'A Most Violent Year,' But A Film With Restraint

December 31, 2014 5:05 PM

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Abel Morales needs people to see him as a good guy. As the heating oil salesman in A Most Violent Year grows his mini-empire in 1981 New York City, he has several encounters with people he clearly despises—corporate rivals playing dirty, federal investigators, bankers denying loans—where he makes a point to "understand," "appreciate," or "respect the work that you do." He wants his enemies to feel the same way about him.

And writer-director J.C. Chandor, who also made the brilliant theatrical Wall Street thriller Margin Call and the survival tale All Is Lost, surrounds Abel with a movie that earns its respect.

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