A Most Violent Year

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I like this movie a lot. Much like its protagonist, Abel, this movie is steady, calm, and calculated. Writer and director J. C. Chandor is very deliberate and conservative in the lack of music and effects used throughout the film. While this style often feels slow-moving, it also has a sobering affect on its audience, creating a very raw and realistic atmosphere that demands your investment in spite of itself.

The build-up throughout is based strictly on the plot, which is exactly my kind of movie. It does not rely on any heavy suspense, music, sex, or even comic relief. I have seen very few movies to achieve anything like this.

 It is 1981 in New York City, and for a recent big shot in the oil-heating industry, Abel, it is a dangerous time to be doing business. Two simultaneous stories are told from Abel’s very grounded perspective; one story is about the cost of doing things the right way, while the other, is about the cost of operating the wrong way, ultimately illustrating that nothing comes without a cost.

Due to the precise nature of the film, I find it difficult to discuss without risk of spoiling; so instead of over-describing, I will simply say that this was one of the most under-advertised, under-watched, and underrated films of 2014.

Put it on your list. This movie should not be obscure!

 

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