A Most Violent Year (2014) ★★☆☆☆
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 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…
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