One of the best indie films from 2014 that you (probably) haven't heard of, Blue Ruin is a gritty revenge story with some real "holy-shit!" moments that will have you squirming in your seat.
If that trailer doesn't put Blue Ruin in your Netflix queue then you might need your head examined. The film itself is every bit as intense as the trailer, and should be the considered standard bearer of what you can achieve in independent cinema. With a budget of about $425k, made up from a mixture of Kickstarter funds, maxed out credit cards, refinanced homes, and cashed in retirement plans, filmmaker Jeremy Saulnier put all of that money in front of the camera.
This was Jeremy's 2nd feature film, and turned out nothing less than success. Submitted and accepted to the 2013 Cannes Film Festival, Blue Ruin won the FIPRESCI Prize at Cannes and need up in a host of there prestigious festivals around the world. With a cast of relatively unknowns, aside from a few faces that may look familiar (Eve Plumb, Devin Ratray, Amy Hargreaves), Blue Ruin proves that films can be successful both fiscally and creatively without a "star" featured. In fact, not only is there only few names of note in the cast, the lead role is played by Jeremy's best friend and collaborator Macon Blair, who was completely unknown. Macon totally throws himself into the lead character, Dwight, and provides one of the most convincing performances I've seen this year.
The film did great on the festival circuit and got glowing reviews from critics as well. It scored a 96% Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes, placing it at number 18 for the year! That's just ahead of Ida and Guardian's of the Galaxy, that's a certified Oscar contender and one of the most critically acclaimed films of the year respectively.
For a real in depth look at Blue Ruin, check out an in-depth interview with Jeremy Saulnier over at The Dissolve for some great insight to the making of the film. If your one of those psychopaths who doesn't have Netflix, you can find Blue Ruin on iTunes, Amazon, and a host of other VOD streaming services. Or call me old-fashioned, you could go get the DVD/Blu-Ray at a place where those are sold.