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Blood Ties
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Blood Ties More at IMDbPro »

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68 out of 88 people found the following review useful:

a tale of two brothers

8/10
Author: dme3-624-956960 from Belgium
3 November 2013

I just returned from a screening of this film, and I feel the need to say that it was a really pleasing experience.

At first I had some doubts about it since the first reviews I'd read about the film were not too promising. It was supposed to be decent yet too long, and not really compelling. I'm very glad to say that I ignored these and went with my gut feeling to go see it anyway. Thoroughly well executed as well in music score as visual cinematography, the real standout in this one is the fact that it really gets you to understand both sides of the brother's stories. It is really hard to tell who's wrong and who's right by the time you get to the end of the screening. An obvious call as it may seem at first but when the chips fall as they do one might have to reconsider their opinion. The excellence of this movie is the way in which it manages to blend ethical questions, family ties, and personal beliefs in a way that makes perfect sense without wanting to be overly self-aware or condemning. It is and remains a tale of two brother's with diverging paths and beliefs in their respective lives and how they interact with each other and their shared environment. Praise to Clive Owen for portraying his character the way he does, he really fits the part and gives a more real and deeper dimension to the role. Every other actor and actress' portrayal is also quite spot on, and even the 'bad guys' in it feel relatable. It has a long runtime but to me it never felt as such, it doesn't bore and in my opinion its runtime seems necessary to let you see every aspect of the story. A solid character study of two brother's that want to like each other and do so in their own way but struggle with their different views on life and the fine line between right and wrong.

Maybe "Blood Ties" isn't the best film that has been released this year but it's solid both in story as in execution. It certainly deserves better than 'moderate' reviews.

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32 out of 47 people found the following review useful:

Excellent movie to watch.

8/10
Author: doclee32 from Malaysia
16 April 2014

Love the movie. One of the best movies I have seen. Excellent story and good screenplay to go with it. However, need to be patient to follow the story line effectively through. Not a simple straightforward story which we usually see in movies. Good family crime drama. It is a thriller reaching the climax at the end. Like the ending too. The starting and the ending of the story blend together very well. In fact all the actors and actresses portrayed their parts very well indeed. The story is adapted from a French novel and movie. Clive Owen did a very good job as the other brother. Good choice of 60s music back ground. If you like simple straightforward action movie, then this is definitely not your type. Watch it patiently and you will love the movie!

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29 out of 47 people found the following review useful:

Very middle of the road and ultimately quite dull wannabe crime epic

4/10
Author: lornloxor from Finland
18 April 2014

The cast of Blood Ties is impressive enough. Clive Owen, Billy Crudup, James Caan, Mila Kunis, Zoe Saldana and Marion Cotillard is an impressive collection of talent but I'm not sure if any of them is terribly convincing in their roles. Crudup and Owen didn't really have the kind of chemistry on the screen you'd expect from brothers. There's really no bad acting here but nothing great or memorable either, just average. It was kind of funny seeing Jamie Hector (Marlo from the Wire) as a cop, a bit of a miscast because it was too distracting.

The plot didn't provide any surprises and it was very generic. The central idea is as old as it gets: Two brothers, one a criminal and the other a cop. We've seen this before, haven't we? I was just about interested for the first hour but I became increasingly bored when it hit me how dry and tedious the whole thing started to look. There's nothing new, edgy or clever about this script really and it lacks energy and flow. The running time was a bit too long for this kind of film and the pacing suffers as a result. It wants to be an epic crime drama but ultimately fails at this.

Cinematography felt "normal", whatever that means. I guess it achieved that 70's grainy feel successfully. The few action scenes were quite well done and they had some zest. Too bad you I really didn't care about the characters because the whole thing just felt so bland overall. I think the film makers didn't want to take any risks with the movie because everything was just so average down the line.

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36 out of 62 people found the following review useful:

Bad Ass 70's

9/10
Author: abel-sz049 from United States
24 March 2014

Real meat and potatoes from the 70's & 80's. It has a real feel to root on the bad guy. Nice plot with plenty of questionable characters, who all have weaknesses. Rise to the top dirty. Good stuff! A must buy! A need to see film. Remember the 70's, Starsky & Hutch? But with real life drama. It doesn't make any sense having golden dreams. If you have a blood thirst for easy money. Standing on the bottom rung of a ladder will push you to heights unknown. You start out greedy, with all intentions on bringing everyone up with you. Watch out for back-stabbers that linger like jackals with no back bone. Reminds me of the "Dead Presidents" but catch me if you can. With all the taste for the unfortunate.

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14 out of 21 people found the following review useful:

Could have been a classic

6/10
Author: Hurry_up_N_buy from United States
29 April 2014

All the ingredients were there and the whole time watching it, I was rooting for this to be an intense, potentially "epic" '70s crime movie, and at first, it FELT like it could easily be just that, and then comes some contrived plot devices that bring you back into present day.

I won't spoil anything though, read the summary for a summary. The movie easily captures the '70s with its set pieces and locations and even gives you the feel of a movie made in that era. There are moments of brilliance that come in the form of suspenseful buildups, great direction, and editing and score work that turns some scene transitions into awesomeness. With a 2 hour running time, I had no issues with it feeling long or boring. The acting is impressive on all accounts (some chemistry could be a bit weird though) and for about the first hour I was engaged and feeling, 'wow, if they could just keep this up,' and then of course, unfortunately, they don't.

