Blood Ties

6.52 h 8 min2014X-RayR
HD. In 1970s Brooklyn, an ex-con trying to go straight is pulled back into a life of crime, triggering a bloody showdown with his cop brother.
Guillaume Canet
Clive OwenBilly CrudupMarion Cotillard
English [CC]
Audio languages
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Supporting actors
Mila KunisZoe SaldanaMatthias SchoenaertsJames Caan
Alain AttalHugo SelignacJohn LesherChristopher Woodrow
R (Restricted)
Content advisory
Smokingalcohol usefoul languagesexual contentviolence
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3.9 out of 5 stars

1715 global ratings

  1. 49% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 20% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 15% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 7% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 9% of reviews have 1 stars
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Top reviews from the United States

ShaneReviewed in the United States on November 6, 2018
5.0 out of 5 stars
Best cop and robbers film in a long time; even surpasses Heat
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There are probably a few of you, like me, that ignored this film due to it's unassuming title, B-list cast, and seemingly common theme about two men on different sides of the law. That being said, this movie is the absolute best of the bunch of those films, even outshining classics such as Heat, in my opinion. I had mixed feelings about Clive Owen carrying a serious drama that I would enjoy and the good news is that he doesn't--Billy Crudup does and if you aren't familiar with him you are in for a treat. Definitely one of the most underrated and underachieving actors in the business. If you want to see how well he deals with emotional material, watch Big Fish as well as this movie. Clearly his two best films. Now let's give some mention to the director and writer, Guillame Canet. I had to look him up, but was surprised to remember I knew him from his acting performance in The Beach next to Leonardo DeCaprio. I am astounded that a French director captured the essence of 1970's New York so convincingly. In fact, the incredibly authentic 70's set was the first thing that struck me about the film. Having watched all the action in the trailer and also having seen none of it yet 45 minutes into the film, I knew this was going to be an art house exploration into relationships, family, and small environments. Yes, somehow they made New York City seem small and that is a good thing. The plot was meticulous and plodding and perfectly slow as it needed to be to develop the deep relationships of the characters involved. For Clive Owens part I believe he is the least talented of the group but gives an appropriately cavalier performance. The film has plenty of twists and builds up to moments of tension where things go completely in the most unanticipated direction. All in all, it is an excellent film in the genre and very reminiscent of quality mob films from much, much more famous directors such as Goodfellas or Carlito's Way. If you have not seen this movie yet, add this gem to your collection ASAP and consider it among the classics of gangster cop robber films.
17 people found this helpful
joel wingReviewed in the United States on October 31, 2020
4.0 out of 5 stars
Slow burner about 2 brothers divided by crime but united by blood
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Blood Ties is a family drama featuring two brothers. It takes place in New York in 1974. One sibling is Chris Pierzynski (Clive Owen) who is a criminal who just got out of prison. The other is Frank Pierzynski (Billy Crudup) who is a police detective. They both have struggles in their lives. Chris has an ex-girlfriend (Marion Cotillard) who is a hooker, strung out on drugs and they have two kids. He can’t keep a job since he’s a felon and is tempted to get back into crime. Frank is obsessed with his ex-girlfriend Vanessa (Zoe Saldana) but couldn’t be with her before because she was black. Frank takes in Chris when he gets out. These relationships are the basis for the story.

Owen and Crudup do a great job playing the battling brothers. There’s resentment between the two over how they were treated by their dad played by James Caan. Crudup obviously has a hard time dealing with his brother who is a criminal when he’s a policeman. The ending showed whether the two could ever reconcile hence the title. Could their blood ties hold them together through thick and thin which they face plenty of.

The movie is a slow burner punctuated by emotional and violent moments. Crudup play shis part with a lot of calm and reserve. Owen on the other hand gets to act out a lot. I’ve always liked Clive Owen and he didn’t disappoint in Blood Ties.
3 people found this helpful
Op. 133Reviewed in the United States on September 26, 2018
5.0 out of 5 stars
Really captures '70's-era crime!
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They did a remarkable job recreating the 70's milieu. No CGI. All those hulking cars! I knew this would be an interesting film since James Gray was involved. Gritty cops-and-robbers stories are his specialty. However, he was not the director but the writer. And the story was adapted from a French film and book. These facts in no way detract from what is a tense-filled and sometimes violent drama.

