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Overall Rating

Awesome: 12.31%
Worth A Look: 26.15%
Pretty Bad: 15.38%
Total Crap: 13.85%

6 reviews, 29 user ratings

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Blood Work
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by Greg Muskewitz

"Thin blood can still boil."
4 stars

Clint Eastwood directs and stars in his latest, a mystery/thriller from the potboiler of the same name by Michael Connelly.

At the start, Eastwood is an FBI agent with a high media profile, in the midst of tracking down a “code killer” in the metro LA area. After arriving at the scene of the latest murders, Eastwood spots the suspect and a chase on foot ensues, ending when our climbing-in-age agent suffers a heart attack. Two years later, retired and living on a boat, Eastwood has just had a heart transplant, long in the wait because of his rare blood type. (The clues and tie-ins, associated through the title, are not exactly what one might call subtle.) Soon after, a woman shows up on his dock and requests his help to solve the murder of her sister, a single mother. He declines saying he’s retired and notes his condition; she tells him the heart he received was that of her sister’s — they shared the same rare blood type. Eventually he acquiesces through a feeling of obligation and uses some of his former connections to a get start. It looks as though a murder a week before that of his heart donor’s matches the m.o. As might be expected, the plot throws in the track-switching red herrings, the temporary setbacks that frustrate our protagonist (“You have Gloria’s heart,” the living sister assures him, “She’ll guide you”). The story is slick and well-connected, scripted by Brian Helgeland; the hook is quickly snagged with the basic involvement and sleuth-like viewer participation. Eastwood has continually selected material that both progressively adjusts to his own increasing age (although I hear some adjustments were tailor-made to the age of his character), and never sticks with just one genre. (His last, of course, being Space Cowboys.) But even if his proclivity has been towards the murder mystery, the hard-edged detective, or FBI agent, or CIA operative, his choices aim for a diverse mix of capers and characters, crimes and motives. Eastwood’s ability to move within the realms of his preferred genre is illustrated in the broadness of a Midnight In the Garden of Good and Evil, True Crime and the Dirty Harry series. And his own fondness of the spaghetti westerns that initiated much of his career has further influenced his ventures into directing. So no matter if you’re getting the tough guy Eastwood (Absolute Power), the romantic Eastwood (The Bridges of Madison County), or simply the aging Eastwood (Cowboys), his directorial eye never falters, even if his choice of material does. Blood Work remains just as sly and suspenseful — particularly for the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drews who continue to follow — even if the identity of the villain is not as well disguised, because notwithstanding the passé romance and slightly over-the-top ending shoot-out, Eastwood’s methodical delivery is no less applied as some of his best.

With Jeff Daniels, Wanda de Jesús, Tina Lifford and Anjelica Huston.


link directly to this review at
originally posted: 12/20/03 14:34:01
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User Comments

1/29/18 Dan Watchable, but it suffers from 2 glaring faults: Lethargic pacing & an obvious culprit. 3 stars
12/29/17 morris campbell obvious meh murder mystery 1 stars
9/06/10 Josie Cotton is a goddess The murderer is easy to guess, but it's well worth watching non the less 4 stars
1/03/10 Jeff Wilder Sadly Eastwood missed with this one. 2 stars
1/27/09 Shaun Wallner Pure Entertainment! 4 stars
11/12/08 christine chamonix Clint is looking for emotional trueblue life story 4 stars
9/28/07 mr.mike liked it.didn't guess the killer-i'm a boob! 4 stars
6/12/06 William Goss A meh murder mystery movie. 3 stars
11/27/05 Indrid Cold Unremarkable, surprisingly sloppy acting and direction. 3 stars
10/03/05 Buddy Noone good for us old-time Eastwood fans 4 stars
8/30/05 ES Predictable doesn't begin to describe it, its as transparent as 'Kiss the girls' 1 stars
4/19/05 Maril Smith Too predictable and Eastwood does a poor acting job. 2 stars
3/22/05 tatum Eastwood puts no effort in here; completely average 3 stars
3/06/05 R.W. Welch Somewhat overplotted aging detective yarn. Moderately entertaining. 4 stars
12/22/04 albert another great eastwood job,as usual. 5 stars
12/04/04 Phil M. Aficionado Contrived and formulaic pap. 2 stars
10/30/04 HL Made for TVish & You know who the bad guy is.. 3 stars
3/23/04 KGB This should've been a 'Dirty' Harry flick 4 stars
6/04/03 Picky critic Might hold your attention for 2 hours, but very forgettable. Run-of-the-mill Hollywood 2 stars
4/01/03 Chris Barts Mildly interesting, if only to see an actor playing so deliberately against type. 4 stars
3/01/03 Monday Morning Very average, but I'd like to rail that Wanda de Jesus till her ears bleed. 3 stars
1/15/03 John Bale Aged Eastwood, Jeff (Dumb) Daniels, and a new ending don't save a pedestrian film 3 stars
1/14/03 Paul Coleman Clint still hasn't lost it. This was a good, above-average thriller. 4 stars
1/11/03 mwildema that romance thing needs to be removed 4 stars
11/21/02 Reini Urban Okay, only occasional laughs when he undresses. 3 stars
9/24/02 marco guerra Clint should only direct,'cause he shows age and tireness acting. 3 stars
8/24/02 ^ZuLu^ stupid, absolutely predictable and no tension 1 stars
8/18/02 Craig Not Clint's best, but it feels like home. Good job, Mr. E 4 stars
8/17/02 Peter Brook Crap last scene, some clichés, predictable twists. But Clint! It has Clint! 5 stars
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  09-Aug-2002 (R)



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