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Smart, tightly wound, and solidly acted, Margin Call turns the convoluted financial meltdown of '08 into gripping, thought-provoking drama.
All Critics (163)
| Top Critics (42)
| Fresh (143)
| Rotten (20)
| DVD (2)
A shrewd and confident drama.
Chandor proffers a cross-section of a Lehman Brothers-esque company as the realisation dawns that sub-prime speculation has brought the market to an ominous tipping point.
Carefully crafted performances and taut pacing carry the day.
Topical drama about the financial crisis lacks the visceral punch to grab an audience.
A methodical, coolly absorbing boardroom thriller.
Spacey is mesmerizing as Sam, a weary, aging lion losing his appetite for antelope. And Irons plays the villain with magisterial ease.
Margin Call is worth seeing for its cast and for its intentions, but it's easy to imagine how the whole thing could have been done better.
Not only does it offer no new insights into an issue everyone needs to understand; it's also about as enthralling as watching an investment banker pace his office all day while alternately talking and yelling into the telephone glued onto his ear.
Vague on details regarding the company or the reasons for its impending demise, the film is far more meticulous in painting the possible final hours for this company that unfolds almost like a reverse werewolf tale.
Chandor is at times fortunate to have such a talented cast, all of whom provide strong performances.
Margin Call ranks among the top dramas ever made about Wall Street.
Chandor creates a gripping and intelligent drama that relies on a careful pace, a very sharp ensemble cast and constant first-rate dialogue to depict with a fascinating and acute realism the 24 hours prior to the financial crisis of 2008 at an investment firm.
Owing a huge deal to David Mamet and his cunning, no nonsense, hyper realistic dialogue; first time writer-director J. C Chandor weaves an equally engrossing character driven exploration of capitalist excesses. A top notch cast that uses Chandor's words as fists in the struggle to remain in their unnamed company, which resemblances the extinct Lehman Brothers and the causes that led to its downfall. Especial mention to the almost reptilian-like head honcho of the firm, an impeccable and sinister Jeremy Irons.
A re-telling of the 2008 financial crisis that casts it as Greek tragedy and very nearly respects the three classical unities, covering one main action (the collapse of this firm's solubility), one main physical space (the office, though it does branch out a little, to a car, a bar and a porch), and lasting not more than 24 hours. The ensemble cast is excellent, the mood is dark, the events are totally believable, the stakes are high, and on top of all that, there's a speech that, in my opinion, supplants Gordon Gecko's "Greed is good" in Oliver Stone's Wall Street, which I watched after this and found lacking in comparison. One of the more underrated films of the past few years - hard-hitting, essential viewing.
"I liked the movie. I thought the cast was excellent as well as most of the acting. I think some characters were not needed (cough, cough, Penn Badgley). I also thought the film was extremely boring at times. I only saw the movie for the cast and wanted to see them all act together. I think they all did a great job. The story is interesting, but it really starts losing steam quite fast. It's not something I would see again."
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