Margin Call

Margin Call: ensemble piece set around the 2008 financial collapse, when bankers first discover how much they screwed up. Seeing as the whole world knows how this story ends, it feels a bit odd creating a tight drama out of it, especially only starring the culprits. The script feels like it’s been written by a committee of naïve, lefty students, with some terrible “OMG – guess how much this banker was paid last year” and “LOL- it’s OK to screw over the unwilling public” type dialogue thrown in every ten minutes, just in case you still happened to like/respect bankers. The film only really comes to life when Tucci, Spacey and Irons are in the frame; they do what they do best and for those scenes you can soak up the proper acting. Unfortunately, there are also scenes where broody Baker and Moore struggle to convince, or keep up with the big boys. It is – and feels like – someone’s first time behind the camera; filmed in a rough-ish documentary style, when it needed to be more slick, engaging, flashy or all three. The best bits of Margin Call are powerful scenes with A-listers earning their buck and dropping your jaws; the worst parts feel like unnecessary hindsight-laden anti-banking propaganda.

Score: 3.5/10

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4 comments
  1. Nostra said:

    Agree that the scenes with the big gun actors are the best ones to watch. Overall though I liked it a bit more than you did.

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    • Paragraph Film Reviews said:

      My buddy loved it. I think it was the script that killed it for me; on at least three occassions the rookie kid asked “how much do you think the made last year?”. Just pissed me right off. Everyone knows they were overpaid…

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  2. Hey man- thanks for the “follow” by the way. love your site – and the interactive-ness :-) Got Margin Call sitting in that little red envelope for tonights viewing (I will then read this afetrwards). best – anothercinemafreak.

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    • What was the verdict? By and large I appear to definitely be in the minority for this film, everyone else thinks it’s great!

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