After serving twelve years for murder (for killing a rapist and murderer he caught in the act), Chris (Clive Owen) is released from prison in 1974. His ex-wife, Monica (Marion Cotillard), is a drug-addicted prostitute. She has a son and a daughter. Chris tries to go straight with his new girlfriend Natalie (Mila Kunis) but is betrayed and sabotaged in his pursuit of a legitimate business venture. Returning to his criminal ways puts him in direct conflict with his brother Frank (Billy Crudup) who happens to be a New York City cop. Their sister, Marie (Lili Taylor), and their sick father, Leon (James Caan), want Chris and Frank to just get along with each other. When arresting Anthony Scarfo (Matthias Schoenaerts) at his house Frank happens to meet his ex-girlfriend Vanessa (Zoe Saldana) again. Vanessa is now married to Anthony and has a daughter by him. But Frank and Vanessa get back together again anyway, and she decides to divorce. But in the meantime Frank becomes conflicted over allowing his brother Chris to flee the scene of a felony murder. When Anthony is released from police custody his first act is to seek revenge against Frank for destroying his home life. Chris uncovers the plot and must decide between saving his own skin and stopping Anthony in his tracks…

“Blood Ties” is a historic drama thriller that makes NYC in the 70s coming alive. I reckon with James Gray being involved we see similarities to other movies he has directed, which he didn´t do this time around. I see some similarities to “Carlito´s Way” as well. With that said I think the plot and story is hardly anything special or for that matter that unique. It´s slow paced and a bit too long. But, the fact that family is the focus point here there´s something we all can relate to, and I think everybody involved does a great acting job. I personally think Billy Crudup is a very underrated actor, and I think he´s great here as Frank. Without the great performances “Blood Ties” would´ve been hardly that rememberable. I like that we get to see the great Marion Cotillard and the equally great Matthias Schoenaerts together in yet another movie, even if they don´t have any scenes together. They just add weight to the film like James Caan. “Blood Ties” is not too shabby, but neither a unique one either. (3 and a half out of 5)

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