A quickening tension squeezes every frame of A Most Violent Year, tautened by Alex Ebert’s needling score.
Chandor directs with a vice-like grip and, with DoP Bradford Young, frames the broken silhouettes of his cast among the hard beauty of snowy New York.
He’s built a merciless script on countless bruising decisions placed upon the shoulders of Abel (Isaac). His leading man is more than equal to the task.
In fact, Isaac’s so good the support struggles to match up at times. Balancing the forces of pragmatism and morality, Isaac is a juggernaut and only Chastain and Gabel come close.
Simmering with drama, A Most Violent Year is one of the best films yet from Isaac or Chandor, and that’s saying something.
CAST: Oscar Isaac, Jessica Chastain, Elyes Gabel, David Oyelowo
DIRECTOR: J.C. Chandor
WRITER: J.C. Chandor
SYNOPSIS: In New York City 1981, an ambitious immigrant fights to protect his business and family during the most dangerous year in the city’s history.