Margin Call - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Margin Call Reviews

Page 2 of 99
February 27, 2016
Good movie, but also probably the most vague story I've ever seen. People fired for some reason; mysterious thumb drive; unknown terrible thing happening; people scared about stuff (losing their money--I got that one); secret bosses; shady deals; more people being scared. It's clearly about credit default swaps or collateralized debt obligations or subprime mortgage bundles or something like those in 2008. I guess that makes it more timeless so that it fits any financial crisis. After seeing the Big Short which relentlessly went after Wall Street for the mortgage crisis, this is a bit disappointing because of how it only explains the bad effects of their trades using the fear of rich traders and executives losing money.
February 23, 2016
An absolutely brilliant screenplay! JC Chandor is quickly becoming one of my favorite directors. A Most Violent Year got little to no love from the Academy last year but it is important to acknowledge that Chandor hits all points dead on. The performances are solid, the cast is brilliant, the script and dialogue are sophisticated, dynamic, and sensible, while the direction is clear, motivated, and unique. Chandor has a knack for turning otherwise boring and dull concepts into superbly crafted human dramas.
½ February 21, 2016
Phenomenal acting - loved it.
February 15, 2016
I want to start off by telling you all to prepare to pay attention. In Star Trek, if you don't understand or care for the "technobabble" then the odds are that you won't hold a significant interest in the story. In Margin Call, you're going to need to pay attention to the smallest details to fully appreciate the gravity of the situation. This film has an incredible cast that each do a phenomenal job of not only expressing what will happen if they go through with their business saving plan (no spoilers!), but they make this artificial problem feel so real. At several points throughout the film, you may feel genuine anger at certain choices as they remind you of real, major incidents. The story takes place at the beginning of the 2007/2008 financial crisis with who I more and more believe is the most underappreciated actor in Hollywood. Everyone knows who Stanley Tucci is, but I don't believe many people go to the theater just to see him. I very much believe that he's worth the price of admission in every film he stars in. That leads me to what I feel was one of the biggest negatives of the movie. Margin Call gives every character a grand introduction and tells the audience to pay attention to their every move because they're about to shake things up! Sadly, that more often than not does not come to be. Stanley Tucci, Zachary Quinto, and Paul Bettany all have important moments, but not nearly as many you will come to expect. Kevin Spacey is undoubtedly the star of this film and I don't need to mention how flawless his performance was as that is a given at this point. The problem with that however was that I felt after a certain point, almost too much attention went to Spacey. I love seeing him as much as anyone else, but the continuing A-list cast of Demi Moore, Jeremy Irons and more had to often take a back seat. I will say though that Jeremy Irons was given a bit more depth to his character and was one of the few given a chance to properly explain who his character is. I won't say exactly what happened at the end of the film, but I will say that it could have been better. It will make complete sense in the story, but you'll see what I mean when you see it. Margin Call is smart, well acted, and at least to me who enjoys business related films, entertaining. It sadly however did not take full advantage of its cast and at times could be sluggish, despite everything they had to work with. With all of that being said, it is still one of the better business movies to come out in recent years.
½ February 8, 2016
Great cast and some truly gripping performances, exception being Moore who appeared to be the token woman, and Quinto who looked baffled throughout. I admit I haven't a clue what the money troubles meant, other than being aware of the crash in history but I got the general gist. Horrifying at the cold bloodedness of the men who sold everyone down the river, then rubbed their hands together when they realised that, for them, this was just another blip, and they'd make more money on the way back up. Thought provoking and well worth a watch
½ February 6, 2016
So I liked this movie but I didnt. I thought the cast was great and the story was good. The part i didnt like was I didnt understand it. I dont understand the stock market and all that jazz and I feel that I know nothing more from watching this movie except that these big CEOs play on percentages and dont really give to licks about anyone but themselves.
½ January 22, 2016
Even though I didn't follow everything that was happening from a financial perspective, it was a tense and absorbing look at a firm on the brink in the financial crisis.

Grade: B+
½ January 15, 2016
Though the recent The Big Short gives this film a run for its money, Margin Call is still the best fictionalized account of the 2008 market crash. Firstly, Kevin Spacey's always at his best working as the unheralded anchor of fine ensemble cast. He did so as the relative newcomer amongst established heavyweights like Pacino and Lemmon in the early 90's crackling Glengarry Glenross. In this film, it's Spacey, along with Jeremy Irons as an awesome firebrand of a greedy CEO and Stanley Tucci as a worn-down risk manager, that are the veteran heavies leading a pack of young, fresh-faced wolves.

Margin Call portrays the '08 financial crises as what it truly was - corporate figures part of a pecking order that push systematic greed to its nadir. There are no buffoonish, indulgent frat boy sharks in suite ala Scorcese's wrongheaded Wolf of Wall Street. These are real people, making ill-fated decisions that wreak havoc on the world's banking system.

The acting is solid throughout the lineup. Irons plays his role as the firm's dictator with menace and verve. Kevin Spacey manages to be a sympathetic figure despite robbing other firms blind. The perenially-underused Paul Bettany really shines as Spacey's loyal lieutenant.

