A sprawling epic of family, faith, power and oil, THERE WILL BE BLOOD is set on the incendiary frontier of California's turn-of-the-century petroleum boom. The story chronicles the life and times of one Daniel Plainview (Daniel Day-Lewis), who transforms himself from a down-and-out silver miner raising a son on his own into a self-made oil tycoon.
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Daniel Day Lewis gives a great performance as a maniacally obsessed oil man, but it was the same character type he played the the Gangs of New York. His character here, Daniel Plainview, will do anything to win, even accept Jesus. There is an artistic play on "blood" here: the blood of Jesus is upon Daniel for his "salvation," the blood that Daniel has on his hands for murder, the blood of the victims of drilling accidents, the blood he threatens to extract from his competitors, and the blood (relations) (or lack of relation) between Daniel and his "son" and "brother." He uses blood (family) to entice the farmers to sell him their property or drilling rights and he uses blood (the threat to cut their throats) to intimidate his competitors. Daniel's drive to win leads to his apparent success and, of course, to his real failure. The film is a metaphor for the consequences of unbridled capitalist greed: there will be blood--but also the lack of blood (that is, family and connection) that makes life worthwhile.
One of my favorite movies of all time! However, if you don't like movies where the majority of the plot is built on subtlety and slow character-driven depth, you may not like it. Also, it is dark. It's very dark, but beautiful. As sad as the characters may be, there is still much to empathize with. The pace and plot lead one to search inward as scenes play out. Such amazing depth and intensity here.
Reviewed in the United States on December 15, 2017
There Will Be Blood is a masterpiece. Daniel Day Lewis' performance alone is worth watching this film for. He steals every shot he's in. Secondly, would be the astounding cinematography. The story is intriguing and unpredictable. It manages to be subtle and in your face at the same time. It's a fantastically well made film and I highly recommend it.
Fantastic period film that captures the oddities that seem to be prevalent in driven pioneers, particularly in wild 1800's America. Oil exploration and discovery is a backdrop for a character study of a strange man who will say or do anything to prove a point, satisfy his ego and secure his empire. Excellent acting.
I saw this movie once over 10 years ago, and just rewatched it. Even though I hadn't seen this movie in quite a while I remembered most of the scenes quite well. I realized while rewatching it just now that why most of the scenes are so well done and potent, you can't help but remember them. This movie is soooooo good. It may not be for everyone, there is no gratuitous sex, CGI, or cheesy one liners. It is Daniel Day Lewis at his finest, and a writer/director at his finest. If you actually watch the scenes and observe what is going on, underneath just the overt conflict it is amazing. As an example, I watched a youtube video where it said that the writer/director Paul Thomas Anderson took Dracula as an influence for Daniel Plainview. And the metaphores are striking; we start off in a dark cave/cavern similar to a grave, his quest if for the blood of the earth (oil), his nemesis is a man of faith blocking him at every turn, he views people as assets to his desires and hates people. This among many things is why this movie is so good.
I saw this in the theatre when it first came out and recently it's been streaming on the major channels. Couldn't believe all the utterly superb acting, music, scenery and script that you couldn't hear in the theatre. Daniel Day-Lewis is the finest actor today and how sad he will not return to the screen after The Phantom Thread. Day-Lewis' portrayal of Daniel Plainview is nothing short of breathtaking! From the simple silver miner to the filthy rich and morally bankrupt oil man every line he utters and every facial nuance should be a must see for wannabe actors. Although I think by listening intently to the scene towards the end with his son wanting to start his own business...one must turn up the volume to understand WHY the elder Plainview has gone down this path. This is already a movie I've watched over 20 times and find something new each time. A classic.
When I saw it for the first time on a deployment in Iraq, it was being screen at a MWR theater. The film was such an unbelievably incredible experience that I wanted to relive it as soon as possible. Seven years later, it's just as much of an incredible experience on my 20th watch as it was on my first watch.
