Rotten Tomatoes Score: 96%

Number 3 of the Best Indie Films of 2014 is “Blue Ruin.” It’s a lean, mean revenge-centric film that doesn’t think about any kind of repercussion, only the results. And what a better character to be put behind the wheel of this vengeful vehicle than someone who has nothing to lose; a seemingly soulless man who’s been through hell and back only to exist in complete seclusion—surviving only on scrap.

Someone like Dwight (played by newcomer Macon Blair). He barely says anything; in fact, he probably has less than ten spoken lines throughout the entire film. There isn’t much to say about him but a broken man with a tragic past, a dirty drifter who is living in a rusted out blue Pontiac (hence the title).



He’s a relatively harmless man until one day, his switch, his thirst for blood and vengeance has been turned on when a police officer informed him that the person responsible for killing his parents is out of prison. That’s when everything changed for him. The transformation is immediate. He becomes a completely different person both physically and psychologically. And so, the relentless wheel of vengeance has been set in motion—everyone who gets in the way is road kill.

Written and directed by Jeremy Saulnier, “Blue Ruin” is not your typical revenge movie. Sure, the storyline is a tired one but the atmosphere, the mood, the pacing and the potent human touch in this thriller are something to behold and experienced entirely. There’s a poetic aspect to it amidst the gore and violence not found in most movies that belong to the same genre.



The pacing, lighting and even the decaying landscape set up the scenes pretty well. It also helps that the main character Dwight is being rendered more as a human being rather than a killing machine. He’s clumsy, he fumbles a lot but what he lacks in skill, he more than makes up for his unyielding determination. It’s an underdog story of sorts and you find yourself rooting for Dwight even if he’s cold-blooded himself because his tormentors are the ultimate scum of the earth and the world would be a better place without them.

“Blue Ruin” is a slow-burning, gripping and visually arresting revenge thriller with a relatable human core. Actions speak louder than words and this film got its message across loud and clear without being long-winded. Brevity and viscera is “Blue Ruin’s” mantra.


Dwight (Macon Blair) is a hobo. He lives in a rusted out blue Pontiac and survives only by scavenging through trash for food and money. But he’s not wasting away by choice. He has a tragic past. His parents were brutally murdered by a member of a crime family a few years back and he has or at least tried to cope up by cutting himself off from society. Until one day, when a police officer informs him that Wade Cleland (his parents’ killer) is being released from prison. He snaps and decides to take matters into his own hands. He confronts Wade at a club’s restroom somewhere and fatally stabs him in the temple. Whether it’s by pure luck or not is immaterial, what matters is that he has successfully avenged his parents and it might be the end of his suffering. So he thought. Wade’s death is just the start of an impending bloodbath. As soon as the Cleland family learns about the incident, they will look for him, kill him and his surviving family. Now, he must strike first before the clan gets to him. In the bloodthirsty act of vengeance, it’s kill or be killed.