Roadside Attractions | Release Date: October 21, 2011
7.2
USER SCORE
Generally favorable reviews based on 162 Ratings
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8
EvanduqOct 24, 2011
This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. First off, this is not a tense Wall Street thriller. This is a tight drama about an economic titanic without the sappy love story. I am happy to have gotten to see this on VOD. I like a lot about the film. It has a great cast, the acting is professional, and the dialog and plot work like a finely tuned machine. That said, the only thing that is really off putting about this film is the average level cinematography. I don't know if it looked like this in theaters, but the aspect ratio and lighting didn't quite do justice to the epic scale of the story. This film is definitely worth seeing if you don't go into it expecting more of an thriller. There are a lot of speeches, and it comes off more as an exercise in dramatic theater rather than fully cinematic experience. However, it works. Expand
3 of 3 users found this helpful30
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8
lahaineDec 12, 2011
This is an exceptional piece of independent cinema. Margin Call tackles the '08 financial crisis in the shrewdest, most charismatic way possible; with its brisk story telling, cool character development and a satisfying close. Chandor'sThis is an exceptional piece of independent cinema. Margin Call tackles the '08 financial crisis in the shrewdest, most charismatic way possible; with its brisk story telling, cool character development and a satisfying close. Chandor's direction made this a tangible, thrilling and understandable yet complex viewing experience; clearly outlining the root of the disaster and its unfortunate consequences. Its also important to mention the ensemble cast, who all gave powerhouse performances in this small movie. Very well done. Expand
2 of 2 users found this helpful20
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9
hoops2448Oct 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 andMargin 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.
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2 of 2 users found this helpful20
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8
radumilanJan 3, 2012
This is a good movie. Great actor selection, Kevin Spacey and Jeremy Irons really making the difference. Comedy, drama and action in one place. It is a must-see.
1 of 1 users found this helpful10
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7
SpangleJan 31, 2014
A great cast and really solid direction, help this film about the financial crisis take off. As much as the film, at times, attempted to try and put the issues into simple terms, however, it still seemed confusing at times and unless you haveA great cast and really solid direction, help this film about the financial crisis take off. As much as the film, at times, attempted to try and put the issues into simple terms, however, it still seemed confusing at times and unless you have some knowledge of the field, you'll be left sitting there confused. Luckily, I understood some of what they were talking about, but certainly not all of it and that hampered the enjoyablility for me. Otherwise, the characterization of the many characters was done really well and the acting, across the board, was really good. Overall, a solid film. Expand
1 of 1 users found this helpful10
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10
TheoSOct 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!
2 of 3 users found this helpful21
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8
tonyGreenApr 13, 2017
A smart subversion of the thriller genre. This is really a think piece around capitalism, and the characters that operate at its abstracted central vortex, the Financial Industry. A great cast, and good pacing make for a grown-up film thatA smart subversion of the thriller genre. This is really a think piece around capitalism, and the characters that operate at its abstracted central vortex, the Financial Industry. A great cast, and good pacing make for a grown-up film that will exercise the mind rather than raise the pulse. There are no real villains, no real danger, but some fine acting and a few excellent dramatic speeches Expand
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7
nutterjrMar 16, 2012
An engrossing drama about the shrewdness of the financial industry with a wonderful cast that delivers great perfomances (OK there is Demi Moore in it as well, but she has a small part) with Jeremy Irons standing out.
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8
Andys_ReviewsMar 3, 2013
On the face of it, this film does not appear to be the kind of thing to inspire an audience. I’m here to tell you that is far from the truth; I found it very compelling and a great eye-opener to the mechanics of the financial crash. GreatOn the face of it, this film does not appear to be the kind of thing to inspire an audience. I’m here to tell you that is far from the truth; I found it very compelling and a great eye-opener to the mechanics of the financial crash. Great performances all round with top honours going to Jeremy Irons and Kevin Spacey; both really excelled in this one. I think it’s a film I’d like to see again because the details of the reasons behind it all are quite complex and I’d like to get a better handle on that. It does lose a little momentum in the final quarter but it’s certainly worth investing the time to watch.

