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Margin Call (2011) (Import)

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Margin Call (2011) (Import) + Inside Job [DVD] [2011] + Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room [DVD]
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Product details

  • Format: Dolby
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: Castilian, Catalan
  • Dubbed: Castilian, Catalan, English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: Unrated (US MPAA rating. See details.)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (128 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B007JT6L6C


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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

70 of 73 people found the following review helpful By Jeremy Walton TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 16 Dec 2011
Format: Blu-ray
I saw this corporate drama last month in New York, just after attending a conference about managing financial risk (which, coincidentally, is one of the film's themes). The head of risk at the bank in this story is played by Demi Moore, who acquits herself well in a very strong ensemble alongside Kevin Spacey, Jeremy Irons, Zachary Quinto, and others. Based on the events at the start of the financial meltdown of 2008, the film isn't so much about the technical details about what it meant for a bank's assets to be suddenly realised to be worthless, but wisely concentrates instead on the human drama as the characters react to the disaster, and try and deal with it.

Beginning with Zachary Quinto's careful, respectful junior analyst who uncovers the problem, the viewer is drawn into an escalating series of encounters with his superiors, which culminates in a board meeting helmed by the bank's authoritative, adept CEO played by Jeremy Irons. This is a brilliantly nuanced portrayal by Irons: just watch the way he tries to calm the analyst's nerves with a self-deprecating remark whilst he testily flicks at the corner of his damning report. He's also compellingly watchable in his meetings with the experienced, exhausted trading manager (another compelling performance by Kevin Spacey), and in a short encounter with Demi Moore, whom he effectively crushes in spite of her brave attempts at resistance.

Filmed on a limited budget over a few weeks (mostly in an office in a midtown Manhattan high-rise which had recently been vacated by a trading firm), the camera is closely focussed on the actors and what they have to say. Since they're so skilled, and the story is so compelling (even though we think we already know what's going to happen), the result is a richly satisfying viewing experience.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Stanley Crowe TOP 500 REVIEWER on 6 Nov 2014
Format: DVD
No sex, no car chases, no bloodshed, lots of talking -- and yet this movie succeeds in gripping the viewer. Its genius, I think, lies in showing us something that is quite familiar -- the anxiety that goes with losing one's job without having done anything to merit being fired -- and putting that familiar anxiety (or fear) in a context that most of us have no direct experience of: the world of high finance, hedge funds, collateralized debt obligations, etc. etc. We like seeing people who are that high on the economic totem pole sweat, and yet because they are not all bad people, the movie enables us to see them as fellow human beings too -- in a tight spot of a kind that many of us can imagine ourselves being in, and not just at the mercy of "the economy" but as suffering the consequences of decisions made much higher up the chain of command than we can ever aspire to. These decisions put the people in the movie in danger -- and yet we know too that when things were going well, these same people were all too happy to benefit from the short-term profitable results of these same decisions. So our attitude towards them is sympathetic, but complicated, in a way that keeps us gripped.

The world of high finance engenders its particular moral dilemmas, and they too are engaging. The firm in question, an investment bank, needs to unload a lot of questionable financial instruments (think of collateralized bad mortgage debt) that threaten in short order to undermine the total capitalization of the firm. The ethical question is -- can and should the firm sell these off to clients who don't yet know that the firm's own projections show that the instruments will be worthless in a very short time?
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Skillwizard on 1 Oct 2012
Format: DVD
I must say for some reason I wasn't expecting too much from Margin Call despite the awesome cast. I guess I'm angry with the banks and financial companies for what they did and didn't think I'd enjoy watching what went wrong in 2007/8. But I was wrong, the movie blew me away much more than any I can think of for ages. It seems to be very much based on the Lehman Brothers fall but it's not explicitly mentioned to be so. The film reminded me very much of what I liked about The Firm, the original Wall Street and has the general feel of the similar feeling (and also excellent) Michael Clayton. The film gets straight into the action as people are getting fired and builds quickly into the looming threat of the crisis. The direction is very subtle so you really believe what you are seeing and the awesome array of acting talent mean you are really rooting for many of the characters despite what they do for a living. The script and dialogue are both excellent with a Glengarry Glenross feel to a lot of the exchanges. There is one moment that sums up how subtle it is for me. Demi Moore's character is being given some bad news and without even blinking or moving her eyes the slightest bit you can see something die inside her, it's really quite amazing big screen acting and there is not one false note here to be found. If you enjoy very well acted thrillers then give Margin Call a try ASAP, it will also teach a bit more about how these idiots wrecked our economy! Highly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 18 May 2014
Format: Blu-ray
Other reviews have described the film fairly well; I wanted to comment on the themes.
For me the narrative of the movie is about how its principal players are concerned only by the prosperity of their corporation (played out very well with a sterling cast of actors). There is no sense, or effort shown for the public good. In essence, the message here is that Corporations are amoral, and their existence owes its need to survive and succeed, at any cost. As the cast, play out their respective roles there is reflection, they reflect on the enormity of what is happening: For their company and their lives are being rendered meaningless. While the movie does not depict any one single financial event, or any one financial institution, however, there are `threads' that link this `fictional' account into the real world. This can be exemplified by the 2008 financial crisis: Goldman Sachs and the organisation's efforts to move early to reduce its position in mortgage-backed securities.

A film with no CGI, car chases or amazing fighting sequences. However, it has tension - the frailties of loyalties betrayed. A film that is really worth seeing.
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