The new film "Blood Ties", a crime thriller set in 1974 Brooklyn starring Billy Crudup, Clive Owen, Mila Kunis and Zoe Saldana, opens in theaters this week. NY1's Neil Rosen filed the following review.
An impressive cast is assembled for a new crime thriller set in 1970's New York about two brothers on opposite sides of the law. It's called "Blood Ties."
The time is 1974, the place is Brooklyn. Clive Owen plays Frank, who's just been released from prison after serving a 12-year stint for murder.
Billy Crudup is his brother Chris, a straight and arrow detective. These two brothers have never been close. In fact, they don't even like each other very much. But upon his release, Chris does give Frank a place to live and gets him a job as a janitor in a used car lot.
But it doesn't take long for Frank to return to his criminal ways. And it all leads to a big showdown involving a Brinks truck robbery where Chris has to choose between his loyalty to the police or family ties.
James Caan, in a cliched role, plays their dad who has always favored Frank, despite his criminal past.
There's Frank's ex, a hooker, played unconvincingly by French actress Marion Cotillard, who uses a variety of mysterious accents that are all over the map.
Mila Kunis, in a different kind of 70's show, is the good girl who catches Frank's eye, while Zoe Saldana is excellent here as Chris' old flame. He's still stuck on her and helps put her husband behind bars, just so he can get close to her.
I liked Crudup's performance and this actor isn't used enough in films. I also liked Clive Owen, for the most part, as a Brooklyn tough guy. Even though his British accent does slip in every now and then.
French writer, director Guillaume Canet is trying to do a Martin Scorcese/Sidney Lumet, gritty New York period film, but much of this seems all too familiar as he borrows from many other movies and has nothing new to add.
Canet does impressively get the look of 70's New York down. But he completely misses the mark on the music which is from the wrong era.
There are several good scenes, but also a lot of lag time, making its two hour running time feel a lot longer.
Neil Rosen's Big Apple Rating: Two Apples