User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 118 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 99 out of 118
  2. Negative: 11 out of 118

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  1. Oct 26, 2011
    Margin Call is this years depiction of the current economic crisis and how it might have come about. Much like 2009s Up In The Air and Januarys The Company Men its main aim is to say something about the morally corrupt world we live in and how we live with the fact we know its morally corrupt.
    Margin Call is about a stock market company that is downsizing and lets go a majority of its
    staff. However one of the people they fired (Stanley Tucci) has discovered a problem with the companys method of buying and selling. He tells one of the few people who wasn't let go and the whole firm goes into crisis management mode as they try to prepare for the next day of sales.
    However unlike The Company Men (which is a fine film in terms of acting) Margin Call has an interesting story, a well structured script and it knows where it wants to end up. All its characters, be they young up and comers like Zachary Quintos Peter or middle aged cynics like Paul Bettanys Will have a tale to tell and some great material to work with. For instance Quinto has some fantastic moments especially in his initial reaction to the crisis as he struggles to come to terms with what he has been given. The acting in Margin Call is nearly flawless with the film showing what Bettany can do when he isn't fighting angels or vampires. However the standout of the film has to be Kevin Spacey whose distaste in what he has to do over the course of the evening makes for some excellent scenes. That being said Demi Moore does make the film suffer in that she doesn't put much into her performance, she tries to go for a subdued performance because it suits the under appreciated nature of her character but in all honesty she just looks bored.
    The script manages to make all the major characters feel fleshed out and real despite how many there are while also telling a gripping and tense story as you really don't know who is going to make it out of the night with a job. It does seem like there is a new movie every six months about the financial crisis but regardless of the played out nature of the source material, Margin Call still manages to be fresh and entertaining. Overall Margin Call is a cautionary tale about human nature and what the rich and powerful will do to stay rich and powerful, that has beautifully acted characters, a nuanced script and a fast pace to keep you entertained. Well worth a watch.
  2. Oct 23, 2011
    It's definitely the best Wall street movie I've ever seen. Very well-written: complex characters and smart lines. It makes you want to become rich by every means necessary. It's that good!
  3. Jan 4, 2012
    This was very close to being the perfect movie. It was a great story, it was based on the reality of the world around us, the dialog was authentic, and the actors were brilliant. What more can the critics ask for? It just shows how powerful film can really be--without violence, without special effects, and without sex. Of course, the f-word was a special guest star, but unfortunately that is how the prostitute-addicted, drinking, lying robots on Wall Street really talk. The plot centers on a company that is basically a nonentity--there is no real product, no real service to humanity. These companies are merely parasites on our society whose function is to move money around, while their people get paid astronomical salaries for being a lot like Scarecrow in the Wizard of Oz--they prance around singing, "if I only had a brainâ Expand
  4. Aug 28, 2012
    Having worked in investment banking, I found this movie very interesting. Although there is a clear bias against the trader, many of the perceptions and ethical values conveyed are somewhat accurate based on my experience. It provides good information how the system works, and how it was destroyed. Additionally, it was well acted, and has a very unique and attention-holding plot. I definitely recommend it! Expand
  5. Oct 2, 2012
    Almost perfect. The film's contemporaneous relevance might be compared to certain stage plays in Shakespeare's time. The acting here is intoxicating in its honesty; the story-telling is exquisitely humble. To appreciate this movie solely as a "cautionary tale" is to overlook the true value proposition.
  6. Feb 4, 2013
    Margin Call is a Masterpiece. Firstly because it is by far the most realistic film ever made about business in general and finance especially, even topping now number two Oliver Stone's Wall Street. Secondly, the cast is impeccable. Irons, Baker, Moore, Spacey, Bettany, Tucci and Quinto are at their finest hour. And thirdly, from the very first minute until the end, Chandor creates this heavy, dark and oppressing atmosphere that puts you emotionally and nervously on the trading seat. Expand

Generally favorable reviews - based on 38 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 32 out of 38
  2. Negative: 1 out of 38
  1. Reviewed by: Ian Freer
    Jan 9, 2012
    Chock-full of terrific performances, Margin Call is the kind of gripping, grown-up film that these days is usually found on the small screen.
  2. 100
    Chandor's shrewdest bit of business is figuring out how to make an A-list movie with a $3.5-million budget. Solution: buy low, sell high. Hire last decade's A-list – Spacey, Irons and Demi Moore – and give them their best parts in years.
  3. Reviewed by: Rene Rodriguez
    Nov 3, 2011
    Margin Call doesn't demonize its characters, nor does it absolve them of their sins. The movie simply shows, without judgment or anger, how our economic crisis came to be.