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Margin Call (2011)

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Follows the key people at an investment bank, over a 24-hour period, during the early stages of the 2008 financial crisis.



3,495 ( 169)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 8 wins & 23 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Ramesh Shah
Heather Burke
Lauren Bratberg
Executive Assistant
Security Guard
Louis Carmelo


A respected financial company is downsizing and one of the victims is the risk management division head, who was working on a major analysis just when he was let go. His protégé completes the study late into the night and then frantically calls his colleagues in about the company's financial disaster he has discovered. What follows is a long night of panicked double checking and double dealing as the senior management prepare to do whatever it takes to mitigate the debacle to come even as the handful of conscientious comrades find themselves dragged along into the unethical abyss. Written by Kenneth Chisholm (kchishol@rogers.com)

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Be first. Be smarter. Or cheat.


Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:

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Release Date:

29 September 2011 (Germany)  »

Also Known As:

El precio de la codicia  »


Box Office


$3,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$561,904, 23 October 2011, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$5,354,039, 12 May 2012

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$19,504,039, 31 December 2012
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


In one scene, John Tuld (Jeremy Irons) picks up a toy that looks like Mufasa from The Lion King (1994), a possible nod to the film, in which Irons also famously starred as Scar. See more »


When Will, Peter and Seth are eating breakfast an edition of 'The Economist' can be seen on Will's desk from the week of September 20th 2008 entitled 'What's next?' referring to the financial crisis. However Peter is then seen reading an edition of 'The Economist' from the week April 26th 2008 entitled 'The rise of the Gulf'. See more »


[first lines]
Seth Bregman: Just like that? Jesus Christ! Are they going to do it right here?
Will Emerson: You guys ever been through this before?
Seth Bregman: No.
Will Emerson: It's best to keep your head down and ignore it. Keep your head down and go back to work.
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Crazy Credits

Steven Spielberg appears in the "Special Thanks" in the end credits but misspelled as "Steven Speilberg" on theatrical prints. See more »


Featured in Maltin on Movies: Margin Call (2011) See more »


Performed by Matthew Houck (as Phosphorescent)
Written by Matthew Houck
Courtesy of Dead Oceans
By arrangement with Bank Robber Music
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Fantastic film, but not for everyone.
23 October 2011 | by See all my reviews

It's difficult to review Margin Call. Those of us who were close to the events of 2008 will find something personal in the story-telling. Others may see it as more examples of greed and hubris. In any case, the following observations apply to both groups.

The performances are top notch. Everyone from Zachary Quinto to Demi Moore brings their A-game. Even supporting characters are oddly fleshed out for a film with such an ensemble cast. Kevin Spacey and Paul Bettany give the performances of their careers, I think. Only the Jeremy Irons character (John Tuld, aka Dick Fuld) feels a bit over the top, while the rest are truly believable well-rounded depictions.

Despite having good characters and amazing cinematography, the film lacks plot. The backdrop and setting are tense, but this doesn't feel like a "movie" in the traditional sense. There's no evolution of characters, no arcs, and the ending may leave some wanting. You can compare it to Michael Mann films where plot and pace are unconventional.

Not sure how the film will perform commercially, given the material is esoteric. If you're a film buff (and enjoy great performances) or you've been in finance, this is a must-see. Other may likely pass.

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