A Most Violent Year (2015)
Critic Consensus: Gritty, gripping, and weighted with thought-provoking heft, A Most Violent Year represents another strong entry in writer-director J.C. Chandor's impressive filmography.
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News & Interviews for A Most Violent Year
Critic Reviews for A Most Violent Year
The underside of the American Dream is on display in A Most Violent Year, a drama about an immigrant trying to make his way to the top.
Chandor follows the psychologically penetrating tradition of Sidney Lumet, Alan Pakula and Francis Ford Coppola, observing crime as a microcosm of society.
Like that camel-hair coat Abel wears, A Most Violent Year is classy and commands respect, but a stronger pulse under the lapels would make us care much more.
[A] tight anti-thriller, one where the violence of the title is more implied than seen.
"A Most Violent Year" is a far more interesting film than its title implies. And a film you've never seen before.
Audience Reviews for A Most Violent Year
An immigrant's business is threatened by crime just as he has over-leveraged his assets. Oddly, A Most Violent Year is one of the least violent movies I've seen in a long time, but that doesn't mean that it's not incredibly tense and compelling. Jaw-clenching Oscar Isaac and icy-staring Jessica Chastain make compelling scene partners, and this plot puts them through the ringer. The film has been favorably compared to the work of Sidney Lumet, one of American cinema's most underrated masters, and I can see why: both director J.C. Chandor and Lumet use long, slow shots, framed in shadowy backgrounds to subtly establish a pervasively sinister mood. Anything can happen in the threatening worlds of Chandor and Lumet, and even when it doesn't, there's the feeling that the characters have only temporarily escaped tragedy. This mood leads to what I think is one of the film's great sequences. It's a chase sequence in which Abel, Isaac's character, must run down a lead on who has been stealing his business's trucks. With most chase sequences, it's easy to tell how it's going to end - the plot event has to be resolved by the character either catching the prey or not - but in this sequence, even though we know that Abel will catch the guy, we don't know whether Abel will fall further from grace and become a murderer. This moment of unpredictability is masterfully built and becomes an example of how good films can take a familiar construct - the chase - and make it fresh and exciting. Overall, A Most Violent Year is a phenomenal film, and it solidifies Isaac and Chandor as two of our most promising talents.
A meticulously constructed near-masterpiece about a dirty businessman (Oscar Isaac) who begins to see his empire collapse from under him, and he suspects those he does business with are primarily responsible for it. This is a period piece about a calm, quiet character who approaches everything with a clear mind despite being under immense pressure. Isaac's rock-solid, confident performance is the driving force behind this movie, as he is a presents a rare individual that is unlike anything we've seen from these kinds of stories. The last act of the film has a scene in it that encapsulates the movie's message as a whole, and its rare we see this kind of skill behind the camera from a gifted, fairly new big movie director like J.C. Chandor.
Chandor continues to prove that he is an incredibly talented director with this intelligent, quietly tense and exquisitely photographed dramatic thriller that plunges the characters in shadows as it follows a man fighting hard to keep his hands clean in a world of decay and corruption.
A Most Violent Year Quotes
|Anna Morales:||This was veeeery disrespectful|
|Anna Morales:||This was very disrespectful.|
|Abel Morales:||You should know that I have always taken the path that is most right. The result is never in question for me. Just what path do you take to get there? And that is what this is.|
|Abel Morales:||When it feels scary to jump, that is exactly when you jump, otherwise you end up staying in the same place your whole life, and that I can't do.|
|Abel Morales:||You will never do anything as hard as staring someone straight in the eye and telling them the truth.|
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