Grimy 1981 NYC atmosphere fuels ‘A Most Violent Year’

December 31, 2014 8:14 PM

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A single brief image of blood and oil intermingling seems to be the point of “A Most Violent Year,” but this isn’t yet another exposé of grubby dealing in the Middle East. No, this time it’s grubby dealing in Middle Village. Rego Park. Far Rockaway. There are no sheiks, just a whole lot of Queens.

Call it a shaggy dog story and you’re not far off: This is a heating-oil-delivery saga that keeps threatening to turn into a mob movie but never quite does. Despite his Cosa Nostra camel-hair coat and impeccable Silvio Dante ’do, Abel (Oscar Isaac) is determined to be the one honest man among the ha...

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