SteelMonster’s verdict: RECOMMENDED

My score: 8.1/10
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8
AkkharJan 25, 2012
Just an awesome movie about how **** up this world is now. The whole film was so amazing.Awesome acting . The whole cast was great. great screenplay and Directing by J.C. Chandor. Margin Call is a different kind of thriller which is amazingJust an awesome movie about how **** up this world is now. The whole film was so amazing.Awesome acting . The whole cast was great. great screenplay and Directing by J.C. Chandor. Margin Call is a different kind of thriller which is amazing coz its damn realistic .One of 2011's best movie with perfect screenplay , Great Cast and acting and good direction. Dialogues were so smart and yeah this world is **** up,Money +Human=Worst then Animals . J.C. Chandor's first feature film Margin Call will definitely take him higher. Expand
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10
ClariseSamuelsJan 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 powerfulThis 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
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7
allisonstarrNov 15, 2011
Very, very, very far from being a thriller of any kind. It's more like you're in the room with them. And for me, not knowing anything about anything to do with Wall Street, I got to have everything explained to me more than once, so even IVery, very, very far from being a thriller of any kind. It's more like you're in the room with them. And for me, not knowing anything about anything to do with Wall Street, I got to have everything explained to me more than once, so even I felt like I knew what was going on. I mostly appreciated the atmosphere of the movie. The cinematography wasn't particularly flattering for anyone. I don't know how else to put it except that it felt like following a bunch of suits around during a crisis that they're a lot more worried about than you are. Expand
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7
beingryanjudeSep 2, 2014
J.C. Chandor's debut is both challenging and a gripping look at corporate America during the early days of the recession of 2008. One bold look at corruption.
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8
A_NorthernerMar 28, 2013
First time director and writer J.C. Chandor delivers a gripping, tense film with Academy nominated screenplay, told largely over the hours of a single New York night.

The majority of the 'action' takes place in dimly lit offices, often lit
First time director and writer J.C. Chandor delivers a gripping, tense film with Academy nominated screenplay, told largely over the hours of a single New York night.

The majority of the 'action' takes place in dimly lit offices, often lit solely by the banks of computer monitors flashing with the doomed data, with the neon skyline of New York as a backdrop through the office windows. It's a setting that reflects the severity of the situation, once aware of the issue no-one ever suggests calling it a night. The sense of importance is also highlighted by the manner in which the disaster-in-the-making is passed up through the chain, with each manager, head of department, or senior executive, only able to pass it on until the CEO choppers in at 3 AM to rule on the matter.

Justifiably, the banking industry has been criticised and penalised for the greed that led to the 2008 crisis but interestingly, despite the firm making a decision that will ultimately lead to the crisis, Chandor gives a voice to the industry to justify their greed and existence. Will Emerson (Bettany) argues that the bankers greed is only able to exist due to the demands of 'real people' to own things they cannot afford, while CEO Tuld (Irons) is considerably more blasé, stating that the downturn is simply part of the economic cycle and even that there will simply be more starving dogs than fat cats for a while. The narrative is balanced however, with Sam Rogers (Spacey) and several others voicing their discontent at the irresponsibility about to be shown by Tuld and Cohen (Baker), while scapegoat Sarah Robertson (Moore) goes down declaring that her warnings were not listened to.