Terrific acting from everyone involved. Billy Crudup is excellent as always. And Clive Owen delivered a tough-as-nails performance (though frankly I'd have preferred a bona-fide American in the role). Regardless, a stand-out job.

If you like serious crime films you owe it to yourself to watch. It's the sort of film-making that's not really done anymore, not in a time of superheroes and Star Wars. It felt like being transported to the era of Serpico and The French Connection.

If I had one serious gripe to make it's the over-reliance on period music (70's rock songs). It's like they're really hammering in the point it's the '70's rather than letting the scenery and actors do the job. Funny thing is *actual* '70's movies seldom used so much rock music!
5 people found this helpful
Jamie MaximusReviewed in the United States on September 20, 2018
4.0 out of 5 stars
Lengthy but overall pretty good.
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As far as plots go, the trailer leads one to think the finale will be a clash between the two brothers, one 'good' vs one 'bad'. Luckily, this is not the case. I hate movies where the ending is not satisfying, but this one delivers albeit very slowly. They could've easily cut 30 minutes or more off the movie without any ill effect. The cast is an array of characters and I read that Mark Walberg was supposed to be the lead 'bad' guy (Chris), but we got Clive Owen instead He is a good actor, but out of all the other actors available, why choose one who cannot do an American/New York accent? It was distracting, along with the ridiculous age gap between him and Mila Kunis, whose character falls in love with him instantly while he works as a mechanic at the shop she also works at. He has just gotten out of prison, just got this job, barely spoken or gotten to know him, and she falls head over heels in love with him? Not plausible at all. Marion Cotillard plays his ex-wife who also happens to be a hooker/sometimes druggie. She also should not try the American accent. He has a best friend (who is my favorite character in this), a dad (James Caan), a sister, and some other incidental people. For plot points, Frank (the good cop brother) coincidentally falls for the wife of a guy he just put away. Zoe Saldana does a great acting job even though there's no chemistry. In the end, that relationship is what sets up the final part of the movie. I agree with another reviewer that there's no need for this movie to be set in the 70's. Perhaps modern day technology (cell phones, GPS, surveillance cameras) would make most of the crimes committed impossible today. Back then there was a certain degree of anonymity that we don't enjoy now. I guess in some instances, blood is thicker than water and this movie is a testament to that.
5 people found this helpful
D. LarsonReviewed in the United States on January 14, 2019
3.0 out of 5 stars
Big Men, Big Cars, Big Sideburns!
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Even though it was filmed in New York, “Blood Ties” is a remake of a French movie, a remake remade by a mostly French team. It keeps the feel of a “foreign” film, which is a good thing; we’ve seen enough American low-level hoods fighting brother against brother. The French do it classier.

Fraternal rivalry is everything in the tough Manhattan precincts of “Blood Ties”. Jailbird ex-con tough guy Clive Owen (the poor man’s Joaquin Phoenix) and put-upon detective Billy Crudup spar about their dying father, Clive’s criminal past, Clive’s criminal future, women and sideburns. No contest, really, Clive really has the sidies going for him. Crudup compensates with a 70’s pornstache, but the older, bigger tougher brother has the charisma and the burnsides.

It’s obvious from the get-go how all this is going to come together at the end, after cop Crudup sends his romantic rival to jail; an under-written Zoe Saldana is the object of their affections and when the rival does get out of prison….

All of the women are under-written, in fact. Aside from Clive’s sister, Lili Taylor, who serves mostly to try to break up fights between the battling brothers, all of the women are hapless or prostitutes or hapless prostitutes. Marion Cotillard is the name actress in the last category. Not much of a role but she does get to emote a bit. Mila Kunis has even less to work with as Clive’s main squeeze. Falls for the bad boy, gets pregnant, stands by her man until she doesn’t and that’s the last we see of her. James Caan as the dying father who never loved his younger son enough is great. When is James Caan in an old man role not great?

What’s to like? Some decent acting by Clive Owen and Billy Crudup, some nice gritty streetscapes, a sleazy dive bar where conspirators conspire about their next big score, and a bang-up car chase through the strangely non-traffic-jammed streets of Manhattan. Clive not only doesn’t get stuck behind double-parked trucks while outrunning dozens of police cars, he even finds a parking place right in front of Grand Central!

