Movie Review: A Most Violent Year (2014)


If you’re the boss of a company, you want what’s best for said company. So therefore you might have to do some stuff you might not have wanted to do in the first place to keep it running. But you also have to think about your family (if you have one), and make sure they are healthy and good. It is quite the dilemma.

Ladies and gentlemen, prepare for… “A Most Violent Year”.

We follow Abel Morales (Oscar Isaac), an ambitious immigrant in New York City, year 1981. He runs a prtty successful business that runs oil. But as his trucks get robbed time and time gain, he has to find a way to keep his business safe. He also have to make sure his wife (Jessica Chastain) and kids are safe. And I found it all very interesting. Not only that but I was also riveted by the story and how it unfolded. And even though the story is a work of fiction, it still felt like something that could be real. It is also surprisingly suspenseful, even though it isn’t really a thriller. And don’t get fooled by the title, this is a pretty quiet drama, not an action movie. The plot also had some prety great twists here and tehre And I found it all to make a pretty great story.

The characters are fleshed out, entertaining and actually kind of unique in a sense. Oscar Isaac gives a terrific performance as Abel, a man who wants to go legit but gets forced into some not as legit stuff. So in a way he is kind of like Michael Corleone from “The Godfather”. Jessica Chastain as his wife was also pretty great, but that doesn’t surprise me since she’s been great in other things. David Oyelowo played a D.A. ‘(District attorney) in the movie and he was pretty great as well. Also, Albert Brooks was in this movie and while not as fantastic as he was in “Drive”, he was still great in this movie. Every performance in this movie was pretty great, I found no weak link here.

The score for the movie was done by Alex Ebert (Sidenote: No relation to movie critic Roger Ebert). And I gotta say, it is a very ominous and even a little bone-chilling score… and I fucking love it. Sure, it’s not as dark and terrifying as “Requiem For a Dream” (not comparing, just saying), but it is still pretty bone-chilling and haunting. It is also very well done and sounds perfect. It is definitely something I’d want for a suspenseful movie. I mean, some of the suspense actually comes from the score. So I do think that it really fit the movie perfectly and actually showed overall quality as a score/soundtrack.

“A Most Violent Year” was directed by J.C. Chandor. And while I haven’t seen anything by him yet, I have been curious about his two previous movies for a while. One of them is “All is Lost” and the other one is “Margin Call”. Anyway, Chandor did a great job directing this movie, the shots line up perfectly and it is overall very well-directed. I also really liked the cinematography by Bradford Young, it looked fantastic. His cinematography almost gives the movie a David Fincher-esque style/quality to it, and I love that shit. I also gotta mention that the writing in the movie is pretty fucking great. The dialogue is fantastic and it all feels very natural. Also, Chandor is the writer of the movie, so he did two great things with this movie!

This movie has been received pretty damn well. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 90% positive rating with a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 79/100. And on it has a score of 7,1/10.

“A Most Violent Year” is one of the most surprisingly great movies I have seen in a while. It has a fantastic plot with some great twists, fantastic performances & characters, a terrific score, great direction, excellent cinematography and great writing. Time for my final score. Jeff! Get over here! *Punches Jeff in face*. Maybe that was a little too violent, huh Jeff? My final score for “A Most Violent Year” is a 9,87/10. It most definitely gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.
Seal of Approval

My review of “A Most Violent Year” is now completed.

Onwards to J.C. Chandor’s other movies!

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