Blue Ruin

We meet the world’s saddest homeless man. Homelessness is already sad to begin with, but this guy just seems so solitary and dejected. He’s sleeping in his car one day when  a kindly police officer swings by to deliver some rough news: the man who murdered his parents has just been released from prison.

Oh, we think. That’s why.

But then homeless guy springs into action; he’s clearly been plotting or waiting or both all along. There’s a plan, and it’s in motion. You think revengeblueruin will be sweet, but actually, revenge is messy. Very, very messy. Remember that.

Macon Blair plays Dwight, the sad-eyed homeless guy you won’t soon forget. He’s the exact opposite of what you think a blood-lusting revenge monster will look like, and that’s why this movie stands out from the crowd. He hasn’t spent the last ten years doing push ups and tattooing plans to his torso. He isn’t nimble with weapons and if he had access to tiny bottles of liquor he’d probably drink them maconblairsurreptitiously while sitting in a quiet diner booth rather than tape their broken fragments to his knuckles. He’s an anti-action star and an anti-hero…but that doesn’t mean we don’t root for him. It just means we’re probably messed up for doing it.

But that’s what makes writer/director Jeremy Saulnier kind of a genius. He finds truth in the fundamentals, stripping this down to its bakickstarter and festival darling blue ruin revenge flickre bones and exposing the ugliness to the air, where the stench is palpable and we’re often dared to look away. It’s a little unpredictable even within the confines of its genre, and definitely an exercise in elevating your heart beat while you sit pinned to your couch.

This movie defied my expectations and made me like it even when I felt I shouldn’t. And when you’re done being “entertained” (a strange word to use in the face of such determined bloodshed), you might just find there’s a message hidden in the body count, and it’s not the one we’re used to hearing from Hollywood.

Well done, you vengeful vagabond.



19 thoughts on “Blue Ruin

  1. indiefan20

    This was a fantastic film. It felt REAL in a way that is incredibly rare for an American movie. Macon Blair contained so much pathos and expression with very little dialogue. His performance was, in my opinion, Academy Award Worthy.

    I actually contacted Mr. Blair and asked him to leave a comment on my mother’s review of this movie, and he messaged me back and followed through. It wasn’t just a miserable little “Great review!”-type comment either, it was actually substantial. It shocks me that this guy, as much talent as he has, isn’t doing more acting work than he is.

    Great review! Can’t wait for “Green Room.”


  2. J.

    I caught this a few months ago and enjoyed it a great deal. Such a great, well acted and well made movie. Great at capturing and relaying a mood (dread, panic, tension and fear) and there’s so many little things that highlight that Dwight is just a normal guy (mistakes and things he didn’t quite consider).


    1. Jay Post author

      Yes, he’s a regular guy who fights like a regular guy. In the movies, regular guys start behaving like supersoldiers all the time, and I like that he just never quite got it together.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Allen

    Awesome review! I stumbled across this movie on iTunes and really enjoyed it. It’s sort of a stark depiction on the futility of vengeance, but all of the events feel inevitable, as if there were no alternative course for Macon to take.

    I noticed only later that it also stars Eve Plumb from “The Brady Bunch.” Definitely strange seeing her in a role like this.


  4. Liz A.

    Interesting. Revenge is something that destroys the person who pursues it, and it sounds like this film might actually show that. Probably not my kind of film, though. But I might recommend it to some who might be in for that sort of thing.


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