Extra Cinema: A Most Violent Year (15)

A Most Violent Year with Oscar Isaac as Abel Morales and Jessica Chastain as Anna Morales. See PA Feature FILM Film Reviews. Picture credit should read: PA Photo/Atsushi Nishijima/Icon Film Distribution. WARNING: This picture must only be used to accompany PA Feature FILM Film Reviews.
A Most Violent Year with Oscar Isaac as Abel Morales and Jessica Chastain as Anna Morales. See PA Feature FILM Film Reviews. Picture credit should read: PA Photo/Atsushi Nishijima/Icon Film Distribution. WARNING: This picture must only be used to accompany PA Feature FILM Film Reviews.

Starring: Oscar Isaac, Jessica Chastain

Director: JC Chandor

According to statistics, 1981 was the most violent year in New York City history.

Over the 12 months, more than 1.2 million crimes were recorded including 60,000 aggravated assaults, 5,400 rapes and 2,220 murders.

Writer-director JC Chandor uses this turbulent period as a backdrop to his masterful and searing portrait of crime and brutal punishment.

Centred on a married couple who are struggling to keep their heating oil distribution business afloat, A Most Violent Year powerfully conveys the personal and professional sacrifices of a devoted husband and wife who become one of the shocking statistics.

The film hits a sweet spot on every level, from Chandor’s measured direction and lean script, to the powerhouse performances.

Isaac is mesmerising as an honourable family man and Chastain essays another woman of substance.

When oblivion beckons for Abel and Anna, we discover the true strength of their moral compasses.

Rating: 8/10