December 21, 2014 | Rome, Italy | Sunny 17°C
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Stephen Daldry's Rio-set delight pits destitute boys against conniving local authorities.


British director Morgan Matthews' debut feature tackles math, love and autism.

Still Alice

Julianne Moore and Kristin Stewart make a film about Alzheimer's into a powerhouse.

Stonehearst Asylum

Brad Anderson uses a Poe story to concoct a mental asylum period piece.

The Heart Machine

Skype, make-believe and lies can be "fun," but don't count on an enduring relationship.



Scott Derrickson's foray into paranormal serial killings contrives its suspense.


Gone Girl

David Fincher's latest covers betrayal, media hype and how a bad economy can open lurid doors.

Science Fiction

Edge of Tomorrow (Live Die Repeat)

The reset button gets a boost in a sci-fi thriller that lets Tom Cruise mock Tom Cruise.


Gareth Edward's remake of Japan's favorite monster owes a nuclea debt Fukayama.

The Signal

Director William Eubank's engrossing sci-fi focuses on the risks of knowing too much.

Date: 2013
Directed by: Jeffrey Saulnier
Starring: Macon Blair, Devin Ratray, Amy Hargreaves, Kevin Kolack, Eve Plumb

Blue Ruin

Writer-director Jeffery Saulnier's nasty little debut thriller is a medieval revenge drama fast-forwarded a few centuries and plopped in the gun-rich backwaters of rural Virginia. Dwight Evans (Macon Blair) is a laconic vagrant with Christ-like beard who forages for leavings near a Delaware coastal resort amusement park. But when he learns that Wade, the man he thinks killed his parents, has won release from a Virginia prison, he squirrels into his battered blue Pontiac and heads south.

Next up is a nasty little group of escalating bloodbaths. Otherwise meek Dwight stabs Wade, thus peeling back the skin on what soon emerges as an incestuous family feud, the Hatfield and the McCoy's coiled into a tighter spring. Dwight seeks local refuge with his estranged sister, shaves his beard, all the while knowing Wade's rural kin will come for him. And so they do. Dwight then enlists the help of a high school friend who knows guns. One gun of course leads to another, and the blood pool thickens.

Apocalypse crowds this story's alleles from the start. Surprises are few. Its strength is Macon Blair, who as a man forced deeper and deeper into alchemy of revenge holds the story by the scruff of its neck and never lets go. Saulnier cuts no corners, keening the whole as lean as prime beef, and as bloody. When avenging hate gets out of hand, there's no stopping it: end of story.

Reviewed by: Marcia Yarrow
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