I spend a lot of time at either the cinema or theatre. You will then find reviews from these films and shows!

A Most Violent Year (2014) Review

It’s 1981 in New York City, which is regarded as the most dangerous year in the city’s history. Abel Morales is attempting to grow his business as someone is trying to sabotage what he already has.

Well this could end up being a pretty short review as I am not really sure how many words I need to use to describe this film. Boring is the first word that comes to mind, hardly anything happens and I spent the whole film waiting for it all to kick off and for something to actually start. I am still waiting for that now and I saw the film last night. It actually got to the point I was actually wondering why this has a run time of 2 hours 5 minutes?

Yes it does have a couple of good performances, Oscar Isaac really does show he is a very good actor. But what is the point of a brilliant performance if the film bores the audience? I am still trying to work that one out myself. So Abel Morales has worked his way from nothing and is on the verge of having pretty much everything he has ever wanted. The film starts as he is making a deal to buy a factory and he must follow “the contract”. We never actually find out the exact terms on the contract, but we have to watch what he does.

As this is happening the drivers who work for Abel are being targeted for their trucks (filled with oil) and being attacked. He actually does not want to resort to violence and will not agree for his men to carry guns. Julian is attacked one day and I actually thought his character was the most interesting in the film, he had dreams and goals and everything was taken away from him that day. His mindset was gone to get back in that truck. I must say though that Elyes Gabel has done well for himself, as always remember him from BBC’s Casualty!

We are forced to watch a lot of the husband/wife relationship but left to piece things together really. Which probably sounds quite strange considering we have to watch for a very long time. I understand the need to build up characters and situations but this just didn’t go anywhere for me. The ending was predictable the way things had gone, not going to spoil anything with that. But don’t expect too much at all.

I guess this was pushing and battling to be involved in the Oscar nominations? It gives that impression of trying way too hard of that and wanting to be something that it actually isn’t. Must admit though that for a film with ‘violent’ in the title I was surprised that we don’t actually see a massive amount of violence, just a couple of moments. Maybe I was expecting a totally different type of film which caused more disappointment with what I ended up watching?

In the screening I attended last night it only had about 12 people in, so I cannot see this staying at my cinema for more than a week!

What are your thoughts on ‘A Most Violent Year’?

7 responses

  1. Haven’t seen it and don’t plan on seeing it. You may be right about pushing it out there for an Oscar nod as I think, the lead actress in it, Jessica Chastain, was nominated for a Golden Globe.

    January 24, 2015 at 1:00 pm

    • Caz

      Yeah I think your right she was! Wish I had thought the same and not bothered seeing it as well. Really was a waste of two hours 😔

      January 24, 2015 at 1:38 pm

  2. Good review Caz. A very interesting crime-thriller, that’s less about the thrills, but more about the crime. Still though, it totally worked.

    January 24, 2015 at 5:00 pm

    • Caz

      Have you reviewed it on your blog?
      I don’t think it worked very well at all, to be totally honest.

      January 24, 2015 at 5:15 pm

  3. I liked it..and def. agree with you that it’s not an Oscar (no pun intended 🙂 ) film. I think people thought it was going to be “Goodfellas” type violence with what the title is, but for me it pretty good in what it didn’t do..does that make sense.. I liked the no violence aspect as it portrayed a guy who was in essence still kinda a thug, but playing it in a totally diff. way. I thought that foot chase he had,.in dress shoes no less. was so funny..and I loved the styling of it i.e., clothes etc .. I had a Q & A w/Oscar Isaac, Jessica & Dir & Prod. afterwards..and I whispered to my friend ‘I hope he addresses the overcoat’ as even that was all part of it for me..and he DID! exactly what I thought about it too! psychic connection or what??!! hahahahaha I totally see your point throughout your review which makes good points. Love reading them!

    January 25, 2015 at 6:56 am

  4. I actually liked it Caz. It wasn’t what I thought it was going to be but it still worked for. I enjoyed its slow pace and thought the Isaac and Chastain were tremendous.

    January 25, 2015 at 1:43 pm

    • Caz

      I like it when people see films in different ways, I just found myself thinking about other things. That’s how I usually judge if enjoy a film 🙂

      January 25, 2015 at 2:47 pm

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