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A Most Violent Year (2014)

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In New York City 1981, an ambitious immigrant fights to protect his business and family during the most dangerous year in the city's history.


J.C. Chandor


J.C. Chandor
2,985 ( 203)
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 15 wins & 50 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Oscar Isaac ... Abel Morales
Elyes Gabel ... Julian
Jessica Chastain ... Anna Morales
Lorna Pruce ... Toll Booth Attendant
Christopher Abbott ... Louis Servidio
Matthew Maher ... John Dominczyk
Albert Brooks ... Andrew Walsh
Jerry Adler ... Joseph Mendelsohn
Quinn Meyers ... Moishe Mendelsohn
Chester Jones III ... Beat Cop (as Chester Jones)
David Oyelowo ... D.A. Lawrence
Ashley Williams ... Deputy Lange
Glenn Fleshler ... Arnold Kline
Jimmy Palumbo ... Barber Jimmy O.
Daisy Tahan ... Annie Morales


A crime drama set in New York City during the winter of 1981, statistically one of the most violent years in the city's history, and centered on the lives of an immigrant and his family trying to expand their business and capitalize on opportunities as the rampant violence, decay, and corruption of the day drag them in and threaten to destroy all they have built. Written by Production

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


The result is never in question, just the path you take to get there. See more »


Crime | Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and some violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »



English | Spanish

Release Date:

30 January 2015 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Jc3 See more »

Filming Locations:

New York City, New York, USA See more »


Box Office


$20,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$188,000, 2 January 2015, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$5,749,134, 26 April 2015
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


According to J. C. Chandor, the point of the title is these people trying to live in "their most violent year." See more »


Tollbooths in NYC in the 1980s had change baskets attached to every booth. See more »


Anna Morales: This is one probably you're gonna regret.
Lawrence: Excuse me?
Anna Morales: My husband's an honorable man. We are not who you think we are.
Lawrence: I think I knew your father.
Anna Morales: Good for you.
Anna Morales: My husband is not my father. Not even close. So if I were you, I would start treating us with a little more respect or I guarantee he will make it his mission in life to ruin you.
[Lawrence turns his head and grins sarcastically]
Anna Morales: This was very disrespectful.
See more »


References The Godfather (1972) See more »


Me and the Blues
Written & Performed by Ray Bryant
Courtesy of Concord Music Group, Inc.
See more »

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User Reviews

A most excellent movie to end the year.
4 January 2015 | by bbickley13-921-58664See all my reviews

Technically,one of the last movies released in 2014 on the year's final day, just in time for award season, cause it's that type of movie to impress awarders.

I do praise the movie, especially for it's stylized throwback to the late 70s-early 80s when the movie takes place , 1981 to be precise.

Oscar Isaac is becoming the man to watch out for. He never seemed like a leading man type, but after seeing him in Inside Llewyn Davis and this, I'm having a change of opinion.

David Oyelowo is another one I need to watch out for, although it's not hard, as he's been appearing in a lot of films, and gives a great performance no matter how small his supporting role is

The lovely Jessica Chastain is in the movie as well, being very brilliant and very sexy. I only wish she had more time on screen cause she's lovely to watch in all aspects.

The film also stars Albert Brooks in a role I feel he got because of his outstanding performance in Drive.

It's a very quiet movie with a lot of the drama coming from things not said but suggested. Not much action, but the little bit did get my blood pumping. It also had humor in the drama. It really does feel like it was done in 1981 too. Such a brilliant job by the filmmakers.

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