In Blue Ruin (2014), a recent film by Jeremy Saulnier, a loner who lives as a bum learns that the murderer of his parents is being released from prison. Hungry for vengeance, wide-eyed Dwight, the loner (played by Macon Blair), tracks down the ex-con and kills him, thus precipitating a chain of vigilante attempts as well as harrowing violence. It is clear that the film deals with what makes revenge problematic, but it also centers on the shattering messiness of life as lived by lost souls who make dark, bad decisions.
Individuals scenes in Blue Ruin are better than Saulnier’s okay writing: disbelief must be suspended a little too often. But his direction is fine and the movie is a potent nail-biter.