A Most Violent Year (2015, 125 minutes) is the third film from writer-director J.C. Chandor who wrote and directed 2011’s Margin Callabout a Lehman Brothers-like firm in the early days of the 2008 financial crisis. Margin Call explored the complex relationships between white collar workers, corporate executives, and the firm’s customers in the face of economic ruin. With A Most Violent Year, Chandor returns to similar themes. But in this case, he focuses on a privately-owned heating oil business in 1981 New York City made successful by the relentless determination of Abel Morales (Oscar Isaac), an immigrant who has clawed his way to the top of his industry through a commitment to salesmanship and slow-and-steady growth.
Morales also faces economic ruin if he cannot complete a purchase of a valuable piece of real estate which will allow him to crush his competition.