Exceptionally complex characterization
I'm a little surprised at the conservative and one-dimensional nature of this review; typically I find CSM's reviews of films to be nuanced and accurate. As a high school literature teacher and parent of 12 and 14-year-old boys, I find "There Will Be Blood" to be one of the richest examples of character development in recent movie memory, partly due to Day-Lewis's exceptional performance, but partly due to the story's plotting, chronology, and other literary elements. Themes of loyalty, family, work & preserverance, and economics & history converge here in a film with a haunting musical score and beautiful cinematography. I feel the site's dismissal of the film as "slow-moving," "somber," and "too mature" is too simplistic and perhaps a matter of taste, something this site generally is careful to avoid. My 12th graders find the movie riveting despite its lack of slam-cut editing and the longer, portrait-like shots the director uses throughout. The movie contains three brief scenes of industrial-accident violence (it's about oil drilling at the turn of the century), one shooting (close-range, yes; heavy blood-squib, no), and a murder-by-bowling pin (you see the assailant's arm swinging, but no actual contact is depicted; there are no screams or sounds of death; afterward, blood is seen pooling from under the victim's head). I feel the MPAA's descriptive rating of "R for some violence" is appropriate. However, compared to the types of war films often shown in schools and with families, and the popularity of spectacles like "Captain America" and "Skyfall," both of which are filled with bludgeoning, cudgeling, and gun play, "Blood" is an edgy but wholly appropriate saga for all but the youngest of teens and most sensitive of viewers. How can CSM accurately rate violence in films like "Drive" or "No Country for Old Men" if "Blood" has 5/5 violence icons? The momentary brutality of the film shouldn't shutter intelligent young eyes from its many qualities.