(2011)

Critic Reviews

76

Metascore

Based on 38 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
91
You could describe Margin Call as a thriller (it's wired with suspense), yet the tension all comes from words.
88
The movie with which it has the closest relationship may be "Glengarry Glen Ross." The same sense of desperation, the same need to make the sale, permeates Margin Call. Both films are to some degree about the dehumanizing impact of money and both are driven more by characters than plot points.
80
J.C. Chandor's precocious writing-directing debut is fastidious, smart and more than a bit portentous as it probes the human costs of unchecked greed.
80
A hell of a picture. And shrewd.
75
Orlando Sentinel
This compelling-acted film explains, better than any soundbite, why people have taken to the streets, "occupying" centers of finance. If their rage is unfocused, Margin Call suggests, that's with good reason. There are no real heroes or villains here, just human beings with human failings making BIG human mistakes.
63
Slant Magazine
A portrait of the eve of 2008's financial crisis that plays out with funereal inevitability, Margin Call loves speechifying, but the film is far more assured when lingering in the silence of its morally compromised characters.
60
The Hollywood Reporter
The first-rate cast cannot be faulted. Chandor has assembled an extraordinary ensemble.
60
Escalation is the main thing Margin Call has going for it, as more substantial actors are trotted out to have their way with Chandor's realistic-sounding boardroom dialogue.
50
Village Voice
Unlike "The Company Men," which successfully explored the moral conscience and despair of its corporate titans and middle managers, Margin Call's bids for sympathy for its most conflicted character, Spacey's Sam, fail.
25
As a movie, it's so tightly framed you gasp from claustrophobia. As a film of cryptic boredom, I cannot believe the actors were able to say their lines without cue cards.

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