Paul Thomas Anderson is without a doubt the best American filmmaker working today and this epic of greed, family and religion is his best film. It's an incredible character study. Daniel Plainview is an immensely fascinating character and Daniel Day-Lewis gives the performance of his career playing him. It's one of the best performances by any actor in general. Paul Dano, who is usually an inconsistent actor manages to hold his own in scenes with Day-Lewis here which is very impressive. The film also boasts amazing cinematography and a haunting score. It's easily the best film of the century so far and it's in my top ten of all-time. I am willing to accept it as one of the greatest films ever made.
5.0 out of 5 starsFantastically depressing & wonderful to boot
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 21, 2019
Daniel-D-L as always is terrific , without giving the plot away, suffice it to say it's a rollercoaster of unpleasant happenings interjected with bits of pleasantness. Left me feeling a bit down, as the brutality of the time wears on the sole a bit as you watch things unfold. Watch for the line "Well you would be my competitor then", & other nastiness ...
5.0 out of 5 starsMasterpiece of Cinema, DVD Slightly Lacking
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 17, 2013
So the film is simply astounding. Daniel Day-Lewis and Paul Dano give amazing performances, perhaps the best of their lives. The cinematography and directing are equally as good, Paul Thomas Anderson definitely being one of the best directors of the times. I won't say much more on the film, just know that it is one you must see. The DVD unfortunately is a bit of a let down, especially for some. The only extra is a 10-15 minute video showing various vintage photo's and documents used as reference for the film with some of the films score to accompany it. For me, as I guess it would be for some others, it was pretty interesting and served as a good companion to the film but for others I can imagine it would be a bit of a bore. Even with the lack of extras this should still be top of your list for purchases.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 14, 2009
'There Will Be Blood' brings us Daniel Day-Lewis in a masterly performance following the life of an oil prospector and the relationships he forges and ruins. Some of the first things to strike me were how this film is beautifully directed with marvelous use of light and shadow and how the soundtrack helps keep things on edge with various percussive elements and discordant notes. But the key to this film really is Day-Lewis' performance and the whole film rests on his portrayal of Daniel Plainview, never has a film rested so strongly on one actors supreme work. This film doesn't have any real resolution, although some parts are tied up, but this looks at the overall life of this brutal and savage man as he exploits both community and nature for his gains in oil. At 2 and 1/2 hours it did begin to feel a touch long towards the end, but Day-Lewis manages to hold you captivated by his rich and in-depth performance and keeps you watching until the very end. The supporting actors play their roles well and Plainviews son was especially note-worthy. A dark tale, in both content and execution, but one that should be watched at least once to soak up it's atmosphere, acting and beautiful direction.
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This film.. is one of the best films I have ever seen. When I was told about it, "oh it's all about this guy that finds oil", I thought to myself hmmm, this doesn't sound interesting at all.
I was wrong. It is shot perfectly and creates great atmosphere. The tone is mastered throughout which keeps you unsure what is going to happen next although the story is pretty straight forward. The underlying themes are a constant battle between greed, religion and family.
It is nearly three hours long so I can understand how some people might not enjoy it based on that single fact. I think the story is paced appropriately, remember it is NOT an action film with an explosion every two minutes. Just sit back and take it all in and hopefully, you should enjoy it.
5.0 out of 5 starsOne of the best performance by one the greatest actors in history
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 23, 2015
One of the best performance by one the greatest actors in history. Daniel Day Lewis brilliantly morphs into the ruthless and ambitious oil tycoon Daniel Plainview. The story evolves around the drive and greed of one man and his confrontation with the local preacher who is brilliantly played by Paul Dano. It shows Plainviews descent into madness through his greed and avarice. This a monumental film which should rank up there with the best films in this generation,
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 30, 2018
I was constantly waiting for something to happen, it never really did! I have watched a few of Daniel Day Lewis films and the soundtrack is always dreary as was in this film. For want of a better word, boring!!