A Most Violent Year | Chicago Reader

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Rated R · 124 minutes · 2015

Drama, Thriller
Disciples of the Godfather trilogy will like this taut crime drama by J.C. Chandor (Margin Call, All Is Lost), which successfully re-creates not only the Coppola movies' layered intrigue but, even more impressively, the old-world sense of honor and dignity that set them apart from previous gangster sagas. Set in New York City in the early 80s, it stars Oscar Isaac (Inside Llewyn Davis) as the dapper, determined, and deeply principled owner of a small heating-oil business whose trucks keep getting hijacked, probably by his ruthless competitors; his coiled, charismatic performance strongly evokes Al Pacino as the young Michael Corleone, and Chandor's intelligent screenplay turns on a similar dilemma of how to maintain one's personal ethics in a cutthroat environment. With David Oyelowo, Allesandro Nivola, Albert Brooks in his best straight performance to date, and Jessica Chastain tearing it up as the hero's wife, a flinty mafia princess.
Official Site: newyorkcity1981.com
Director: J.C. Chandor
Producer: Neal Dodson, Anna Gerb, J.C. Chandor, Jeff Skoll, Jonathan King, Glen Basner, Joshua Blum and Kerry Orent
Cast: Oscar Isaac, Jessica Chastain, David Oyelowo, Alessandro Nivola, Albert Brooks, Elyes Gabel, Catalina Sandino Moreno, Peter Gerety, Christopher Abbott, Glenn Fleshler, Jerry Adler, Ben Rosenfield and Ashley Williams

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