A Most Violent Year

A Most Violent Year ★★★

A morality tale set in violent, corrupt New York City in 1981. Abel (played with subdued charisma by Oscar Isaac) is an immigrant trying to make his fortune with relative honestly in the gangster dominated heating oil delivery game. His wife (a strong performance by Jessica Chastain) is his helpmate, daughter of a gangster, willing to do what her husband won't. There is a definite element of Macbeth here. This is also the same era and milieu of Lumet's superior film Prince of the City; and it is difficult not to compare the two films. I have reservations about how psychologically valid the actions were of some of the characters. Occasionally the film rises to the level of gripping...only not often enough.

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