A Most Violent Year

Action,Crime,Drama

Absorbing drama set in the early 1980s New York finance world Discuss this article

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© ITP Images

In little over three years and three features, writer-director J.C. Chandor has launched himself into the rare company of uncompromising filmmakers with more than superheroes on the brain. A Most Violent Year, Chandor’s absorbing NYC drama, further clarifies what might be the most promising career in American movies: an urban-headed filmmaker attuned to economies of place and time, with an eye on the vacant throne of Sidney Lumet.

Set in the chilly winter of 1981 (evoked with a minimum of perms and trench coats), the movie starts with a business deal, as Abel Morales (Oscar Isaac, finely anxious), an independent gas-company owner, hopes to secure a precious piece of waterfront property. He leaves the deal with 30 days to come up with an astronomical sum of money, and it’s right at that moment that his problems mushroom: A politically minded city attorney (David Oyelowo) starts breathing down his neck with aggressive financial queries; Abel’s Brooklyn-born wife, Anna (Jessica Chastain), the daughter of a gangster, grows fidgety; and his gas trucks keep getting hijacked on the parkway.

By Joshua Rothkopf
Time Out Doha,

A Most Violent Year

  • Duration: 125
  • Released: Thu, 05 Feb
  • Language: English,Spanish
  • Director: J.C. Chandor
  • Stars: Oscar Isaac, Jessica Chastain, David Oyelowo

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