A Most Violent Year – Could be worth your time for one watch only
The name of the principal character, Abel Morales, is in fact a play on the words “Able” and “Morals” which are the central themes of the movie.
Should I see it?
It’s honestly hard to say, A Most Violent Year is a movie either you will like, not love, or you will hate it! But don’t be fooled by the title, there isn’t much violence in the movie!
War of the Movies: 6.0/10
Directed by J.C. Chandor
Released on January 30, 2015
Running Time: 225 minutes
Starring: Oscar Isaac, Jessica Chastain, David Oyelowo
During New York’s most violent year, an entrepreneur, must find ways to protect his business and his family.
The story takes place in New York in 1981, which is the most dangerous year in the city’s history. Abel Morales is an immigrant entrepreneur who puts all his strength into his successful business to make it even bigger. However, not all goes well in this dangerous city. Morales must find ways to protect his business, and his truck drivers, from the competition who beats them up to steal the goods. As his ideas for his business grows, so does the attacks, to a point where even his own family gets threatened.
Overall the story is good, I think the director projected really well his idea of a man trying his best to be honest in these hard times. Some will see Morales as someone who’s not aggressive enough to put the situation in his advantage and end this violent war between competitors. However, it would have been a whole different story line and type of movie to take that direction, so for me personally I think it was a good decision to portray Morales as an ambitious business man who finds clever ways to beat his competitors without violence and more importantly for him, without putting the reputation of his company at risk. Like they say, it takes years to build up a reputation and a second to lose it, Morales wants the best for his company and he acts like someone who has just that kind of thoughts in mind. The bad part was that the movie was long, much too long! I don’t mind if there’s no action in a movie, but I like to see the story to progress nicely until the end, but in this case, it’s the same thing that happens again and again, which doesn’t say much about the creativity of the crew! After a couple of times to see trucks being stolen, their drivers being beaten, and Morales family being attack, it gets quite old that there’s not much of a development. What you see at the beginning is mostly what you’ll see until the end, for a two hours movie, it gets quite old really fast and you wonder why they didn’t cut some parts.
The acting is fine, not phenomenal, but still it does the job quite fine. Oscar Isaac is credible but that’s about it. His performance won’t blow you away like it did for the movie Inside Llewyn Davis. However, the same cannot be said about Jessica Chastain… I had trouble believing her and many times I didn’t find the justification for the importance of her role, an importance the director gave too much to the story in my opinion. For me the best actors of the movie was the ones we didn’t see much of them, David Oyelowo as the DA who investigates on Morales company and Elyes Gabel (Who we can see in the TV Show Scorpions), as a truck driver. The way they played made it more possible for Oscar Isaac and Jessica Chastain to be good in their own roles.
If you don’t mind a slow movie, it can be worth your time for one watch. The story itself is great, but the problem comes by the way they put it on-screen, and that’s one major flaw!
For me, I’ll say that the movie was fine. I didn’t hate it, but I didn’t love it, it left me indifferent. Many parts could have been cut or replaced to make it a little more interesting.