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
  • Anish Savjani
Written by Jeremy Saulnier
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[1]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $420,000[2]
Box office $977,625[3]

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,[4] where it won the FIPRESCI Prize.[5] Saulnier funded production on the film through a successful Kickstarter campaign, which called "the perfect example of what crowdfunding can accomplish."[6][7] The film was nominated for the John Cassavetes Award at the 2015 Film Independent Spirit Awards.[8]


Dwight Evans, a beach vagrant, lives out of his car and scavenges for food and money. A policewoman tells him that Wade Cleland, the man who murdered Dwight's parents, is to be released from prison. Dwight returns to his hometown in Virginia and watches the Clelands collect Wade from prison. Despite failing to steal a gun, Dwight follows Wade to a club restroom and, after a fight, fatally stabs him. Realizing he left his car keys in the club, Dwight steals the Clelands' limousine; as he drives away, he discovers a teenage boy, William Cleland, in the back and lets him go.

After cleaning himself up, Dwight visits his sister, Sam, for the first time in years and tells her he has killed Wade. Sam is shocked but glad. As the killing has gone unreported on the news, Dwight surmises that the Clelands have decided to seek revenge without police involvement. Sam flees her home with her daughters and Dwight waits in the house for the Clelands' attack. The Clelands arrive in the car Dwight left outside the club. Dwight escapes the attackers and runs over one of the Clelands, Teddy, in his car; he places the unconscious Teddy in the trunk. Before Dwight drives away, one of the attackers shoots him in the leg with a crossbow.

After attempting surgery on himself, Dwight has the wound treated at a hospital and returns to Sam's house to clean up the mess. He tracks down an old high school friend, Ben, who lends him a rifle. On Ben's land, Dwight interrogates Teddy at gunpoint. Teddy tells him that Wade was not his father's killer; it was Wade's now-deceased father, in revenge for Dwight's father having an affair with Wade Sr.'s wife. Teddy wrestles Dwight's rifle from him, but Ben shoots him dead from a concealed position. To keep Ben from further involvement, Dwight disables Ben's car.

Dwight goes to the Cleland house and finds it empty. He searches it for guns, dumps them in a lake, and waits to ambush the Clelands. He leaves a message on the house answering machine asking them to leave Sam out of the dispute. The Clelands return and listen to Dwight's message; when it is clear that the Clelands intend to kill Sam, Dwight shoots Carl and holds up the women. William enters through another door and shoots Dwight with a shotgun. Dwight, severely wounded, asks William to leave with his car and tells him they are half-brothers. Kris Cleland reaches for a machine pistol hidden under a recliner and attempts to shoot Dwight; she misses and instead kills the other Cleland woman. Dwight kills Kris but is shot. A postcard Dwight sent days earlier arrives at Sam's house.


  • 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


Box office[edit]

Blue Ruin opened in 7 theaters in North America and earned $32,608 in its opening weekend averaging $4,658 per theater and ranking #52 at the box office. The film ultimately earned $258,384 domestically and $719,241 internationally for a total of $977,625.[1][9] The film then was given a VOD release on April 25, 2014.[3] followed by a home video release on July 22, 2014.[10]

Critical reception[edit]

Blue Ruin received mainly positive reviews from critics. On Rotten Tomatoes, a review aggregator, the film has a "certified fresh" score of 96% based on 129 reviews with an average rating of 8 out of 10. The critical consensus states "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."[11] The film also has a score of 77 out of 100 on Metacritic based on 32 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[12]


  1. ^ a b
  2. ^ "Blue Ruin". Screen Daily. Retrieved January 25, 2015. 
  3. ^ a b "Blue Ruin". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved August 30, 2014. 
  4. ^ "List of films in Cannes Directors' Fortnight". Cannes. May 24, 2013. Retrieved May 24, 2013. 
  5. ^ "Cannes: 'The Missing Picture' Wins Un Certain Regard Prize". Hollywood Reporter. May 26, 2013. Retrieved May 26, 2013. 
  6. ^ Sullivan, Kevin P. "'Veronica Mars' Is Great, But 'Blue Ruin' Is Why Kickstarter Matters". MTV. Retrieved April 24, 2014. 
  7. ^ "Blue Ruin". Kickstarter. July 30, 2012. Retrieved January 9, 2014. 
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^ Barton, Steve (May 30, 2014). "Blue Ruin Gets Revenge on Home Video". Dread Central. Retrieved August 30, 2014. 
  11. ^ "Blue Ruin (2014)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved January 4, 2015. 
  12. ^ "Blue Ruin". Metacritic. Retrieved January 4, 2015. 

External links[edit]