ninth symphony films - movie reviews


DIRECTOR  -  clint eastwood

RATED  -  r

GENRE  -  crime drama

LENGTH  -  110 minutes

RELEASED  -  9 august 2002

DISTRIBUTOR  -  warner bros.

OFFICIAL SITE  -  blood work

ESTIMATED BUDGET  -  $50,000,000
blood work - a shot from the film


buy the dvd from blood work at

buy the dvd from blood work at

a retired fbi profiler is brought back into service to track a ruthless serial killer.

this is the 13th movie that clint eastwood has acted, directed, and produced.


picture from blood work

picture from blood work

picture from blood work


two out of four possible stars

Although not as gritty or graphic as it should have been, Blood Work has a well placed supporting cast and a Clint Eastwood who hasn't lost the knack for rolling a good yarn. The tale isn't exactly unpredictable, but it is entertaining, and although it is easy to deduce who the "bad guy" is very early on in the film, in the scheme of things, that fact doesn't really matter. Eastwood can hold the audience's attention with his classic acting style and when combined with screenwriter Brian Helgeland's superior dialogue, Michael Connelly's detective novel turns into an entertaining film.

It is a tribute to all those involved with this film that one can learn the answer to the problem in the movie and still feel compelled to watch it to completion. Running nearly two hours, the film has more talk than action, but it still feels like it runs at a proper pace. The events are revealed just when they need to be and the enjoyment of the film comes more specifically from journey itself, rather than what's at the end of the journey. The film is also a very classic example of a detective film. Even the score and music resemble something from a different decade. The slow jazz that begins the picture, and even the font of the opening credits make one think that this film was finished sometime in the 1970's and only now let out of the can.

But the film is by no means a relic. There are several subtle and humorous elements that break up the more depressing scenes of the film. For example, Paul Rodriguez plays a very angry Latino who doesn't like the fact that Eastwood steals everyone's thunder while on detective cases. He has several very funny lines, but is also a serious character as well. And, interestingly, it is his character that has most of the lines between himself and the man who plays his partner, fellow detective, John Walker, played by Dylan Walsh. Although Dylan is in just about every scene with Rodriguez, it is Rodriguez who does most of the talking and is the more major character.

The other supporting characters in this film were well cast too. Of course, every actor in this film probably clamored to get the chance to work with Clint Eastwood. And rightly so. The cast put together for the film is one of its best elements. Like Rodriguez, Tina Lifford, who has had quite a few roles on the small screen, plays a strong character as a woman who used to work at the FBI with Eastwood's character. She's a very intelligent person in the film, just like every single character. Jeff Daniels is great as the eager, yet comedic sidekick who happily acts as Eastwood's driver throughout the film.

Eastwood's character is unable to drive because of the danger to his transplanted heart from the automobile's airbags. And after what seems like a lighter workload the past few years, Daniels proves again that he can become one of audience's favorite characters on screen. Daniels and the rest of the cast act as a strong support network for Eastwood's Detective McCaleb. In point of fact, the cast is the thing to watch in this film. They deliver Helgeland's dialogue very well and make up for the fact that there is really quite a lot of talking in this film.

But even with all the talk, none of the scenes are too long. And even though the same information must be repeated multiple times in the film to different characters, it's quite fascinating to see how that information is said differently each time it's relayed. To get to the next piece of the puzzle, Eastwood's character must repeat what he just found out to the next character. It keeps the story flowing well. It's just another example of how good dialogue and good actors can make a less than stellar story into a movie worth watching.

In the detective movie genre, it's a given that if that story is taken from a novel (which, many times it is), some of the complications and scenery of the book won't look so impressive on the screen. Or it might just not work the same. It is then up to the screenwriter and the actors to make the story interesting and bring some of what was in the novel to the film in their own unique way. Clint Eastwood, being such a revered part of Hollywood, proves again that he can helm a classic thriller and turn it into an entertaining time at the movies for his fans.

Review by Kelsey Wyatt.

content 2000 - - ninth symphony films - photographs warner bros. 2002
home | archive | ratings | links | photographs | about | contact