Blood Will Tell

Movie review by
Barbara Shulgasser-Parker, Common Sense Media
Blood Will Tell Movie Poster Image
Dark family thriller has cursing and violence.
  • NR
  • 2019
  • 113 minutes

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The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

In good times, bad people can remain hidden. When circumstances are stressful, character shows itself.

Positive Role Models & Representations

A man is desperate when he can't pay off loans and realizes he's going to lose everything.

Violence

A farmer falls off a ladder and dies. A woman is killed when she gets caught in her industrial-size electric mixer. A man hits another in the head with his motorcycle helmet. Blood is seen. A man shoots another man; blood shown. A man falls onto a wooden spike and bleeds profusely. A man puts a rifle up against his chin in an attempt to kill himself.

Sex

A married couple kiss. A couple is said to be having an affair.

Language

"F--k," "s--t," "bastard," "bitch," "ass."

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Adults smoke cigarettes and drink alcohol.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Blood Will Tell is an Argentinian film (in Spanish with English subtitles) that breaks down a family story backwards so we understand the meaning of two deaths that occur early on. The marriage of a family patriarch and his wife is crumbling behind the scenes. A thriving farm-based business turns out to be failing. Money troubles are causing a man to do terrible things. A farmer falls off a ladder and dies. A woman is killed when she gets caught in her industrial-size electric mixer. There's a bloody shooting. A man falls onto a wooden spike and bleeds profusely. A man puts a rifle up against his chin in an attempt to kill himself. A married woman is having an affair, adults smoke cigarettes and drink alcohol, and someone suspects a deadly freak accident was actually murder. Language includes "f--k," "s--t," "bastard," "bitch" and "ass."  

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What's the story?

BLOOD WILL TELL opens with an unfortunate accidental death of a farm owner. This sets up a family history of repeating difficult family relationships underlying the story. The man's son, Elias (Oscar Martinez), who inherited his father's farm, is in jeopardy of losing it to the bank. Elias' wife, Adriana (Paulina Garcia), who runs a successful catering operation out of their large home, refuses to lend him money to bail him out. She announces that this foul-up is just one more of many and she won't pretend to care about him anymore for the sake of their grown children. She launches into epithets and promises to see a divorce lawyer the next day so she can be with the family friend who has been her longtime lover, Lautaro (Luis Gnecco). Since the plot moves back and forth in time, we know none of this when we first learn that Adriana has died in a freak accident involving her electric mixer. The plot moves forward, then backs up to recall the same incidents from different characters' points of view, adding new information and context for understanding events along the way. Elias' son-in-law, Santiago (Diego Velazquez), suspects foul play, conveying his worries to his wife and Elias' daughter, Carla (Dolores Fonzi). Carla, still mourning her mother, is furious at her husband's suspicions, but is given reason to wonder about her father when the mother's boyfriend turns up dead and Elias is found lying by the body, bleeding profusely.

Is it any good?

This film is a solid look at everyday, ordinary evil. Blood Will Tell effectively plots the road down which seemingly decent people are willing to go when money troubles or other issues stress their usual equilibrium. The movie poses many moral dilemmas. What obligation do we have to help when we see someone in need? Are we implicated if we do nothing?  What do long-married people owe each other, if anything? What loyalty do children owe parents if the parents are terrible people? Teens will have much to talk about if they take an interest in the difficulties of the middle-aged couple at the heart of this story.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how difficult it can be to believe the worst about people we love. Is it possible to ever really know someone?

  • Do you think each of us is capable of doing something terrible under duress? Or do you think good people will still do the right thing even when tested?

  • Does the retelling the story from different points of view add to the quality of Blood Will Tell, or do you think a straightforward narrative would've been more effective?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love family tales

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