A great cast, an interesting subject and great film making, Margin Call is a must for those wanting a film to test the old grey matter.
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9
ToomsAug 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 goodHaving 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
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8
JTKelleyAug 10, 2012
The characters make the film here, as they're well drawn, yet difficult to sympathize with as this reveals the darker side of the decisions that sparked the 2008 financial crisis.
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9
davidjdenOct 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 aAlmost 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. Expand
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8
Compi24Jul 17, 2014
Similar to another quiet, but fiery financial thriller ("Arbitrage"), "Margin Call" is a gripping, unflinchingly gray and well-written piece that simplifies a complex topic into something everyone can understand.
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8
worleyjamersDec 6, 2012
Brilliant film! Great cast. Fantastic screenplay. While I'm not an expert in business/economics, the dialogue in this film was engrossing and powerful. One of my favorites of 2011 and one of the best as well! I plan to watch this again soon.
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10
Erik_ImsenFeb 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,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
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7
geo333Apr 23, 2016
Great performances from all the cast as, however the film at times feels slow part of that is because they are too many characters too focus on, aside from that the story is good if you like business movies, In the end, its a good movie.
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7
RobertBroganOct 3, 2015
I rate Margin Call up on account of the acting overall and as a Kevin Spacey fan (otherwise it would be a three). The shooting is fine, with some nicely framed shots. The story is OK but was a bit disappointing in terms of tension. SomeI rate Margin Call up on account of the acting overall and as a Kevin Spacey fan (otherwise it would be a three). The shooting is fine, with some nicely framed shots. The story is OK but was a bit disappointing in terms of tension. Some scenes could have been left out in favor of flashbacks which reveal what the characters were doing in the weeks and months prior to the meltdown: who knew, what they knew, how they contributed, etc. But despite the story not being what it could have been, Margin Call is still an enjoyable film. Expand
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7
miccaelJan 23, 2020
Good film, good acting but in no way necessary if you need to understand financial crisis 2008. It's just a movie about how 1 company in 2 days solved MBS problem.
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8
TrailesqueJun 16, 2017
Well-done Wall Street drama about a Lehman Brothers-type firm on the verge of the 2008 meltdown. In the midst of dog-eat-dog firings and maneuvers, it begins to dawn on a couple of analysts that the firm's ownership of mortgage-backedWell-done Wall Street drama about a Lehman Brothers-type firm on the verge of the 2008 meltdown. In the midst of dog-eat-dog firings and maneuvers, it begins to dawn on a couple of analysts that the firm's ownership of mortgage-backed securities has them badly over-exposed, and that is time for a big, sudden sell-off. There are fine performances from a bunch of established stars, with Spacey, Bettany, and Irons leading the way. The ending is a little weak, but this is a blue chip big business flick. Expand
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8
LovelandMay 31, 2018
I finally had the chance to watch this movie and I can honestly say I liked it a lot. As dark as it is, it offers relatively accurate insight into the investment banking world in a time of crisis. This film is actually about ethics and doingI finally had the chance to watch this movie and I can honestly say I liked it a lot. As dark as it is, it offers relatively accurate insight into the investment banking world in a time of crisis. This film is actually about ethics and doing "what is right", which creates a huge struggle throughout the story as the characters figure out what the best course of action is. Margin Call contains plenty of A-list actors with great performances throughout. Can't complain about the acting from anyone in this movie. The plot, while relatively simple, is gripping throughout. The best part of the film are definitely the conversations and discussions between characters as they struggle with the moral consequences of their decision. It's not a masterpiece, and at times it can be difficult to understand what is happening if you aren't in tune with finance, but overall its a very well done movie that is definitely worth the watch! Expand
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9
tyano123Mar 27, 2019
An awesome depiction of Wall Street facing the a time crisis. Man it was intense, the cast did an exceptional job.
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9
hbswan13Apr 3, 2019
"I think this is one of the best movies of the past several years—or at least the most thrilling, finely crafted, and piercingly insightful one yet made about the 2008 crisis and contemporary capitalism.

There is, admittedly, not a lot of
"I think this is one of the best movies of the past several years—or at least the most thrilling, finely crafted, and piercingly insightful one yet made about the 2008 crisis and contemporary capitalism.

There is, admittedly, not a lot of competition there. Cynical though it may be, one can understand how profit-minded studio executives might be skeptical of drama manifested in numbers and balance sheets. Most other entries in the genre (let’s call it ‘financial thriller’) tend to be squarely polemical—either satirical depictions of greed like The Wolf of Wall Street or Oliver Stone’s 1987 Wall Street, or else advocacy documentaries like Capitalism: A Love Story or Charles Ferguson’s Inside Job. Margin Call strikes something of a balance between the two, giving us a sense of the numbing scale and complexity of the crisis as well as the way it affects—and is affected by—the human qualities of the people involved, and for this reason its portrayal of a Wall Street firm feels both more realistic and more insightful. It’s the rare fact-based story that finds drama not just in showing what happened, but in trying to understand why it happened."

Read my full review and analysis at: https://rewatchlist.net/2019/03/03/margin-call-2011/
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