Margin Call - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Margin Call Reviews

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Ben Walters
Time Out
January 10, 2012
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 | Original Score: 3/5
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Laremy Legel
Film.com
November 29, 2011
Carefully crafted performances and taut pacing carry the day.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
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Stephen Farber
Hollywood Reporter
November 11, 2011
Topical drama about the financial crisis lacks the visceral punch to grab an audience.
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Justin Chang
Variety
November 11, 2011
A methodical, coolly absorbing boardroom thriller.
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Stephen Cole
Globe and Mail
November 11, 2011
Spacey is mesmerizing as Sam, a weary, aging lion losing his appetite for antelope. And Irons plays the villain with magisterial ease.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Peter Howell
Toronto Star
November 11, 2011
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.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
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Tom Long
Detroit News
October 28, 2011
That Chandor manages to find the blood in each character is accomplishment enough; that he manages to make his drama both relevant and timeless portends a bright future indeed.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
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Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
October 28, 2011
Margin Call is the movie Oliver Stone tried to make with Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, only a lot less flashy and melodramatic -- and sharper, smarter and with a much stronger cast.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Bill Goodykoontz
Arizona Republic
October 27, 2011
A terrific piece of entertainment.
Full Review | Original Score: 4.5/5
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David Denby
New Yorker
October 24, 2011
Margin Call is one of the strongest American films of the year and easily the best Wall Street movie ever made.
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Christopher Orr
The Atlantic
October 21, 2011
Chandor's film is not a tale of the plots and counterplots of conniving bankers. It is a disaster movie, in which even the Masters of the Universe are running for their lives.
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Lisa Kennedy
Denver Post
October 21, 2011
Writer-director J.C. Chandor then plunges us into a dark night of quietly nasty reckoning as it becomes clear to the firm's honchos that the calamitous risk assessments one of their own was working on might well be true.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Dana Stevens
Slate
October 21, 2011
This may be the first post-2008 feature film to dramatize the crisis itself, rather than using it as a backdrop for an outraged harangue against the banks.
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J. R. Jones
Chicago Reader
October 21, 2011
The real strength of '[Chandor's] debut feature is how persuasively it depicts the fishbowl world of high finance, whose executives seem incapable of seeing past their towering salaries and privileged lives.
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Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
October 21, 2011
It's all fairly entertaining but also confusing for anybody who doesn't get the Wall Street lingo.
Full Review | Original Score: B
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Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
October 21, 2011
It sees its characters not as villains but, simply, as business people - with all that means.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Michael O'Sullivan
Washington Post
October 21, 2011
A smart, harrowing and mordant drama set inside a fictional Wall Street firm at the trip-wire moment just before the 2008 financial collapse.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Lou Lumenick
New York Post
October 21, 2011
Though fictionalized and understated, "Margin Call'' effectively voices the same outrage that the Occupy Wall Street movement is so loudly proclaiming.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Elizabeth Weitzman
New York Daily News
October 21, 2011
How good is J.C. Chandor's debut? So good I was ready to buy what he was selling even though I didn't entirely understand it.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
October 20, 2011
A taut, smart and remarkably timely thriller...
| Original Score: 3/4
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Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
October 20, 2011
It opens with a bloodbath, builds to an apocalypse and ends with a gravedigger doggedly excavating the earth. By the time the story is told, the blood -- sorry, red ink -- is surging down long corridors like a tidal wave.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Mary F. Pols
TIME Magazine
October 20, 2011
Margin Call might have lost me completely if it weren't for Spacey, who delivers his meatiest, most nuanced work in years.
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Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
October 20, 2011
Chilling and enjoyable in unequal measure. Entertainment predominates, but entertainment with smarts, and a well-honed edge.
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Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
October 20, 2011
Margin Call is rife with smart, sharp performances.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
October 20, 2011
"Margin Call" takes ripped-from-the-headlines events and dramatizes them for all they're worth. Which turns out to be quite a lot.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
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Wesley Morris
Boston Globe
October 20, 2011
The severe imbalance between argot and emotion makes it impossible to care much about most of what we see.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
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Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
October 20, 2011
Margin Call is an explosive drama that speaks lucidly and scarily to the times we live in.
| Original Score: 3/4
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Leah Rozen
TheWrap
October 20, 2011
There are a lot of sharp performances here, a chief pleasure of the film.
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Andrew O'Hehir
Salon.com
October 20, 2011
Chandor's impressive debut film does indeed capture its cast of high-powered bankers as human beings, and features one of Kevin Spacey's best screen performances as the firm's middle-aged ace salesman.
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A.O. Scott
New York Times
October 20, 2011
It is a tale of greed, vanity, myopia and expediency that is all the more damning for its refusal to moralize.
| Original Score: 4/5
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Joe Williams
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
October 20, 2011
Within the artful fluctuations of heroism and villainy, Spacey stands out with a performance that evokes memories of "Glengarry Glen Ross."
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
October 20, 2011
"Margin Call" is on the facile side, but it's well-crafted and smartly acted.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Scott Tobias
AV Club
October 20, 2011
[It] brings this dangerous numbers game back to the trading-floor desktops and mahogany-covered conference tables where it belongs.
Full Review | Original Score: B
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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
October 20, 2011
"Margin Call" employs an excellent cast who can make financial talk into compelling dialogue.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
October 19, 2011
It captures how our financial institutions became secret havens to a selfishness so undiluted it was sociopathic. You watch this drama of big money with a tingle of toxic fascination.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
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Rex Reed
New York Observer
October 19, 2011
As a movie, it's so tightly framed you gasp from claustrophobia. As a film of cryptic boredom, I cannot believe the actors were able to say their lines without cue cards.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
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James Berardinelli
ReelViews
October 19, 2011
Margin Call may not be telling things exactly as they were, but it's close enough to provide an uncomfortable glimpse behind the curtain. And it's an engrossing "thinking" thriller as well.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Joshua Rothkopf
Time Out
October 18, 2011
Escalation is the main thing Margin Call has going for it, as more substantial actors are trotted out to have their way with Chandor's realistic-sounding boardroom dialogue.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
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Melissa Anderson
Village Voice
October 18, 2011
Chandor's debut feature audaciously asks us to empathize with obscenely overpaid risk analysts and their bosses, a gambit that fails... largely because his characters are little more than mouthpieces for blunt speechifying and Mamet-like outbursts
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Glenn Kenny
MSN Movies
October 18, 2011
The atmosphere is evocative and the story reasonably tense, but the movie as a whole is surprisingly dry...
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
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Christy Lemire
Associated Press
October 18, 2011
Spacey does some of the best work we've seen from him in a while as a once-confident man who's now questioning everything upon which he built his cushy life.
| Original Score: 3/4
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David Edelstein
New York Magazine/Vulture
October 17, 2011
A hell of a picture. And shrewd.