Margin Call

Margin Call


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Boardroom thriller following the employees of a large New York investment bank over the opening 24 hours of the 2008 financial crisis. All-star cast includes Kevin Spacey, Demi Moore, Paul Bettany.... More

"When entry-level analyst Peter Sullivan (Zachary Quinto) unlocks information that could prove to be the downfall of the firm, a roller-coaster ride ensues as decisions both financial and moral catapult the lives of all involved to the brink of disaster... an examination of the human components of a subject too often relegated to partisan issues of black and white. A portrayal of the financial industry and its denizens as they confront the decisions that shape our global future." (Sundance Film Festival 2011)Hide

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Flicks Review

The title of writer-director JC Chandor’s dizzying debut refers to the moment when all debts must be repaid – the day of reckoning. And boy does he deliver. At an unnamed Wall Street firm (Lehman Brothers!), recently fired risk manager Stanley Tucci gives young buck Zachary Quinto (Spock in Star Trek) a file that will, ultimately, start the 2007 recession. So begins a financial forest fire that, over the course of one long, over-caffeinated night, engulfs the entire company and – as we now know – world.... More

Part of Chandor’s genius (or extreme good fortune) is that each new level of the corporation is overseen by a brilliant actor who’s correspondingly higher up the Hollywood pecking order than the last. So Quinto reports to Paul Bettany, who reports to Kevin Spacey, who reports to Jeremy Irons, each more compromised – or corrupt – than their inferiors. “You and I can’t control it, or stop it, even slow it,” says Irons urbanely as he sells a million futures down the river with a lupine smile. “We just react. And we make a lot of money if we get it right.”

It’s a brutal world (“Still alive?” the execs keep asking each other), brilliantly evoked by one of the most impressive casts assembled in recent memory (Simon 'The Mentalist' Baker is particularly chilling). But this is Chandor’s triumph, and marks him out as someone to keep an eye on in the future. Let’s hope he’s never handed such an all-pervading human horror story again.Hide

The Peoples' Reviews

Average ratings from 7 ratings, 6 reviews
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BY Moose lister

Thoroughly enjoyable! I had just watched Inside Job a few days before seeing Margin Call, and it was cool to see a dramatized portrayal already having some insights into what sparked the whole global financial crises. Jeremy Irons is awesome, as usual. Great showing of the corporate world, business structures and management etc. A solid 4 stars and would definitely recommend. If I had to be picky the only two negatives for me were real trainspotting issues...1) late at night when they show... More the stock brokers room full of computers with generic "sharemarket graphs and forecasts and figures ect" on the screens I thought..."yeah right, as if they don't have screen locks and sceensavers" 2. a couple of times it was obvious the movie makers were trying to illustrate the salaries tha the Wall St big wigs were earning, and did this in quite a contrived way with a thread of "discussions" between the youngest characters aboutt "what they earned and what they thought their bosses earned". Apart from those minor things, which both made me smile wryly and made me feel superior about my amazingly analytical film critiqueing ability...this movie is a very good watch, and I recommend watching Inside Job too, both movies sit well together.Hide

BY Wice superstar

No sex, no violence, not even a gun in sight even though this movie is set in New York! Instead a convincing portrayal of not just the events but the emotions of the 2008 financial crisis. Well work a trip to the 'flicks'.

BY Brian1 superstar

Captivating from start to finish, even though probably a little over-dramatisation of the the actual story.

BY Weds_Loafers superstar

Today 6 of us went to "Margin Call", an absolutely fascinating movie seemingly based on the internal workings of Lehman Brothers the night before global markets crashed in 2008.
This is a highly entertaining, riveting drama and we probably should have asked John Key to join us for his comments based on his former life at Merrill Lynch.
However, it seemed highly plausible to us and the acting is superb. A slightly annoying start with a cello almost drowning out the dialogue but after that it... More is a gripping roller-coaster ride with the entire screenplay encompassing a period of about 36 hours. No romantic interest and only one key female actor but a group of 5 women in front of us seemed to enjoy it as much as we did.
4.5 starsHide

BY Sarah29 superstar

Margin Call is a really REALLY good. I don't know I was expecting when I saw this, but I can honestly say that even after seeing it a few days ago, I am still thinking about it. The acting was superb, there was not a bad performance in the bunch and Kevin Spacey as the finance big wig plagued by a moral dilemma and Zachary Quinto as the young and shy genius whiz-kid, were both highlights for me. The film's director, J. C. Chandor, does a fantastic job of building tension and suspense. This... More film is a must see for anyone who enjoys smart and thoughtful movies.Hide

Showing 5 of 6 reviews. See all reviews

The Press Reviews

88% of critics recommend.
Rotten Tomatoes Score. More reviews on Rotten Tomatoes

  • If nothing else, Margin Call serves as a rebuke to "Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps" emphatic style - which ultimately glamorizes the profession it means to shame - and brings this dangerous numbers game back to the trading-floor desktops and mahogany-covered conference tables where it belongs. It isn't sexy, but the stakes feel much higher. Full Review

  • 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. Full Review

  • Spacey is watchable as the veteran trading boss, in a state of near-breakdown, who discovers all too late that he has a kind of conscience. Full Review

  • The first-rate cast cannot be faulted. Chandor has assembled an extraordinary ensemble. Full Review

  • The accomplishment of this movie is that it allows you to sympathize with them, to acknowledge the reality of their predicament, without letting them off the hook or forgetting the damage they did. Full Review

  • Margin Call is smart, but too cool and solemn to raise anyone's temperature. Nonetheless, writer/director J. C. Chandor should count himself the luckiest man in show business this weekend. How many first-time feature filmmakers can truthfully claim that their movie collided right up against the zeitgeist? Full Review

  • Escalation is the main thing Margin Call has going for it, as more substantial actors are trotted out to have their way with Chandor's realistic-sounding boardroom dialogue. Full Review

  • Steering clear of overt condemnation or adulation of morally dubious characters, this is sophisticated cinema that respects the audience’s ability to follow complex subject matter. Full Review

  • J.C. Chandor's precocious writing-directing debut is fastidious, smart and more than a bit portentous as it probes the human costs of unchecked greed. Full Review

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