Margin Call (2011)

TOMATOMETER

AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: Smart, tightly wound, and solidly acted, Margin Call turns the convoluted financial meltdown of '08 into gripping, thought-provoking drama.

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Movie Info

Set in the high-stakes world of the financial industry, Margin Call is an entangling thriller involving the key players at an investment firm during one perilous 24-hour period in the early stages of the 2008 financial crisis. When an entry-level analyst unlocks information that could prove to be the downfall of the firm, a roller-coaster ride ensues as decisions both financial and moral catapult the lives of all involved to the brink of disaster. Writer/director J.C. Chandor's enthralling first feature is a stark and bravely authentic portrayal of the financial industry and its denizens as they confront the decisions that shape our global future. -- (C) Roadside Attractions
Rating:
R (for language)
Genre:
Mystery & Suspense
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
 limited
On DVD:
Runtime:
Studio:

Cast

Kevin Spacey
as Sam Rogers
Paul Bettany
as Will Emerson
Jeremy Irons
as John Tuld
Zachary Quinto
as Peter Sullivan
Penn Badgley
as Seth Bregman
Simon Baker
as Jared Cohen
Mary McDonnell
as Mary Rogers
Demi Moore
as Sarah Robertson
Stanley Tucci
as Eric Dale
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Critic Reviews for Margin Call

All Critics (155) | Top Critics (42)

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.

Full Review… | January 10, 2012
Time Out
Top Critic

Carefully crafted performances and taut pacing carry the day.

Full Review… | November 28, 2011
Film.com
Top Critic

Topical drama about the financial crisis lacks the visceral punch to grab an audience.

Full Review… | November 11, 2011
Hollywood Reporter
Top Critic

A methodical, coolly absorbing boardroom thriller.

Full Review… | November 11, 2011
Variety
Top Critic

Spacey is mesmerizing as Sam, a weary, aging lion losing his appetite for antelope. And Irons plays the villain with magisterial ease.

Full Review… | November 10, 2011
Globe and Mail
Top Critic

It's a realistic take on what happens when high-flying money speculators suddenly hit ground. It's also a great calling card for J.C. Chandor, the writer/director making his feature debut.

November 10, 2011
Toronto Star
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Margin Call

What a gripping, thought-provoking drama this is, with a very careful pace and an intelligent script that relies on a sharp cast and compelling dialogue to depict with a fascinating, acute realism the 24 hours prior to the financial crisis of 2008 at an investment firm.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer

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.

Pierluigi Puccini
Pierluigi Puccini

Super Reviewer

½

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.

Daniel Perry
Daniel Perry

Super Reviewer

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