A Most Violent Year (2014)


Director : J C Chandor
Starring : Oscar Isaac, Jessica Chastain, David Oyelowo, Elyes Gabel .USA. 2h 5m

This film kicks off with an amazing intro song Inner City Blues by Marvin Gaye as Abel (Oscar Isaac), possibly the only carefree scene in the movie, but it good vibes dwindle rapidly but are replaced by the smooth sounds of 1981 new york, and we’re treated to a rare intense movie that mimics the smooth ruthlessness of any classic crime drama. The grit of the movie is all to do with the business transactions, keeping on the straight and narrow while in a dog eat dog world.

Abel Morales (Oscar Isaacs) is trying to find his footing in the field transportation of oil, he’s just managed to find the perfect site which he has secured with a down payment on promise to a local Jewish family. his only problem is that his business and himself have been targeted by local mobsters and is being scrutinized by the local police force. Every corner the he turns he finds himself getting entangled within the criminal World you and his wife Anna has mob ties in her family pop over table wants to do is to go straight up his business.

Fitting in between The Friends Of Eddie Coyle (1973) and Serpico (1973), this drama has its main character chasing his moral compass all over town while trying to keep his nose in a cut throat dodgy dealings business.

This intense 80’s crime drama…

The story is gripping not only does the flow well with no hiccups, there is an edge of mystery as Abel character attempts to try and find out who is sabotaging his company injuring his staff and potentially trying to shut him down for good and basically everybody we had each other’s throats there’s also the constant threat of hands on input from his wife’s family which is up constantly trying to distance himself from, it’s quite interesting to see a man try to do business a such a way, and honestly in some of the negotiation scenes,  Oscar himself comes across as granite and Robert De Niro in any of his prolific crime roles, especially when he’s closing a deal and gives a dead and gravely serious stare. He’s supported by his amazing wife, who’s grown up in the business and Anna (Jessica Chastain) is a pure mobster princess with her sharp cut coat and long talon nails

The director JC Chandor manages to gradually progress the plot from here to reality into something more stock and dangerous, as  able starts out with full control over any situation into not knowing where to turn next as the carpet is ripped from underneath them and the walls of the maze close in. Soon the passion of money becomes a poignant message by the end of the film driving the characters morals and giving us creepily dark ending which is fitting for a movie that keeps us on a constant tipping point.


Rating 8/10

Related  – The Friends Of Eddie Coyle (1973) Serpico (1973)
Lists – Gangster Flicks, Trying to come straight
Spotlight – Oscar Isaac, Jessica Chastain
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