At some point some things just start to feel like their just being tossed in. I think one of its main problems is that the only real character development is placed on the two leads, so you can empathize when it calls for it and understand why the leads feel and act as they do, but only towards each other, and not always in the context of their interactions with supporting characters. The story calls for enough twists and turns that there is no room to do much developing with the supporting characters and this causes certain situations to happen rather abruptly or seem forced in order to get to the next stage. This could all be easily overlooked if it didn't happen so often (and at critical moments) and continually cause me to lose my suspension of disbelief while viewing an, otherwise, very well made movie.

Problems with plot are highly subjective so I still recommend this and am sure people will find what they were looking for, I ALMOST did. 6.5/10

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11 out of 17 people found the following review useful:

Unoriginal Soap Opera

5/10
Author: Claudio Carvalho from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
29 March 2015

In 1974, in New York, the criminal Chris (Clive Owen) is released from prison and his younger brother Frank (Billy Crudup), who is a honest police officer, brings him home expecting that Chris is regenerated. However after an incident, Chris returns to the life of crime, affecting Frank's career and the lives of his ex-wife Monica (Marion Cotillard) and his present wife Natalie (Mila Kunis). But when Chris discovers that the criminal Scarfo (Matthias Schoenaerts) wants to kill Frank that is living with his ex-wife Vanessa (Zoe Saldana), he has to decide whether he flees or save his brother's life.

"Blood Ties" is a movie with an impressive cast and set decoration, including several cars from the 70's. Unfortunately the story is an unoriginal soap opera that wastes the cast. There are many movies with brothers on the opposite sides of the law and the screenplay of "Blood Ties" is not engaging and does not hold the attention of the viewer. My vote is five.

Title (Brazil): "Laços de Sangue" ("Blood Ties")

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15 out of 25 people found the following review useful:

classy crime thriller

7/10
Author: Achyuta Ghosh from Gurgaon, India
18 April 2014

Blood is thicker than water is a proverb that might be out of place in today's independent, and nuclear world. But the same is the heart and soul of French-American crime thriller Blood Ties. The movie itself is a remake of the 2008 French movie, Les IIens du sang by Jacques Maillot, which in turn is an adaptation of a French novel by Bruno and Michel Papet.

Two brothers on the opposite sides of the law is a plot done to death, and almost invariably the brothers fatefully clash in a bitter end. Not so in Blood Ties. On being released from prison, Chris tries to lead a straight life, but is unable to do so, and soon goes back to his criminal roots. This impacts his police brother Frank, but when faced with a choice between his brother and his career, Frank, in a twist from generic plots, chooses the former. The feeling is mutual, till the end.

Blood Ties may not be a breakthrough movie in itself, but it is powerful cinema nonetheless. Requires some patience as the plot builds up. The setting is the hippie 70s, with big muscle cars, sideburns, cocaine, and racism dotting the canvas. The eclectic cast consisting of Clive Owen, Billy Crudup, Marion Cottiliard, Mila Kunis, James Caan, Noah Emmerich, Zoe Saldana is on song. The carefully chosen musical track adds to the experience.

Even though there are the customary car chases, bank robberies, and murders, this is not a big bang popcorn action flick. Rather a measured crime drama, with realistic violence. Enjoyable when you are in the mood for quality cinema- 7/10

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18 out of 31 people found the following review useful:

Blood is thick, and messy, because it comes from our hearts.

9/10
Author: Jesse Boland from Burnaby, BC Canada
29 March 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Too many period pieces miss a very important detail; If the movie is set in the 70's then there should be brand new things just things from that era. Too often you see people dressed for the time, but they are using, or carrying antiques that just look like props. There is no separation in this movie, you will feel like you are in New York in the 70's. The production team has done a fantastic job here in making everything about this movie feel as though it was actually filmed in that world, at that time. The acting is tight all around, this is a blood is thicker than anything movie, and the family bonds are stranger, and more dynamic than you will be expecting, which I found very Enjoyable, and unique. This type of movie always draws a line in the sand and says that one side is one way, and the other is opposite of them, but in this movie you can see that it is far more unclear than that, and people are more complicated, and surprising than we ever give ourselves credit for. I give you this movie that I wish was mine to give, so I recommend that you watch it when you get the chance, and hope that that will do.

Jesse of www.jesse.ca

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10 out of 16 people found the following review useful:

Unremarkable, yet enjoyable slice of 70's cool.

7/10
Author: Adam Peters from Birkenhead United Kingdom
21 August 2014

(66%) A very convincing in terms of period detail crime drama featuring a solid cast and a decent character based story that satisfies through its toe- tapping soundtrack. Clive Owen has a truly fine on-screen presence and he's really great in this, and because he and everyone else are also good, along with the few nice bits of gripping and intense action, meaning that the undebatable flaws in the script, and a couple of minor issues here and there don't really matter that much. This will likely get seen by about half as many people than it deserves, but despite that, and for Mr Clive Owen especially, this is worth a very nostalgic trip to the cinema.

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6 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

A lousy French connection

2/10
Author: Guy from UK
9 March 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

BLOOD TIES is a French attempt at those classic 70s NYC crime stories. The concept is an oldie but a goodie - two brothers on opposite sides of the law - but it never convinces. It has thriller elements - a police raid, an armoured car robbery and a car chase - but they're badly shot and derivative of better films. It splurges on the drama instead but only ends up with shouting and swearing. It doesn't help that the multi-national cast means lots of weird accents, or that the two leads are a pair of milk-sops. The only moment it comes alive is when James Caan gets angry at his sons during Thanksgiving; when he swears, you believe him. Unfortunately he's then consigned to the supporting cast again as the story heads towards its sorta-redemptive ending as one brother sacrifices himself for the other. The best 70s crime films had grit, soul and energy but this is a flaccid retread and at over two hours (half-an-hour longer than the French film it's based on) it's a real yawn.

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