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Blood Ties
Genre Crime

Blood Ties is a remake of Rivals, a French crime drama with a strange French connection between the original and remake. The link is Blood Ties writer-director, Guillaume Canet, who actually starred in the 2008 original. He's returned to bring the tale of two brothers, on either side of the law, to life as they face off over organized crime in Brooklyn, New York during the 1970s.

It's not a simple versus story as Chris (Owen) tries to get his life back in order, struggling to deal with the system and finding his old skill set beckoning. While, Frank (Crudup) is using his badge to move forward in his love life, while keeping an eye on his black sheep brother and dysfunctional family.

Canet co-wrote the screenplay with James Grey (We Own the Night), who probably helped rope in a stellar ensemble to bring this understated Brooklyn crime epic to life. Clive Owen, Billy Crudup, James Caan, Mila Kunis, Zoe Saldana and Marion Cotillard highlight a strong cast of mostly underrated and understated acting talent.

While this is mostly Clive Owen and Billy Crudup's Heat, the supporting cast all contribute red-blooded performances in this character-driven and epic crime drama thriller. Owen plays a tough-as-nails ex-con with a conscience and a riddled past. Crudup's the straight-shooting cop, whose level-headed integrity is being challenged in every arena of his life.

Blood Ties is purposefully slow-moving and atmospheric with a similar ebb-and-flow to Richard Linklater's Dazed & Confused. The film-makers immerse us in the life-and-times of Brooklyn in the '70s, making it almost seem as though Blood Ties was created in that age thanks to good use of retro props, cars, wardrobe, style and a nostalgic soundtrack.

This film is composed of authentic moments and the director uses silence and facial expressions to add haunting power to scenes. While it's mostly unHollywood in its treatment, it adheres to some fairly typical Hollywood formula in getting the job done.

Blood Ties doesn't really cover any new ground and does drag with its two hour run time, but the characters are substantial, the atmosphere is thick, it's got style and the family crime story is epic and volatile enough to keep us invested.

The bottom line: Authentic

7.00/10 ( 1 Vote )
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