Blue Ruin ★★★★

Blue Ruin is a revenge story that sounds like it would be a comedy: A self-imposed vigilante with very few skills and negligible courage (essential attributes for a would-be revenge-killer) blunders his way through a ragged war with a family of gun-toting hillbillies. And yet this film is anything but a comedy. Instead, it’s much more like real life - a messy spiral into oblivion with no way back.

Jeremy Saulnier’s film is unapologetic in its approach, supported by Macon Blair’s solid performance. Devin Ratray (forever known to me as Home Alone’s “Buzz”) and Amy Hargreaves inject compelling support and, despite limited screen time, are dimensionalized by an original script that feels authentic. It doesn’t feel like anything like the video game fantasy that this easily could have been.

The cinematography and visual quality of the film is exceptional, and there are a few set pieces that are beyond memorable. It’s a film that walks a path of moral ambiguity and pulls no punches - making for a film that engages on both ethical and emotional levels.

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