Sunday, 1 March 2015

A MOST VIOLENT YEAR

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. -- IMDB

A sluggish action crime drama with very little action or drama. It clearly aims to be a complex, tense thriller but doesn't succeed in its ambitions. Most of the story is dialogue driven with Oscar Isaac (Abel Morales) and Jessica Chastain (Anna Morales) put in adequate performances. As we follow Abel desperately trying to break from his family history of thuggery and crime, there are moments where we realise how impossible this is going to be as the story progresses - but the whole thing is lifeless with a contrived ending that doesn't really fit and is too neat. The cinematography by Bradford Young (Selma) is effectively depressing and is perhaps the most creative dimension of the film. The title suggests that there will be a lot of violence and there isn't much at all. There is so much more that could have been done with this story but the depths of its potential wasn't tapped.


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