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Cannes 2013 Review: Blood Ties


Following an organized crime in Brooklyn during the 1970s that brings together two brothers, a cop named Frank and his ex-convict brother Chris.

Who’s in it?
Clive Owen gets down and dirty with plenty of amazingly violent drive-bys. Together with Mila Kunis, Marion Cotillard and Zoe Saldana playing conventional Brooklyn dames, get your feet soaked in a blast from the past of another typical cops versus crooks debate.

The first reason to watch Blood Ties is to see Mila Kunis in her traditional 70s outfits. The second is to watch Clive Owen, because you know, it’s Clive Oven. And the third reason is to see the rest of the ridiculously star-studded cast, from Zoe Saldana to Marion Cotillard.

Chris (Clive Owen) plays a recently released crook that tries to show his cop brother Frank (Billy Crudup) he’s a changed man. From working at a car shop to starting up his own business, it doesn’t take long for Chris to get involved in some crooked jobs for fast cash.

Is the good boy Frank going to rat out his brother again when it’s so obvious what trouble he’s getting himself into? It’s an old, over-played story, but the romances distract you with some added personality.

Well, almost. Unfortunately the female characters are painted too clearly inside the box to really hook you in. You’ve got Marion Cotillard as a drug-addicted prostitute, Mila Kunis as a good-for-nothing receptionist and Zoe Saldana as a single mom trying to make ends meet with her husband recently put into jail. I know this is Brooklyn in the 1970s, but seriously, I might as well watch this movie with my eyes closed.

It actually broke my heart to see Marion Cotillard’s terrible performance in this. Thankfully she doesn’t say much so you don’t have to endure a lot of her awkward Brooklyn accent (although her random Spanish Latina outbreak was pretty convincing). But accent challenges aside, you get to see Marion slicked up in some dangerously sexy clothes.

Mila Kunis is disastrously up-stagged by Marion Cotillard and Zoe Saldana. Although they’re struggling with really bad female roles, Zoe Saldana plays the most realistic scarred woman that is now forced to raise a child by herself. But don’t get too excited. You barely get to see anything with these girls, and you can forget about sex. It just doesn’t go there because the boys always have to run to finish another job. Typical.

There aren’t any surprises in Blood Ties, but it’s in general a sweet movie that focuses on the age-old idea that blood is thicker than water. We see Frank and Chris constantly fighting until they eventually agree to disagree. Watch it to get a thorough, inside view of Brooklyn life in the 70s, but don’t expect much more than that.

Should You See It?
Forget anything about cops and robbers or A-list girls. You’re watching it for Clive Owen, and nothing else.

Memorable Quote:
“You might see me on Friday.”

Amanda Chen

A local celebrity herself, she's got the 411 on everything happening in Hollywood. She knows what she likes and her sass-mouth says it loud and clear. Follow her for the latest gossip and reviews on your favorite movies.