A Most Violent Year

LetterboxD review link

There’s a saying I’ve heard about writing and directing in Hollywood. You can’t make a 8 or 9 film from a 5 or 6 script. The upper bound for your film’s success is almost always how good your script is. A Most Violent Year has a 6 script, 6 directing, 6 editing and about 6 acting. It’s rare for a film to achieve the same amount of success on all fronts.

Abel, the protagonist played by Oscar Isaac, is trying to be a descent man in indecent times. This premise, and 1980s New York serve as background for a story that never really takes off. JC Chandor’s imagination, this time, was not up to the challenge. This ends up feeling more like Oscar Isaac’s 2-hour audition reel for Show Me A Hero, more than a deep, engrossing, wise film about where violence starts and ends. Beyond the costume design, lighting and photography, there is little worth admiration in this film.