Margin Call

Margin Call

DVD - 2011
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Set in the high-stakes world of Wall Street, Margin Call is an entangling thriller involving the key players at an investment firm during one perilous 24-hour period in the early stages of the 2008 financial crisis. When an entry-level analyst unlocks information that could prove to be the downfall of the firm, a roller-coaster ride ensues as decisions both financial and moral catapult the lives of all involved to the brink of disaster.

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a
amoby
Sep 12, 2016

Classic Merican movie, it tells itself to dumb it down constantly. Of course Spock saves the day.

p
Punnoval
Jun 25, 2016

Could "Margin Call" be an accurate or fair account of the Lehman Bros. derivative trading debacle? Not if you give the directing job to J. C. Chandor, a true master of lunk-headedness. If you don't believe me see Chandor's other DVD, "A Most Violent Year". Chandor seems to think that all that is necessary to create a Mamet scenario is wooden acting and excessive use of the "fuck" word. Everyone is far too lovable and doesn't seem to have a clue about their crookedness. Better to see the Cronenberg/DeLillo "Cosmopolis" to get the feel for sociopath characters.

d
DesLi
Jan 07, 2016

This is a movie, not a series. So, this movie did not tell the real story on Lehman's collapse in depth enough. Having said, if you want to have a quick snapshot on the trading floor and how investment banks let people go, it is a good movie. Entertaining enough!

h
hesselugano
Oct 26, 2015

I loved this movie. An intelligent well researched script with subtle ironic juxtapositions as when Spacey's character quips "I could have dug ditches for a living" and the final scene where he is diging the grave for his departed dog. Superb acting - especially by Spacey and Irons. The office interior shots exhibited superb cinematography in balancing the fill light on faces to the computer screens and the Lights of the New York skyline beyond the windows. Use of time-lapse photography on exterior shots gave the city a surreal quality.
For anyone wishing to understand the fiancial debacle of 2007/08 I would recommend a combined viewing of three films, Margin Call, Inside Job and The Big Short; each of them compliments the other two and deepens one's understanding of the moral insanity that can afflict an industry and a nation.

e
eliberg
Sep 12, 2015

Another title for Margin Call could be It Happened in One Night. I checked out this movie because filmmaker J.C. Chandor is connected to it. I wanted to see what would distinguish this guy. I must say, this movie is fantastic. Not in the Wow! way of fantastic, but rather in the simple presentation. When a story in and of itself is dramatic, a simple take of it provides explanation.

0
0cho
May 20, 2015

I totally agree with harrybrowne. I thought this movie was excellent. Really enjoyed the acting and subject matter.

harrybrowne Apr 03, 2015

Utterly captivating and gripping drama. Acting superb; dialogue taut and stinging. Subject matter fascinating to me. Not for those with a short attention span.

1
1tarheel
Feb 19, 2015

I've become something of a JC Chandor fan, not least because he's able to bring some amazing actors to better-than-average material. Here he's providing a look into how personalities and attitudes got us to the 2008 financial crisis (and others?). Not overly-technical, I thought, with particularly strong perfomances from...well, I thought everyone delivered.

u
uzebdrumz
Nov 27, 2014

This film is slow & does nothing to educate or explain to the audience the extent of the derivatives market. There are several scenes which don't appear to add anything to the film other than the necessity to draw out the drama of the impending fire-sale of assets. Further, the set design for many scenes is remarkably spartan bordering on cheap; other than the token exterior shots, this could have been filmed in a high-school gym with a small rental from an office furniture supply company & a couple of green screens. Irons & Spacey are the only characters that convey the conversational emotion of the situation without sounding like they're reading lines. I was impressed, however, by the director & writer not falling into the trap of sex, drugs & money; they are mentioned, but not exploited visually. For a deeper investigation & explanation of the markets, margin calls, & derivatives check out the PBS frontline special where you can witness some of the best acting that Wall Street has to offer - a four part, four hour epic.

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/money-power-wall-street

j
jazeebelle
Nov 18, 2014

An intense performance by some pretty amazing actors. Kevin Spacey does a great job at NOT being the villain for once and that is refreshing. Jeremy Irons does a great job AT being the villain as well. My favorite performances however come from Zachary Quinto and Paul Bettany. Not normally my type of movie, but i'm glad i made an exception in this case.

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EuSei Mar 15, 2012

Coarse Language: LOTS of f words.

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jimg2000
May 20, 2013

From imd: John Tuld: So you think we might have put a few people out of business today. That its all for naught. You've been doing that everyday for almost forty years Sam. And if this is all for naught then so is everything out there. Its just money; its made up. Pieces of paper with pictures on it so we don't have to kill each other just to get something to eat. It's not wrong. And it's certainly no different today than its ever been. 1637, 1797, 1819, 37, 57, 84, 1901, 07, 29, 1937, 1974, 1987-Jesus, didn't that fuck up me up good-92, 97, 2000 and whatever we want to call this. It's all just the same thing over and over; we can't help ourselves. ... And there have always been and there always will be the same percentage of winners and losers. Happy foxes and sad sacks. Fat cats and starving dogs in this world. ...

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