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A Most Violent Year
A crime drama set in New York City during the winter of 1981, statistically the most dangerous year in the city's history. This story plays out within a maze of rampant political and industry...  View more >

Starring Jessica Chastain, Oscar Isaac, Albert Brooks...  View more >

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Please Note: Reader Reviews are submitted by the readers of The BigScreen Cinema Guide and represent their own personal opinions regarding this movie, and do not represent the views of The BigScreen Cinema Guide, or any of its associated entities.

May 26, 2015
"A Most Violent Year" is a rarity in moviemaking. It's largely a dialog-driven piece, and the action that exists serves to advance the storyline, not to check off some box on a "how to succeed in the movie business" form the director downloaded off the Internet.

While the movie centers around the struggles of Oscar Isaac's character to keep his fuel oil delivery business going in the midst of dangerous competitive pressures as well as legal pressures from the District Attorney's office, the movie is as much Jessica Chastain's as it is Isaac's. She plays his wife, mother of his children, and business partner.

While both seem to have a violent tendency lurking just beneath the surface, you get the feeling that she's the more dangerous one of the two. If she had been in some of the situations that he was in, I'm thinking the outcome might have been very different. Chastain pulls it off perfectly, and I can't think of any actress that could have done it better.

Combined, the two provide a compelling portrait of what it might have been like to do business in 1981 New York City; during the "most violent year" of city's history. You're never quite sure how it's going to turn out, and the storyline as told through some excellent performances recalls earlier "gangster" movies where the audience wasn't hit over the head with everything but rather was left to anticipate the next turn of events.

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