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Blood Work
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Blood Work

4.0 2

Cast: Clint Eastwood, Jeff Daniels, Anjelica Huston, Wanda De Jesus


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A retired detective must battle former colleagues and his own failing health in order to bring a murderer to justice in this action drama produced and directed by its star, Clint Eastwood. Terry McCaleb (Eastwood) was one of the best and most thorough detectives at the FBI's Southern California office, until a massive heart attack sidelined him from police work for


A retired detective must battle former colleagues and his own failing health in order to bring a murderer to justice in this action drama produced and directed by its star, Clint Eastwood. Terry McCaleb (Eastwood) was one of the best and most thorough detectives at the FBI's Southern California office, until a massive heart attack sidelined him from police work for good. Following a heart transplant which saved his life, McCaleb has resigned himself to living quietly on a houseboat for the rest of his days, observing a strict health regimen prescribed by his cardiologist, Dr. Bonnie Fox (Anjelica Huston). However, McCaleb is persuaded to take on one last case through the insistence of a woman named Graciela Rivers (Wanda De Jesus). Rivers's sister was murdered in cold blood by a mugger, and her heart was used for McCaleb's transplant; now, Rivers wants McCaleb to find her sister's killer. McCaleb agrees to take on the case, but he quickly discovers his weakened physical condition makes the rigors of handling an investigation far harder and more difficult than its ever been before; he also can no longer drive a car, and must persuade his oddball friend from the marina,Buddy Noone (Jeff Daniels), to ferry him around town. Before long, despite these drawbacks, McCaleb discovers evidence which suggests the murderer may be a serial who uses random street robberies as a cover, but he finds that Ronaldo Arrango (Paul Rodriguez) and John Waller (Dylan Walsh), the police detectives assigned to the case, are not especially interested in sharing the glory (or their legwork) with the former FBI point man. Blood Work was adapted from the novel by Michael Connelly; Brian Helgeland wrote the screenplay.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
As both an actor and a director, Clint Eastwood gets better as he gets older, and this suspenseful thriller provides the septuagenarian star with one of his most engrossing roles to date. He portrays Terry McCaleb, an FBI agent forced into retirement by the near-fatal heart attack he suffered while chasing a notorious serial killer. Saved by a last-minute heart transplant, a still-ailing Terry is asked by Graciella Rivers (Wanda De Jesus) to investigate the murder of her sister -- whose heart now beats in his chest. The Michael Connelly novel that screenwriter Brian Helgeland has adapted supplies the director-star with an interesting dilemma that Eastwood exploits for maximum dramatic effect. The search for the woman's murderer leads Terry back to the serial killer whose pursuit nearly cost him his life. Eastwood plays the former G-man as weak, tired, and feverish, constantly pressing a hand to his scarred chest while brushing off admonitions to relax. The character is continually conscious of his own mortality, yet driven by both his duty as a lawman and his obligation to the dead woman who gave him a second chance at life. As the donor's sister, De Jesus is subtle yet strong; she's not a dewy-eyed ingénue or a voluptuous sex kitten, but rather a mature woman who gradually develops affection for the ailing ex-agent. Jeff Daniels scores solidly as the amiable layabout who acts as Terry's chauffeur -- and who figures prominently in the film's exciting denouement. Understated and even elegiac in tone, Blood Work puts a different spin on familiar melodramatic plot conventions, and it has an emotional resonance that's absent from most thrillers -- which makes it, arguably, Eastwood's finest film since Unforgiven. The DVD sports a making-of featurette and interviews with Eastwood and other cast members.
All Movie Guide
When the deconstructive Western Unforgiven brought Clint Eastwood unprecedented respect, it was tempting to hope the newly minted auteur would reserve himself for superior projects and artistic themes close to his heart. What an appropriate metaphor for his career, then, that Eastwood's latest, Blood Work, is about a transplant of that essential organ. It's as though what makes Eastwood tick has been supplanted by a foreign presence his body can't reject, leaving him content to toe the (assembly) line and glumly perpetuate his Absolute Power-True Crime school of pedestrian thrillers. It's also tempting to suggest that this aging treasure of tough guy machismo has "still got it," but Blood Work returns quite the opposite verdict. Eastwood is finally starting to look fragile and elderly -- in fact, thank goodness his character is weak following major surgery, because it provides a narrative explanation why the actor's voice is more gasp than rasp. But Blood Work is depressing in so many ways that aren't traceable to Eastwood's frailties. Tops on the list is the utter conventionality of the script, which follows the familiar path of the umpteen thrillers in which serial killers taunt celebrity FBI agents for the purpose of aggrandizing and fetishizing their crimes. Brian Helgeland has fallen far from his days as writer of L. A. Confidential if this soap opera dialogue and ham-fisted foreshadowing is all he can muster. The tone is schizophrenic, caught between the misplaced gravity of Eastwood's recent films, the ludicrous renegade posturing of his Dirty Harry days, and a cops-and-donuts style of comedy (embodied by pesky irritant Paul Rodriguez) that was never fashionable. Long before the laughable finish, the test results of this Blood Work have already come back negative.
Village Voice
A bracingly no-nonsense, highly professional policier -- as proudly old-fashioned as its curmudgeon hero. J. Hoberman
Chicago Sun-Times
The strength of the picture, directed by Eastwood, is that it has three intersecting story arcs: The investigation, the health issues, and the relationship that builds, step by step. Roger Ebert
New York Observer
It can be argued, I suppose, that Blood Work was designed from the outset not so much as a whodunit as a why-and-how-dunit, and here the film becomes metaphysically ingenious. Andrew Sarris

