Blood Work [2002]

Clint Eastwood's Blood Work is a refreshing reminder that Hollywood's young Turks can still learn a lesson from good old-fashioned craftsmanship. Settling into an easygoing groove that recalls his early work in Play Misty for Me, the 72-year-old producer-director-star acknowledges his age by playing a retired FBI profiler and recent heart-transplant recipient. He's recruited by his heart donor's grieving sister (Wanda De Jesus) to find her dead sibling's killer, and personal obligation compels his dutiful but health-risking investigation. From a sharp, sensible script by L.A. Confidential OscarĀ® winner Brian Helgeland (from Michael Connelly's novel), Blood Work consistently plays to Eastwood's no-nonsense approach, elevating the mystery while giving Jeff Daniels (as Eastwood's neighbor and amateur sidekick) a substantial role in the suspenseful proceedings. Some may chuckle at a brief Eastwood-De Jesus love scene, but there's ample proof here that Clint's still got all the right moves. --Jeff Shannon

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