I've been a fan of JC Chandor's light touch. There's very little flash in his work but his movies always deliver serious gut punches. Suffice it to say, I'm eager to see future additions to his already formidable body of work.
January 11, 2016
Kevin Spacey is quite good in this.
½ January 8, 2016
Good, but a bit depressing!
½ January 5, 2016
Jeremy Irons at his best!! With a stellar cast on a topical subject!!
December 27, 2015
Incredible pace, taut direction and gripping suspense even when you know how its going to end.
Super Reviewer
December 16, 2015
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.
½ December 13, 2015
I see this time and again, people getting excited about movies unnecessarily and not getting excited when necessary. Not sure why critics and common folk alike got excited about this film. Sure, there are some things right with Margin Call, like the cast. Always great to watch the masters Spacey and Irons use their depth to fill in where action and drama lack--sign of true talent. At the same time, such lack of depth shows in those who fall short of said calibre, ie: Moore and Baker. Towards the end of the film, Moore and Tucci (another actor of considerable depth) are talking. As Tucci transcends the dialogue with his presence, Moore sucks us into a black hole of nothingness. Throughout the movie Moore merely dead pans and mumbles with little depth or interest inspired. And even though the movie is only one hour , forty-six minutes, it drags because of much unnecessary dialogue or that which does not drive the story. In writing, one is told to be relentless in editing out or splicing down. I guess Chandor will learn as he progresses.

I also understand the sentiment of the movie. Sure, the economic collapse of 2008 was important, but Wall Street was not the cause but the effect. It was the govt. created Fannie May and Freddie Mac and HUD (poor lending policies) along with the govt's enabling of banks that allowed the whole mess in the first place. The great enabler. And even though we don't get much of an explanation for the crash (other than Quinto's diatribe on poor leveraging and risk management), it's difficult for most to understand, unless one is up on investing terminology. And if you are, you probably don't need this movie for understanding. And even Iron's explanation of cause--that's just how we've always been--is rather generic and not very telling.

Overall, a decent film but no outstanding performances (material doesn't warrant it, unless you enjoy excessive dropping of the F bomb) nor insights into human nature or cause of monetary corruption. If you want to know what happened in 2008, and has happened time and again over the centuries (yes, nothing new), go listen to Niall Ferguson or Ray Dalio. Hollywood is no place to get educated
½ November 21, 2015
Stanley Tucci is brilliant in this and the reason it is worth watching. The cast is solid. This film truly does remind us the days of admiring Oliver Stone*s "Wall Street" is over. These Hedge Fund "brokers," "analysts" and their legal team should never be allowed to be filthy rich due to the amount of scheming they do amongst each other. They should have an immediate cap on their earnings. They should also have to volunteer for three years before or during their career in some form in society. The amount of earnings in this sector is the great difference in our century and the last. The salaries of the 1970 broker was not even close to the salaries today. I have a problem with the limited set in the film. They have to show the common family struggling and investing. This is also the change with past times. Only the very rich traded or dabbled in investments in past times. Many real people are hurt now. Countless real families go broke. In fact, the bubble for the financial elite does not actually exist. It is as fictional as the fake earnings of a Ponzi schemer like the infamous, long term generational cheater B. Madoff. How many decades did it take to indict and imprison this sociopath? These cold assholes represented here have to be made to realize their actions have an incredible awful tsunami effect for 97% of the population(ie 2008). The speech by Irons about the cyclical history of the economy is interesting but also completely without base; he has purposely factored out the fact many MORE common people with common savings lose everything when the greed of the financial sector is left unchecked. GREED and the BIG BONUS sub culture of Wall Street has taken over in the USA. Obama is as much an employee of Wall Street as the CEO on Wall Street. If he is oblivious to this he should wake up. In fact, the current prez could have made the car companies reform but DID NOTHING when he had the chance to do it. Why? Obama had the support of Wall Street to get to the presidency. Period. These people represented in this movie have to be better watched and indicted with LONG prison terms. Demi Moore is wooden and cold throughout this film. She is misused in this film. They should show how beautiful she is at her age and show some development to her character. I mention her personality and sexuality here for a reason. She can pull it off if she put her mind to it. Show her before the party ended with her hair down and her strong sexuality. She is an example to middle aged women that you are at the prime of your sex lives and do not let yourself go. She has an amazing body and dynamic personality at her age and should show it at all times. Instead she resembles an asexual, post DETOX robot. Moreover, the writer mistakenly did not admit the powerless woman or man that relies on a corrupted system where cheating is endemic. The Occident is supposed to be better than this. We are supposed to lead by example instead we tragically have overseas Asians emulating this to all our detriment. Spacey looks too comfortable in the role of office manager to have a conscience and have actually worked a real job. The Tucci character is brilliant and moral and completely corrupted by a system using a math wizard and a trained engineer as a financial shark. This very fact is the consequence of corruption. This indifference creates the communism and even the terrorism we detest. The history of the capitalistic Western economy is one of a free man and woman relying on a tiny bit of honesty at the top. This film shows these people largely do not exist anymore and the credit rating system is completely implicated in creating this kind of morally bankrupt travesty. We need to enforce laws. We need to share more. We need to cage the sharks.
½ October 18, 2015
A formally, attractively directed debut for J.C. Candor, Margin Call is a engrossing, interesting look at a world that many of us recognize, but few of us know.
Robert B.
Super Reviewer
½ October 3, 2015
I rate Margin Call up on account of the acting overall and as a Kevin Spacey fan (otherwise it would be a three). The shooting is fine, with some nicely framed shots. The story is OK but was a bit disappointing in terms of tension. Some scenes could have been left out in favor of flashbacks which reveal what the characters were doing in the weeks and months prior to the meltdown: who knew, what they knew, how they contributed, etc. But despite the story not being what it could have been, Margin Call is still an enjoyable film.
September 3, 2015
Great performances but I wasn't smart enough for this.
August 20, 2015
Gente muy transa en Wall Street
½ August 9, 2015
Great drama, well executed.
Page 2 of 99