A Most Violent Year (2014)
J. C. Chandor's third film, entitled A Most Violent Year, is 125 minutes of gripping intensity, only unlike other films with this quality, the source of the suspense is not a mystical phenomenon, a dangerous killer or cheap tricks – it is a tale about trade competition between a handful of rivalling heating oil companies in the New York area circa 1981. It's one thing even making a film about this subject, but Chandor, who is arguably the most talented filmmaker of his generation, is far more ambitious than that. As he did with his two first films, Margin Call and All Is Lost, he gives us a detailed, knowledgeable account on a very specific subject matter, and he does it with a remarkable combination of confidence, thoroughness and storytelling talent which elevates his solid story from interesting to compelling. Chandor cannot take all of the credit for the electric, precarious mood simmering through this film, however, because his main medium here is Oscar Isaac and his incredibly forceful performance. Isaac's Abel Morales encompasses most anything humanity has to offer in an iconic performance. So sit back and enjoy this masterpiece of a film, and wait in eagerness for Chandor's next work of art.