost completely inept, and the film ekes darkly funny laughs from the moments when Dwight fails to do the very things that people in these kinds of movies always seem to know how to do.
Excerpt: Blue Ruin is riveting stuff, a study in nitty-gritty tension, punctuated by silence and spurts of brutal violence, and the filmic rule of “showing over telling” right down to its unsparing finale.
Excerpt: Saulnier’s script avoids exposition, never pausing to orient the audience. Instead, the filmmaker reveals each bit of truth only as necessary, turning an otherwise straightforward plot into an increasingly dense mystery.
Excerpt: Revenge, it is said, is a dish best served cold. In Blue Ruin, the new thriller by Jeremy Saulnier (Murder Party) that made a bloody splash at Cannes last year, the dish may be cold, but it is served by warm, sweaty hands that fumble and spill and make a sloppy mess of things.
Excerpt: A joy to anyone who is utterly bored with the Hollywood revenge fantasy of Jason Bourne and the ridiculous Taken series with Liam Neeson. While those movies are disposable fantasy, Saulneir’s film is about the messy, bloody business of revenge as it might happen to the ordinary person.
Excerpt: One of the most talented cinematographers of his generation, Saulnier relies heavily upon his purposeful framing and focus to guide the audience. Blue Ruin is an amazingly gorgeous film to behold, and it is even more impressive that the images signify more than just mere eye candy; the cinematography establishes and defines interpersonal relationships, while soliciting tension and intrigue.