New in Theaters: ‘A Most Violent Year’

Oscar Isaacs and Jessica Chastain plot in 'A Most Violent Year' (A24)
Oscar Isaac and Jessica Chastain plot in ‘A Most Violent Year’ (A24)

amostviolentyear-poster1Sneaking into theaters after the great Christmas rush is J.C. Chandor’s A Most Violent Year. A low-key drama about warring heating-oil firms set in 1981 New York, when murders and violent crime had the city on the verge of collapse, the film and its characters are as controlled and tightly-wound as its setting is chaotic.

A Most Violent Year is playing now in limited release, with some hopes for Oscar nominations to give it more play around the country. My review is at PopMatters:

J.C. Chandor’s return to land-based storytelling shares some of the predilections of last year’s Robert Redford vehicle All Is Lost. Both that film and A Most Violent Year are deliberately paced, refusing to rush their stories for the purposes of juicing the drama. This is not a bad tendency. It shows Chandor to be an unusually disciplined filmmaker in a landscape increasingly populated by the work of the eager-to-please. But not all subject matter supports the slow-and-steady approach, and that’s the case with A Most Violent Year

You can see the trailer here:

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