Margin Call

"Excellent"

Margin Call Review


This lucid drama about the start of the current economical collapse is gripping, even if its structure feels stagey: basically a lot of scenes of people talking in offices. But solid performances and an accessible script make it resonate.

When risk-assessment expert Eric (Tucci) is sacked in a wave of downsizing, he gives a file to his employee Peter (Quinto) with the words "be careful". Sure enough, this document suggests an impending apocalypse for the company. So Peter calls in his colleague Seth (Badgley) and they take it to their boss (Bettany), who escalates it upwards over one long night to his boss (Spacey), the top executives (Baker and Moore) and the company owner (Irons). And they make a decision to do something unthinkable.

The point seems to be that greedy people will do whatever it takes to hold on to their money, even if it means sacrificing their most loyal colleagues in the process. And even if it cripples the entire Wall Street system for years to come. Intriguingly, this huge story plays out in the intensely personal actions of these terrified men (and one woman), all worrying about what it means for them. And of course, the top dogs will manage to make money out of the chaos even as their underlings are ruined for life.

Yes, this is an extremely bleak exploration of the fall of capitalism, and the actors are terrific at playing people who always put their own needs before everyone else's. In one chilling conversation, Bettany rants about his disdain for the "normal people" who provide all the cash these wealthy people spend.

None of these people care that what they are doing will destroy "normal" lives.

While this statement is a bit obvious, writer-director Chandor also stirs in some literary elements such as Spacey's symbolically dying dog. And the performances that bring the film to life, with especially strong turns by Bettany, Quinto and Badgley. Spacey and Irons are remarkably restrained, never bursting into Mamet-like word explosions, but still powerful. Together, they convey the impending sense of doom in a way we vividly feel. But then we're living in their mess now, so we feel it every day now.



Margin Call

Facts and Figures

Run time: 107 mins

In Theaters: Thursday 29th September 2011

Box Office USA: $5.4M

Box Office Worldwide: $5.1M

Budget: $3.4M

Distributed by: Roadside Attractions

Production compaines: Lions Gate

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 88%
Fresh: 136 Rotten: 18

IMDB: 7.1 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: J.C. Chandor

Producer: Robert Ogden Barnum, Michael Benaroya, Neal Dodson, Joe Jenckes, Corey Moosa,

Starring: as Sam Rogers, as Will Emerson, as John Tuld, as Peter Sullivan, as Heather Burke, as Sarah Robertson, as Jared Cohen, as Seth Bregman, as Mary Rogers, as Eric Dale, as Ramesh Shah, Susan Blackwell as Lauren Bratberg, as Executive Assistant

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

The Party Movie Review

The Party Movie Review

Comedies don't get much darker than this pitch-black British movie, written and directed by Sally...

The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) Movie Review

The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) Movie Review

Noah Baumbach (Frances Ha) is on his way to becoming the new Woody Allen, which...

6 Below Movie Review

6 Below Movie Review

Based on an astonishing true survival story, this film is subtitled "Miracle on the Mountain",...

Mother Movie Review

Mother Movie Review

Darren Aronofsky doesn't make fluffy movies, and has only had one genuine misfire (2014's Noah)....

Blade Runner 2049 Movie Review

Blade Runner 2049 Movie Review

It's been 35 years since Ridley Scott's 1982 sci-fi classic, which was set in 2019....

On the Road Movie Review

On the Road Movie Review

Wolf Alice fans are likely to be rather disappointed by this hybrid documentary-drama about the...

Borg/McEnroe Movie Review

Borg/McEnroe Movie Review

Skilfully made by Swedish filmmaker Janus Metz (the award-winning Armadillo), this film is essentially a...

Advertisement
The Glass Castle Movie Review

The Glass Castle Movie Review

There are quite a few terrific moments in this true story, based on the memoir...

Home Again Movie Review

Home Again Movie Review

Reese Witherspoon is so likeable that she can carry even the most hackneyed of romantic...

Brimstone Movie Review

Brimstone Movie Review

An unnerving Western with a sharp female perspective, this film is a series of gruesome...

Kingsman: The Golden Circle Movie Review

Kingsman: The Golden Circle Movie Review

Two years ago, Kingsman: The Secret Service seemed to come out of nowhere, ruffling feathers...

Goodbye Christopher Robin Movie Review

Goodbye Christopher Robin Movie Review

This biopic about Winnie the Pooh author A.A. Milne may look like the usual lushly...

Wind River Movie Review

Wind River Movie Review

After writing the superb Sicario and Hell or High Water, Taylor Sheridan moves back into...

The Vault Movie Review

The Vault Movie Review

Filmmakers Dan Bush and Conal Byrne attempt a mash-up of a frantic heist movie with...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.