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posted: 8/8/2013 6:00 AM

'Blood' focuses on guilt, family dynamic

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  • Two British police officer brothers (Stephen Graham, left, and Paul Bettany) discover that guilt can be a powerful weapon for justice in "Blood."

    Two British police officer brothers (Stephen Graham, left, and Paul Bettany) discover that guilt can be a powerful weapon for justice in "Blood."

  • Video: "Blood" trailer


Mini-review: "Blood"

The main character in British filmmaker Nick Murphy's color-bled police drama "Blood" might as well be human conscience.

Not since Adrian Lyne's 2002 drama "Unfaithful" has sheer conscience been such a driving force for characters.

Paul Bettany and Stephen Graham play cop brothers living in the shadow of their father (Brian Cox), a legendary policeman known for his toughness and results.

During a brutal interrogation, the siblings inadvertently kill a murder suspect, but they justify it by knowing he did it.

When it becomes apparent the suspect was innocent, guilt begins quietly eating away at the brothers, pitting their proper judicial attitudes against self-preservation.

Based on a British television series, "Blood" is a long slog as a drama. The angst-laden characters are as desolate as the gray, wet landscapes superbly captured by George Richmond's widescreen cinematography.

Bettany excels at portraying internal conflict in a movie that proves even well-acted suffering can reach a point of diminishing returns.

"Blood" opens at the Streets of Woodfield Theaters in Schaumburg. Not rated; contains violence, adult language. 93 minutes. ★ ★

Film notes:

• If you love horror icon George Romero and want to see his groundbreaking (literally) 1968 zombie classic "Night of the Living Dead" on the silver screen, meet me and the filmmaker at the Muvico Theaters Rosemont 18 at 9 p.m. Friday for a rare, 35 mm. print showing of his iconic movie.

As the official master of ceremonies for the annual Flashback Weekend Chicago Horror Convention, I'll introduce Romero, who'll be at the event through Sunday. Go to for details.

• Whether you're a T-Bird or a Pink Lady or a beauty school dropout, you can experience "Singalong Grease" at 8 p.m. Friday at the RiverEdge Park, 360 N. Broadway, Aurora. Gates open 6 p.m. Tickets cost $5 at or call (630) 896-6666. Tickets can also be obtained at the Paramount Theatre, 23 E. Galena Blvd., Aurora, until 6 p.m.

• The After Hours Film Society presents Henry-Alex Rubin's three-part drama "Disconnect" at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Aug. 12, at the Tivoli Theatre, 5021 Highland Ave., Downers Grove. Tickets cost $9 ($5 for Society members. Go to

• Daily Herald Film Critic Dann Gire's column runs Fridays in Time out!

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