Blood Simple
Blood Simple (1984)

In the first film of brothers Joel Coen and Ethan Coen, M. Emmett Walsh plays Visser, an unscrupulous private eye hired by Texas bar owner Marty (Dan Hedaya) to murder Marty's faithless wife Abby (Frances McDormand) and her paramour,… More

Directed By:
Rated: R
Running Time:
Release Date: September 1, 1984
DVD Release Date: September 18, 2001
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Critic Score: 93% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews

Consensus: Brutally violent and shockingly funny in equal measure, Blood Simple offers early evidence of the Coen Brothers' twisted sensibilities and filmmaking ingenuity.

Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times

"Blood Simple" becomes a dazzling comedie noire, a dynamic, virtuoso display by a couple of talented fledgling filmmakers who give the conventions of the genre such a thorough workout that the result is a movie that's fresh and exhilarating.

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Chris Packham
Village Voice

Though the film has a few exposed seams, it's tightly composed and beautifully shot in a way that easily rivals more expensive features.

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Luis Martínez
El Mundo (Spain)

An uneven film in its construction and even something inane in its belligerence towards the enemy against which it is stirred. [Full review in Spanish]

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Andrew O'Hehir

Watching this beautiful restoration of "Blood Simple" I was actually struck by how non-bleak it is, how much the strength of the film lies in images of beauty, defiance and survival.

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Pauline Kael
New Yorker

It isn't really about anything except making a commercial narrative movie outside the industry.

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Matt Brunson
Creative Loafing

Not just noteworthy as the first picture written and directed by Joel and Ethan Coen, this excellent neo-noir also stands as an important film in the development of the American independent cinema during the 1980s.

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Mike D'Angelo
AV Club

It's a trailblazing masterpiece in any form.

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Richard Corliss
TIME Magazine

Watch this film, and these film makers, closely. Neither will disappoint.

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Peter Canavese
Groucho Reviews

Simpleness and crime have consistently fascinated the pair, who may as well be praying at the temple of Ate...the Coens preach a healthy respect for the randomness and chaos that ensues from our desires. [Criterion Blu-ray]

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More reviews for Blood Simple

Flixster Audience Score: 88% Flixster User Reviews
Jacob Ethington
Watching a directorial debut is a fascinating practice, partially because you can see a filmmaker's trademarks already fully formed. With that in mind,… More
Graham Jones
The Coen Bros. blasted on the scene with this amazing debut. It must be something about Texas that brings out the best in them (i.e. No Country For Old Men).
Alex roy
Blood Simple is the Coen Brothers big debut, and it gives us a glimpse of what the two directors would come to create later on in their career. With a tightly… More
paul oh
Its pretty damn good. The pace isn't fast but not too slow as well. The action is there but never consistent. The story takes you off your feet along with… More
Spencer S.
Blood sickening and terse, with a story as old as time but told so elegantly and with so much fear, the Coen brothers shock and awe with their first feature… More
familiar stranger
At its release, it's said to have received enormous response and that it shattered the box-office records thence. I tend to keep a safe distance from Coen… More