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Warner Home Video
Region Code:
[Wide Screen]
Sales rank:

Special Features

Closed Caption; Get to the heart of this thiller's production in making Blood Work; A conversation in spanish with Clint Eastwood, Wanda De Jesus and Paul Rodriguez (With English Subtitles); Theatrical trailer

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Clint Eastwood Terry McCaleb
Jeff Daniels Buddy Noone
Anjelica Huston Dr. Bonnie Fox
Wanda De Jesus Graciella Rivers
Tina Lifford Det. Jaye Winston
Paul Rodriguez Ronaldo Arrango
Dylan Walsh Detective John Waller
Mason Lucero Raymond
Gerry Becker Mr. Toliver
Rick Hoffman James Lockridge
Alix Koromzay Mrs. Cordell
Igor Jijikine Bolotov
P.J. Byrne Forensics #2
Amanda Carlin Office Manager
Chao-Li Chi Mr. Kang
Dina Eastwood Reporter #1
James W. Gavin Helicopter Pilot
Robert Harvey Restaurant Manager
Brent Hinkley Cab Driver
Craig Hoskins Helicopter Pilot
Matt Huffman Young Detective
Sam Jaeger Deputy
Beverly Leech Reporter #2
June Kyoko Lu Mrs. Kang
Glenn Morshower Captain
Derric Nugent L.A.P.D. Officer
Natalia Ongaro Receptionist
Maria Quiban Gloria Torres
Ted Rooney Forensics #1
Mark Thomason James Cordell

Technical Credits
Clint Eastwood Director,Producer
Henry Bumstead Production Designer
Harry Cohen Sound/Sound Designer
Joel Cox Editor
Jann K. Engel Set Decoration/Design
Adrian H. Gorton Set Decoration/Design
Brian Helgeland Screenwriter
Deborah Hopper Costumes/Costume Designer
Judie G. Hoyt Co-producer
Phyllis Huffman Casting
Robert Lorenz Asst. Director,Executive Producer
Walt Martin Sound/Sound Designer
Lennie Niehaus Score Composer
Tom Stern Cinematographer
Jack Gammon Taylor Art Director

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Blood Work
1. Catch Me [3:46]
2. End of the Chase [3:29]
3. Circle Around the Heart [3:05]
4. Graciella Rivers [3:15]
5. Donuts With Friends [5:20]
6. Not the First Time [3:05]
7. Observations [1:49]
8. The Cordell Case [4:45]
9. Atm Activity [2:19]
10. Fever Dream [1:57]
11. No Choice [4:38]
12. Bolotov Plays Rough [5:35]
13. What's the Average? [1:30]
14. A Souvenir [5:48]
15. Feeling Connected [1:51]
16. Like Stalking [3:43]
17. For the Full Ride [4:41]
18. Blood Tie [:42]
19. Losses and Gains [3:13]
20. Matter of Timing [4:55]
21. Shooting Up the Valley [4:04]
22. Grim Discovery [1:53]
23. All Except One [1:39]
24. Night Companions [3:18]
25. They're Both Back [2:24]
26. The Following Sea [4:12]
27. Freighter Prison [6:00]
28. Armed and Deadly [3:00]
29. Ramming Speed [3:30]
30. Not Needed [2:47]
31. Having Someone [1:29]
32. End Credits [2:06]


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Blood Work 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
this is one of the best clint eastwood movies ever. it was unreal anybody would like it. it's so suspencful and thats the great part! u don't no whats coming next!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago