Critic Reviews



Based on 38 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
Chandor's shrewdest bit of business is figuring out how to make an A-list movie with a $3.5-million budget. Solution: buy low, sell high. Hire last decade's A-list - Spacey, Irons and Demi Moore - and give them their best parts in years.
You could describe Margin Call as a thriller (it's wired with suspense), yet the tension all comes from words.
This confident, crisply made piece of work does an expert job of bringing us inside the inner sanctum of a top Wall Street investment bank in extremis, giving us a convincing and coolly dramatic portrait of what it must have been like when titans trembled.
Margin Call employs an excellent cast who can make financial talk into compelling dialogue. They also can reflect the enormity of what is happening: Their company and their lives are being rendered meaningless.
Chandor's film goes a long way toward making understandable - in vivid, cinematic terms - what exactly happened to make that first big domino fall over.
As such, it's chilling and enjoyable in unequal measure. Entertainment predominates, but entertainment with smarts, and a well-honed edge.
While Spacey, Tucci, and Bettany are the standouts, every cast member locates disturbing notes of villainy or humanity.
Margin Call's strengths are of mood and the slick surfaces of things, and these elements are haunting long after the credits have rolled.
Margin Call is an explosive drama that speaks lucidly and scarily to the times we live in.
Chandor's writing goes to some darkly interesting places, and there's fun to be found in individual performances.
It's hard to feel compassion for these Masters of the Universe. I'm not even sure Chandor wants us to, but if he doesn't, then what's the point?
The first-rate cast cannot be faulted. Chandor has assembled an extraordinary ensemble.

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