Margin Call is such a cut throat, razor sharp and bleak entity of a film that coming out the other end of it feeling any sort of happiness or sense of motivation is practically impossible. This is a superbly acted, well written and wonderfully shot drama, that just cant stop pulling the building blocks from underneath you and its characters, it a chore to watch, but a bloody good one. Margin Call follows a stock brokers firm, on what should be an ugly day of laying the majority of their workforce, the firm find their problems are only beginning when one of the higher ups they just let go, happened to be trying to solve a massive problem that is about to throw the firm into liquidation. It then turns into a knife wielding, metaphorically, viceral slaughter house, with jobs being axed, career suicide and potentially the fall of the entire market. This is a brilliant drama and would most likely make a great piece of theatre, this is an extremely static piece, so in order to make Margin Call really shine, a huge amount is asked of the cast, but by christ do every single one of them deliver. Kevin Spacey, Paul Betanny, Zackery Quinto, Demi Moore, Jeremy Irons, Mary McDonnell, Stanley Tucci and Simon Baker make up a total tour de force in the acting department. This is a cast to die for and here, all of them are on their A game. The majority of characters have a wealth of scenes together varying on sheer ensemble or just the perfect work of 2 actors dualoguing and it is wonderful. Its hard to actually pick a specific one from the bunch to commend, Spacey is emotional and mature, Qunito is astounding as always as a rocket scientist, Demi Moore is viceral and breath taking, Stanley Tucci is running on raw emotion throughout, Jeremy Irons is just ferocious as the big boss and even the 3 minutes of screen time that she gets, Mary McDonnell adds a huge weight of emotion, into an already emotional roller coaster. The script is extremely hardcore, it is relentless with numbers and terminology that people alien to the sales world will definately have issues digesting, however J.C. Chandon does manage to wedge in some nice touches in order to simplify the jargon being used. There is an amazing moment when everyone gets together in one room, an emergency meeting at 3am and the company are trying to explain what has gone wrong and at that point as a viewer you, yourself are still unclear to exactly what extent the damage may be, when Jeremy Irons' character explains he isnt a genius, he just got to where he is by sheer brutality and that he needs that information simplified so that a child could understand it. Some viewers may see this as writing that doesnt fully believe in its own power, but for me it adds an even deeper layer of meaning and also slaps a huge exclamation mark over how the company got in the mess, in the first place. This piece is so sparse and so gutterall, that there is barely any music what so ever used, throughout its run time, this forces you into conversation and makes you want to decipher the magnitude of what is really going on. It's simply but wonderfully shot, very unique and extremely polished beyond belief, and it has to be. But where the find does falter slightly is its pacing. This is not a long movie, however due to the nature of it and its desolate aura, it feels like you have endured so much and you realise you have only been watching for just shy of an hour. It's a minor gripe, but there are a few points that for me could have been cut or tightened, just a touch, in order to hold my attention just that little bit longer. Also one of the characters, is so redundant and only serves to act as a gateway between characters or to show the little guy, that his inclusion feels a bit alien compared to the rest of the ensemble, im not sure if it was either the acting or the writing but every time this one character was on screen, he almost felt like an eye sore rather than an essential part of the mix. With those 2 gripes aside, Margin Call is a wonderfully tense and relentless film, its not everyones cup of tea, but if you love watching actors verbally batter each other back and forth, this is the film for you.