A Most Violent Year (2014) ★★☆☆☆

A Most Violent Year revels in it’s own self importance. a_most_violent_year

Set in New York City in 1981, Abel Morales (Oscar Isaac) is on the verge of closing a huge expansion deal for his fuel business. With only 30 days to close the deal, he strives to hold fast to his ideals but is forced by reason of necessity to compromise them. The narrative seems promising, though only in writing.

A Most Violent Year has captured the gritty realism of city life. Despite setting the mood without fault, it tends to feel as though the narrative is holding something back, even during its infrequent moments of promised violence. It does have its good moments, but they are far and few between. Isaac’s best character trait was the ‘don’t trust me’ look, apart from that, there wasn’t anything special as such. Chastain presents a good performance, though her character is so changeable from one scene to the next, that it is hard to figure out whether her relationship with Abel is a business deal or whether there is actually any affection involved. Moreover, this film feels like it’s trying to be something rather than actually being that special something.

Overall, for a film with the title of ‘A Most Violent Year’, it’s not violent at all, until the very end of the film. It does not live up to its potential. Having had high hopes for this film, I was left disappointed.

9 thoughts on “A Most Violent Year (2014) ★★☆☆☆

  1. I’m sorry to read about your disappointment. I have high hopes for this one too, particularly because I have loved J.C Chandor’s previous two offerings (Margin Call and All is Lost). I’ll still give it a go, but I’ll proceed with lowered expectations.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Good review, and I think a lot of people echo your sentiments.

    While I enjoyed the film, I have no desire to write a review of it. I just felt it was a bit bland. Nothing about it really stands out for me. I wouldn’t actively promote people to watch it or not.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I suppose everyone has their own tastes but I for one really liked this film. It’s a great period-piece and one of those slow-burning dramas that aren’t all that invigorating but still very engaging. J.C Chandor for me is the next Sidney Lumet, his story-telling ability is very reminiscent to Lumet’s but he still has a long way to go


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