A Most Violent Year is one of the best pure dramas I’ve seen in a long time: a supremely great, edge-of-your-seat film about a tough man put in a difficult position. There were all sorts of opportunities for this movie to run through well-trod plot turns and stack up the clichés. But it doesn’t do that. It takes a different path that is constantly fresh, new and unexpected, and causes one to believe it’s too good not to be true.
But A Most Violent Year is not a true story. Rather, it’s masterfully constructed fiction that plays like the real thing. I look forward to more good things from writer and director J. C. Chandor. I hope people go out and see this outstanding film; its box office so far is pathetic — I think American Sniper has swallowed everything in its wake. 9/10
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A Most Violent Year earns a note regarding A24 Films, who were also responsible for Obvious Child and Under the Skin, from earlier in 2014, and from 2013 Spring Breakers and The Bling Ring. An intriguing indie label that seems dedicated to quality projects that veer off the norm.