Punk band witnesses the aftermath of a murder when playing a hastily-booked gig at a nazi skinhead joint, is locked in the green room while the Patrick Stewart-led thugs arrange the band members’ “accidental” deaths, band members decide to fight back.

Good use of “Nazi Punks Fuck Off,” and brilliant use of Creedence over the closing titles. The band members’ position (fighting for survival) is clear, but I liked how the movie doesn’t portray everyone else as pure evil. Some younger dudes will gladly slay for their master, but there’s also hesitation and horror and betrayal. Blue Ruin‘s Dwight as the club manager represents the morally-torn middle ground. Anton Yelchin (Ian in Only Lovers Left Alive – shouldn’t I be able to recognize him by now?) and Imogen Poots (She’s Funny That Way) are survivors, Arrested Development‘s Alia Shawkat and the others not so lucky.

Remake of a Truffaut film. Played Cannes last year in the “Director’s Fortnight” with Embrace of the Serpent and Arabian Nights.

Matt Singer:

The brilliance is all in the execution, which is just about perfect … More importantly, Saulnier’s screenplay puts a premium on logically sound decisions; this is not one of those movies where you sit in your seat moaning at the characters for going up the stairs when they should be heading for the exit. Every choice is reasonable. Every action makes sense, up to and including some of the second and third act twists. That makes the escalating body count that much sadder.

Shaggy, homeless Dwight (Macon Blair of a Bubbles-starring horror-comedy called Hellbenders) learns of the release of Wade Cleland, imprisoned for killing Dwight’s parents, so kills that dude with a knife right away then cleans himself up and goes into hiding at his sister’s house (she is Amy Hargreaves, Ed Furlong’s dream girl in Brainscan).

Dwight’s family apparently had a feud with the gun-totin’ Clelands, due to a cheatin’ incident, and Wade had taken the prison time for his now-deceased father, who’d done the killing. By the time Dwight learns all this, he and his sister’s family are under attack, so he gets some help from a gun nut friend (Devin Ratray of Nebraska), kidnaps one Cleland and assaults the others.

Dwight checks on his kidnap victim:

Movie is getting critical credit for portraying the murders and injuries more realistically than usual, paying attention to the difficulty of each task. It’s also a tense, well-made thriller, which has become a rare thing.

Devin gives shootin’ lessons:

Angry Clelands: