Online Film Critics Society

The World's Oldest Organization of Online Film Critics

Reviews: A Most Violent Year (2014)

most_violent_yearReviews for this film from our members:

  • Marco Albanese @ Stanze di Cinema [Italian]
    • Excerpt: Il film di Chandor è un piccolo capolavoro, che guarda ai grandi classici del cinema degli anni ’70, costruendo la figura di un antieroe solitario, che lotta contro il suo destino e contro la sua stessa famiglia, non lontano dal Michael Corleone di Coppola.
  • José Arce @ [Spanish]
    • Excerpt: Fabuloso thriller dramático que demuestra el extraordinario dominio del tono narrativo de J.C. Chandor. Tensa, sombría, la historia de un hombre que lucha por conseguir su sueño, que es el de todos, atrapa desde su arranque y no suelta al espectador hasta su conclusión.
  • Jason Bailey @ Flavorwire
    • Excerpt: Writer/director Chandor (‘All is Lost,’ ‘Margin Call’) convincingly recreates early-‘80s New York with this story of an immigrant (Isaac, great as always) and his wife (Chastain, ditto) finding themselves drawn into the increasingly dangerous and legally dubious world of… heating oil sales. It’s an odd hook, yes, but it makes for compelling viewing, with Chandor drawing richly shaded performances from his gifted cast and masterfully invoking the corridors-of-Gotham-power aesthetic of ‘80s Lumet.
  • Nicholas Bell @ Ioncinema
  • Tim Brayton @ Antagony & Ecstasy
  • Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat @ Spirituality & Practice
    • Excerpt: An immersive drama about a businessman who stays calm in the midst of a dreadful series of setbacks.
  • Bill Clark @ From The Balcony
    • Excerpt: A Most Violent Year is a compelling exercise in minimalist intensity, drawing power from characterization and well-paced plotting.
  • Laura Clifford @ Reeling Reviews
    • Excerpt: Isaac is great as a decent man trying to hold his ground on quicksand, but Chastain’s absolutely fierce.
  • Jim Dixon @
    • Excerpt: J.C. Chandor has written a script that has aspects of crime melodrama, and there is a pervasive sense of constant fear that never lets up. Violence happens suddenly. But Chandor is a thoroughly modern director and his approach is subtler and more realistic; his view of morality more nuanced.
  • Mark Dujsik @ Mark Reviews Movies
    • Excerpt: The feeling that violence could erupt at any moment is real … and it lends an air of menace to the most mundane of discussions…
  • James Jay Edwards @ FilmFracture
    • Excerpt: A Most Violent Year’ Tries To Hide A Tediously Wordy Story Behind A Bunch Of Gloss…And It Almost Works
  • Sarah Gopaul @ Digital Journal
    • Excerpt: ‘A Most Violent Year’ is a solid character drama in which its protagonist struggles to run a legitimate business while surrounded by criminal activity.
  • Susan Granger @
    • Excerpt: Gritty, savvy and impeccably crafted, it evokes a turbulent time.
  • Mark Hobin @ Fast Film Reviews
    • Excerpt: Director J.C. Chandor weaves a deep tale of the American Dream that authentically portrays the time period as if it was genuinely filmed in 1981.
  • Charlie Juhl @ Citizen Charlie
    • Excerpt: Writer/director J.C. Chandor proves he was not a one-and-done flash in the plan, he was not a two-hit wonder, he is the real deal three-time quality film creator, this time with hands down one of 2014’s best films.
  • Jeremy Kibler @ The Artful Critic
    • Excerpt: Richly scripted and methodically carried out, this character-based morality drama cements itself as the writer-director’s strongest piece of work, and while many will find a shortage of thrills they might be expecting, it calls up the mature restraint and sedate, slow-burn pacing of Sidney Lumet and Martin Scorsese back in their heydays. This is one of those “thrillers for grown-ups” in the best of ways.
  • Kristin Dreyer Kramer @
  • Marty Mapes @ Movie Habit
    • Excerpt: Good performances and convincing setting; but could have used a spark to light things up
  • [New – 4/16/15] | Alan Mattli @ Facing the Bitter Truth [German]
    • Excerpt: J. C. Chandor cannily channels Sidney Lumet and Leone’s ‘Once Upon a Time in America’. The result is a poignant exploration of the myth of the American Dream.
  • Brent McKnight @ The Last Thing I See
    • Excerpt: A Most Violent Year’ is a quintessentially American saga about trying to succeed while every external element wants to tear you down.
  • Pat Mullen @ Cinemablographer
    • Excerpt: A Most Violent Year, more than any other film this year, truly feels like it’s about something…
  • Stefan Pape @ HeyUGuys
  • Jamie S. Rich @ DVDTalk
    • Excerpt: Chandor is essentially making a “gangster trying to go legitimate” picture but he’s skipping right over the standard gangster part and takes us straight into the numbers game of cooked books and backroom handshakes. That’s his lone wrinkle on the material.
  • Jonathan Richards @
    • Excerpt: This is a classic morality tale with no easy answers, but a lot of great questions.
  • Thomas Santilli @
    • Excerpt: I couldn’t help but think that if this was the most violent year on record in New York City, surely there are more interesting things happening elsewhere.
  • Cole Smithey @
    • Excerpt: Writer-director JC Chandor’s first three films (“Margin Call,” “All is Lost,” and “A Most Violent Year”) reveal a masterful auteur building a singular filmmaking career that overshadows Hollywood’s relentless barrage of garbage.
  • Sarah Ward @ Concrete Playground
  • Ron Wilkinson @ Monsters and Critics
    • Excerpt: Not as violent as the title would imply, this is a sterling essay in inner strength.
  • Andrew Wyatt @ St. Louis Magazine
    • Excerpt: The film’s story is a sort of inverted Carlito’s Way or Tokyo Drifter. Rather than a gangster who wants to get out of the Life, Abel is a civilian who wants to stay out.
Updated: June 15, 2015 — 1:31 pm

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