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Margin Call (2011)

R  |   |  Drama, Thriller  |  29 September 2011 (Germany)
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 86,677 users   Metascore: 76/100
Reviews: 217 user | 286 critic | 38 from Metacritic.com

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



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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 8 wins & 20 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
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:

$561,904 (USA) (21 October 2011)


$5,354,039 (USA) (17 February 2012)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Jeremy Irons's part of John Tuld was originally offered to Ben Kingsley, but due to other projects he couldn't play the role. Billy Crudup and Tim Robbins were also interested in taking parts, but had to refuse due to other obligations. See more »


Eric Dale ('Stanley Tucci') makes a mathematical error when he talks about how much time is saved by people using the bridge he built. He says 559,020 days are saved, but the correct number is 5,590,200. 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.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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


Referenced in Final de partida: Los premios Óscar (2012) See more »


Performed by Matthew Houck (as Phosphorescent)
Written by Matthew Houck
Courtesy of Dead Oceans
By arrangement with Bank Robber Music
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Great psychological insight
16 October 2011 | by (Berlin) – See all my reviews

The movie "Margin Call" depicts the events that immediately preceded the Financial Crisis in 2008 within a nameless Investment Bank. What I like especially about the movie is the fact that it doesn't try to explain the technical causes of the Financial Crisis but the psychological causes - human failures, which are the real cause for the Crisis: greed, egotism, ignorance. Many scenes in this movie deal with very little dialogue, instead the body language and the unique atmosphere speaks for itself. The ensemble is just brilliant, especially Kevin Spacey and Jeremy Irons.

The movie works solely from inside the nameless firm – apart from minor steps outside. It only portraits the people working inside this company

  • the "normal world" is completely left out. The effect is a very

clever one: The life of these bankers seems totally severed from the outside world, they have no real connection with normal people and seem to – speaking exaggeratingly – lack an understanding of real human values, that there could be more behind life than just maximizing and making money. They are completely left behind in their own world, which somehow got out of control. Even when the imminent truth reveals and the consequences are becoming more clearer, it always feels like they are cut off; there is a scene in a taxi with Quinto and Badgley that underlines this.

But one can also witness the cold-blooded atmosphere in the system itself, where every person could easily be mistaken as a number. A key figure of the film, Eric Dale, who gets sacked in the beginning, is confronted with two managers in a scene like from "Up In The Air". Either are these women robots or have never experienced something like social warmth. One widely held position is that eventually bankers themselves didn't understand their own system and products with Derivatives and Futures, etc. anymore. Almost hilarious, but sadly true is the fact that many people in these companies seem to have no understanding of Economics and just got into their position due to influence or money. When they are sitting in their conference room and discuss the incident, it feels somewhat grotesque.

Although this movie works almost completely without music, the tension is so immense - thanks to the brilliant actors - that one is forced to focus.

129 of 153 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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