Blood Work (film)

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Blood Work
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Clint Eastwood
Produced by Clint Eastwood
Screenplay by Brian Helgeland
Based on Blood Work 
by Michael Connelly
Starring Clint Eastwood
Jeff Daniels
Anjelica Huston
Wanda De Jesús
Music by Lennie Niehaus
Cinematography Tom Stern
Editing by Joel Cox
Studio Malpaso Productions
Distributed by Warner Bros.
Release dates
  • August 9, 2002 (2002-08-09)
Running time 110 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $50 million[1]
Box office $31,794,718 [2]

Blood Work is a 2002 American mystery thriller film directed and produced by Clint Eastwood, who also starred in the lead role. The film is based on the novel of the same name by Michael Connelly. The film was released in the United States on August 9, 2002. Clint Eastwood won the Future Film Festival Digital Award at the Venice Film Festival.


During a homicide investigation, FBI agent Terry McCaleb (Clint Eastwood) goes outside to address the media when he spots the killer in the crowd. But the chase ends after McCaleb suffers a heart attack and manages to wound the killer.

Now retired from FBI, he lives in a houseboat on the Long Beach bay. He has been given a second chance at life by receiving the heart of a murder victim. He is approached by a woman named Graciella Rivers (Wanda De Jesús), whose sister was killed during a robbery and asks him to solve the case. It gets personal when McCaleb realizes the victim was the woman whose heart was transplanted into him. He begins to have nightmares about the convenience store robbery, where he is shot by the killer, who tells McCaleb that he didn't deserve to live.

Detective Ronaldo Arrango (Paul Rodriguez) and John Waller (Dylan Walsh), despise McCaleb when he starts to investigate the crimes himself. However, McCaleb fears that the killer might come after him or Graciella. McCaleb defies the advice of his physician, Dr. Bonnie Fox (Anjelica Hutson), and sets out to find the killer with the help of his neighbor Jasper "Buddy" Noone (Jeff Daniels), who lives on a houseboat near his, and a local police detective, Jaye Winston (Tina Linford). While investigating a crime scene, McCaleb spots the killer in his car and open fire on him with a shotgun, but Winston shoots at the car as well. A man named Lockridge is the prime suspect as well as a man named Bolotov, who may be the one that killed Lockridge's wife.

Bolotov's body is found with a bullet in his head from earlier. Detective Arrango thinks the case is closed, but McCaleb doesn't think so. He knows that the killer is still out there, and he knows who it might be. It is revealed that Buddy is the killer that McCaleb has been looking for. Buddy wanted McCaleb out of retirement so that he'll be a hero once again. Buddy also reveals that he has kidnapped Graciella and her nephew, which ends in a shootout on a fishing boat. After shooting Buddy, and his last words to McCaleb: "I saved you." Winston thanks McCaleb for a job. However, Arrango hates McCaleb for solving the case. McCaleb starts a new life with Graciella and her nephew.



It is set and filmed in Los Angeles and Long Beach, California in 38 days on February 19 and March 29, 2002.[3]


Blood Work received mixed reviews from critics. It has a score of 54% on Rotten Tomatoes, with the consensus being that it was "a routine, but competently made thriller marred by lethargic pacing". However, A. O. Scott of The New York Times admitted that it was similar to many other of Clint Eastwood's films, thought that "there is something comforting in seeing this old warhorse trot gamely out of the gate for yet another run on familiar turf."[4]

The film was not a box office success, grossing $26.2 million on a budget of $50 million.


  1. ^ Hughes, p.185
  2. ^ Hughes, p.186
  3. ^ Hughes, p.185
  4. ^ Times review (registration required)

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