But it’s a nice chase, with gigantic Cadillacs and Mopars and Chevrolets clashing like metal dinosaurs on the streets of the city. Seriously fun to see these 60’s and 70’s Detroit irons dueling and crunching. Aside from lacking a car-through-the-fruit-stand bit, it’s first rate. Whenever you see a survivor Coupe de Ville on the road today, looming over the Camrys and Accords like some Pleistocene leftover, it’s a hoot. And there are streets full of them in “Blood Ties”.

I wonder what the car chase in the French original looked like? Citroens and Peugots of the 70’s dicing through the arrondissments of Paris just wouldn’t be the same. Just as “Blood Ties” wouldn’t be the same without the luxuriant sideburns sported by cops and bad guys alike. It was a hairy time back then.

Apparently a financial disaster of epic proportions, “Blood Ties” is still decent workout fodder, keeping your attention while the elliptical burns your calories. Not Oscar material by any stretch, but you’ve seen worse, and will see worse again.
One person found this helpful
ZozarrianReviewed in the United States on March 5, 2015
3.0 out of 5 stars
eh, meh, yawn. But Clive Owen! Mmm, yum!, yawn.
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I really wanted to like this movie, given the cast. After reading the summary, I thought to myself, "oh, another one of "THESE" movies"... meaning that the criminal just out of the joint and just need to do one last "job" (so he says) mixed with the 2 siblings on either side of the law family drama. Don't we have enough of those movies? Anyway, the mere fact that Clive Owen, Billy Crudup, Lili Taylor and James Caan are in this movie led me to give it a chance. They were wonderful, the movie was very lackluster, to say the least.
The first half was extremely boring and, given that so little happens, I was surprised that they didn't take that to be the perfect opportunity to work on some character development, cuz there's virtually none of that. I really didn't care what happened to any of these people. Except maybe Lili Taylor's cuz she just plays sincere and caring so well.
As I said, all the actors were wonderful, including Mila Kunis, Zoe Saldana and Marion Cotillard (none of whom get a whole lot to work with... the women in this film are pretty much relegated to being girlfriends or ex-wives). There was some good action and suspense for a bit 2/3rds of the way in but then a really boring car chase. I had to laugh when the maracas kicked in on the Latin tinged suspenseful score during the chase scene. I don't know... had a feeling that the original screenplay was edited like crazy and the finished product was, unfortunately, this.

3-stars just for the actors being in the film and doing a kick-ass job (oh, and also for the costume, prop and set designers!!) but 2-stars for the film.
12 people found this helpful
Sharen SierraReviewed in the United States on December 13, 2020
4.0 out of 5 stars
Love wins out over Family Angst
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Nothing like a little family love and rivalry to keep you awake during early morning Christmas present gift wrapping twelve days before Christmas, and yes, I get the irony of the twelve days analogy.

Many movies pit brother against brother as they live their good versus evil lies, with one brother seeking the higher calling of protect and serve while the other brother chooses the dark path of crime and pleasure, which often appears to be self-serving.

Blood Ties, the movie goes miles beyond that scenario as the angst and love between the two brothers, Chris, played by Clive Owens, pitted against Chris, the overzealous detective played by the very talented Billy Crudup is evident in every scene.

The backdrop of the 70s does not play well for the cops, but they get their man in the end, as you would expect. Most importantly, brotherly love's blood ties never cease to be broken no matter how many dead bodies and needless acts of crime occur throughout the film.

For this reason and more, I give Blood Ties the movie and indeed not the ABC series four stars. It would have been three and a half stars, but they cast an oldie but goodie James Caan, as the I don't know how to say I love you both father.

Sharen Sierra
IzzyReviewed in the United States on December 11, 2020
5.0 out of 5 stars
One Far-Out film
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I was transported back to the 70's in NYC possibly more than every other film to date. Great cast. Billy Crudup as always excellent. Clive Owens played a great American thug. And the story it was touching yet the action gave it some zip. I felt as if I was watching this smack dab in the middle of this family saga. Time slip right by me with this one which for me means there were absolutely no slow points in the film.
One person found this helpful
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