Reel Review: A Most Violent Year



I forget which DVD I was watching before this movie was released on DVD, but it made this movie look much more interesting that it actually is. Talk about a waste of my 2 hours…I could have watched another movie on my list and probably been more satisfied with the cinema. Okay, to start, I thought this movie was going to be a slight Godfather rip off – I mean c’mon, doesn’t the main character look slightly like Michael Corleone – but thankfully it wasn’t. Now, I’m not thankful at what I watched because again, it seemed like a waste of time over all or rather it lasted way longer than it should have.

The main character is Abel played by Oscar Isaac and wife Anna who is the supporting character played by Jessica Chastain. Neither one of these characters drew me to to them. Abel is a businessman who owns a heating oil business and basically he’s expanding his business but he has a secret competitor who’s trying to knock him off the map. This turns out to be a make it or break it type of story where the main character is trying to succeed but has obstacles in his way and he manages to win in the end by a long shot…

Yawn, Yawn, and Yawn again.

This story offers the same archetypes we sometimes see in a crime movie :

  • The businessman who’s riding the fence with his business and doesn’t really want to cause drama and tries to still do good
  • The wife who’s oh so determined and a little bit ahead of herself
  • A rouge employee who falls in the mix and ends up getting the short end of the stick

Yeah, we’ve seen these types all before. And really, it’s not so much that we’ve seen these characters before, it’s really how long the movie is that makes you realize this movie is so so. The length causes you to reflect on ┬áthe characters in a way that makes you tired of them and then you realize that you’ve seen them before in other movies. Although, I did enjoy the aesthetics of the film and thought Chastain’s characterization was beautiful and I really liked the house Anna and Abel lived in. Other than that, I enjoyed it in the beginning then got tired of it by the fourth quarter. Also, I’m not sure why this was called “A Most Violent Year” ; there wasn’t that much violence to me…I expected more.





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