Blood Work (film)

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Blood Work
Theatrical release poster
Directed byClint Eastwood
Produced byClint Eastwood
Screenplay byBrian Helgeland
Based onBlood Work
1998 novel
by Michael Connelly
StarringClint Eastwood
Jeff Daniels
Anjelica Huston
Music byLennie Niehaus
CinematographyTom Stern
Edited byJoel Cox
Distributed byWarner Bros. Pictures
Release date
  • August 9, 2002 (2002-08-09)
Running time
110 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$50 million[1]
Box office$31.8 million[2]

Blood Work is a 2002 American mystery thriller film produced, directed by, and starring Clint Eastwood. The film co-stars Jeff Daniels, Wanda De Jesús, and Anjelica Huston. It is based on the novel of the same name by Michael Connelly.

Eastwood won the Future Film Festival Digital Award at the Venice Film Festival.


During a homicide investigation, FBI agent Terry McCaleb goes outside to address the media when he spots the so called "code killer" in the crowd. But the chase ends after McCaleb suffers a heart attack and only manages to wound the killer.

Now retired, 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, whose sister, Gloria, 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. Every night, he has nightmares of the robbery where Gloria was killed, and tries to piece together what happened, as it is revealed that the killer called for help right before killing her.

McCaleb defies the advice of his physician, Dr. Bonnie Fox, and sets out to find the killer with the help of his neighbor Buddy Noone, who lives on a houseboat near his, and a local police detective, Jaye Winston, who respects McCaleb for all his efforts to track down the killer. McCaleb's trail leads him to several suspects and dead ends as he closes in on the killers identity.

It's 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 again, having "saved" his life with the heart transplant. He also reveals that he has kidnapped Graciella and her nephew, Raymond, which ends in a shootout on a fishing boat. After shooting Buddy, his last words to McCaleb are "I saved you." McCaleb starts a new life with Graciella and her nephew.



Blood Work was filmed in spring 2002 in both Los Angeles and Long Beach, California in 38 days.[1]


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 wrote that while it was similar to many of Eastwood's other films, "there is something comforting in seeing this old warhorse trot gamely out of the gate for yet another run on familiar turf."[3]

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


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

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