Blue Ruin

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Blue Ruin
Blue Ruin film poster.jpg
Film poster
Directed by Jeremy Saulnier
Produced by Macon Blair
Tyler Byrne
Richard Peete
Vincent Savino
Alex Orr
Amish Savjani
Written by Jeremy Saulnier
Starring Macon Blair
Devin Ratray
Eve Plumb
Music by Brooke Blair
Will Blair
Cinematography Jeremy Saulnier
Edited by Julia Bloch
Release dates
  • May 17, 2013 (2013-05-17) (Cannes)
  • April 25, 2014 (2014-04-25) (US)
Running time 90 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Box office $955,848[1]

Blue Ruin is a 2013 American thriller film directed by Jeremy Saulnier. The film had its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival as part of the Directors' Fortnight section on May 17, 2013,[2] where it won the FIPRESCI Prize.[3] Saulnier funded production on the film through a successful Kickstarter campaign, which called "the perfect example of what crowdfunding can accomplish."[4][5]

The film was released to theaters and VOD on April 25, 2014, and made $258,384 in the United States.[1] It was released on home video on July 22, 2014.[6]


Dwight is a beach vagrant, living out of his car and scavenging through trash cans and dumpsters for food and money. A policewoman finds Dwight and gives him the news that Wade Cleland, the man who murdered his parents, is soon to be released from prison. Dwight watches as Wade is released from prison and after failing to steal a gun, gets a knife. Dwight confronts Wade in a club's rest room and after a brief fight, fatally stabs him in the temple.

While trying to escape, Dwight realizes he left his car keys in the rest room with Wade's body, so he is forced to steal the Clelands' limousine. Dwight realizes there is a teenage boy, William, in the rear of the limousine, stops and lets him out. Dwight, after cleaning up, visits his sister, Sam, for the first time in several years. Over an emotional conversation in a cafe, Dwight reveals that he has killed Wade. His sister is shocked but appears happy with the news. Dwight also says he assumed she would have heard on the news, at which moment he realizes the Clelands have decided to seek revenge without police involvement. Because of this, Sam takes her two daughters and flees the area.

While his sister is gone, Dwight pitches up in her house to wait for the inevitable attack from the Clelands. He tries to escape two attackers who break into the house and manages to run over one of the men, Teddy. He is shot in the leg with an arrow by the other attacker, then places the unconscious body of the run over attacker into the trunk of his car. He attempts home surgery on his arrow wound but visits a hospital when he is unable to extract it. After waking up in the hospital, he travels to meet Ben, an old high school friend, to ask for a favor. He persuades Ben to lend him a rifle before traveling to a field to negotiate with Teddy, in a bid to guarantee that the Clelands leave his sister alone.

When Dwight releases Teddy from the trunk, Teddy tells him that Wade was not his father's killer; it was in fact Wade's father, who died of cancer. His motive was that Dwight's father was having an affair with Wade Sr's wife. Teddy manages to wrestle Dwight's rifle from him, and as he aims at Dwight, Ben fatally shoots him. Wanting to leave him out of it, Dwight disables Ben's car so he cannot follow him any further as he travels to the Cleland household. Dwight urinates on the grave of Wade's father, leaves a message on the answering machine and buries Teddy.

When the Cleland family return, they hear the message from Dwight, which requests that they leave his sister alone, as the score is now equal in terms of family members murdered. When it is clear that the Clelands will not agree to this, Dwight shoots Carl. William, who Dwight does not know is present, shoots Dwight with a shotgun. Dwight hits the boy's shotgun away and states that he has "done his job", as Dwight thinks he will die from the shotgun wound. Dwight asks William to leave with his car and tells him that they are half-brothers. In a rage, an older woman (Eve Plumb) reaches for a machine pistol hidden under a recliner and shots are fired. Dwight kills the remaining two women and while lying on the floor spitting blood from his mouth, repeatedly whispers, "The keys are in the car".


  • Macon Blair as Dwight Evans
  • Devin Ratray as Ben Gaffney
  • Amy Hargreaves as Sam Evans
  • Kevin Kolack as Teddy Cleland
  • Eve Plumb as Kris Cleland
  • David W. Thompson as William
  • Brent Werzner as Carl Cleland
  • Stacy Rock as Hope Cleland
  • Sidné Anderson as Officer Eddy


Critical reception for Blue Ruin has been extremely positive and the film currently holds a rating of 96% on Rotten Tomatoes based on 112 reviews. The site's consensus reads: "Smart, stripped-down, and thrillingly grim, Blue Ruin proves that a well-told revenge story can still leave its audience on the edge of their seat."[7] The film also has a score of 77/100 based on 32 reviews on Metacritic.[8]


  1. ^ a b "Blue Ruin". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved August 30, 2014. 
  2. ^ "List of films in Cannes Directors' Fortnight". Cannes. May 24, 2013. Retrieved May 24, 2013. 
  3. ^ "Cannes: 'The Missing Picture' Wins Un Certain Regard Prize". Hollywood Reporter. May 26, 2013. Retrieved May 26, 2013. 
  4. ^ Sullivan, Kevin P. "'Veronica Mars' Is Great, But 'Blue Ruin' Is Why Kickstarter Matters". MTV. Retrieved April 24, 2014. 
  5. ^ "Blue Ruin". Kickstarter. July 30, 2012. Retrieved January 9, 2014. 
  6. ^ Barton, Steve (May 30, 2014). "Blue Ruin Gets Revenge on Home Video". Dread Central. Retrieved August 30, 2014. 
  7. ^ "Blue Ruin". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved April 24, 2014. 
  8. ^ "Blue Ruin". Metacritic. Retrieved August 30, 2014. 

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