A Most Violent Year

A Most Violent Year

Muscular and competent, its two big weapons are its fully-realized visual style and a meaty performance from Oscar Isaac. But its observations about capitalism, the immigrant experience, New York City and "The American Dream" are so on the nose, and many of its big dramatic moments are so dour and po-faced, that it often lapses into self-parody. It's good, but it's just not new in any way.

I'm not much closer to a sense of who J.C. Chandor is as a filmmaker — I adored Margin Call and was flatly lukewarm on All Is Lost, but I will say he seems like an able chameleon with a strong visual sense, and that leaves me optimistic for his future projects.

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