Blood Work

Movie review by
Nell Minow, Common Sense Media
Blood Work Movie Poster Image
Disappointing, predictable, and graphic.
  • R
  • 2002
  • 115 minutes

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A lot or a little?

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

Violence

Several shootings, a heart attack.

Sex

Mild sexual situation

Language

Fairly strong language

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

None

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this film has some strong language as well as some graphic images (mostly on videotape) of people getting shot. There is also some offscreen sex, and the happening and recovery of the heart attack are well documented.

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What's the story?

In BLOOD WORK, Clint Eastwood stars as Terry McCaleb, a veteran FBI profiler. On the verge of capturing a taunting murderer, McCaleb suffers a heart attack and is forced into retirement. Two years later he is slowly recovering from a heart transplant when he is visited by the sister of the woman whose heart now beats in McCaleb's body. Her sister's murderer is still on the loose, and she wants McCaleb on the case. He reluctantly agrees and is soon finding clues, with a little help from his lazy fishing neighbor (Jeff Daniels). McCaleb disobeys doctor's warnings and dodges bumbling fellow officers to carry out his case, also becoming close to the woman (Wanda DeJesus) and her nephew (Mason Lucero).

Is it any good?

The presence of a Hollywood icon as an actor and director cannot overcome Blood Work's predictable script. The trouble with this film is that the believable parts are unsurprising and the surprising parts are unbelievable. Eastwood's presence hasn't diminished one bit over the years and his storytelling skills still shine, and Daniels also does a very good job, but the movie is simply never too interesting to anyone who's seen this kind of film before, especially after they've been done so well in Manhunter and The Silence of the Lambs.

The film's climax is probably the most interesting part, but it's hard to believe that the McCaleb, who was so perceptive in the film's first half, wouldn't have figured out the killer and his/her motive much sooner, which seemed obvious to much of the audience.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about whether McCaleb felt the need to catch the killer because the murdered woman's heart saved his life or because he cared about the woman and her nephew.

Movie details

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