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Margin Call [Blu-ray]

3.8 out of 5 stars 1,811 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Set in the high-stakes world of the financial industry, Margin Call is an entangling thriller involving the key players at an investment firm during the first 24-hours of the 2008 financial crisis. When an entry-level analyst unlocks information that could prove to be the downfall of the firm, a roller-coaster ride ensues as decisions both financial and moral catapult the lives of all involved to the brink of disaster. Writer/director J.C. Chandor's enthralling first feature is a stark and bravely authentic portrayal of the financial industry and its denizens as they confront the decisions that shape our global future.

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Kevin Spacey, Paul Bettany
  • Directors: J.C. Chandor
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Blu-ray, Closed-captioned, DTS Surround Sound, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Roadside Attractions
  • DVD Release Date: December 20, 2011
  • Run Time: 107 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,811 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #18,965 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Margin Call [Blu-ray]" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
Having been the victim of corporate downsizing more than once, I was immediately engaged with this propulsive 2011 corporate drama from the beginning as Stanley Tucci's character, a seasoned risk management executive named Eric Dale, is told in a coldly indifferent manner that he is being laid off after 19 years with the same unnamed Wall Street firm. It's a piercing yet dramatically economical scene that perfectly summarizes how bloodless the corporate world can be, and in first-time writer/director J.C. Chandor's effort set on the eve of the 2008 financial crisis, it is very cold indeed with 80% of the trading floor being let go. As Dale is escorted out of the building, he hands a flash drive to his prodigious assistant Peter Sullivan and tells him to take a look at it and "Be careful."

Once Sullivan analyzes the data, he realizes the universal gravity of Dale's warning - that the firm is so over-committed to underwater mortgage-backed securities that the total potential loss exceeds the firm's total market capitalization value. In other words, the projected scenario means the firm will soon owe a lot more than it's worth, and the market will be on the verge of an apocalyptic meltdown. What happens after this discovery is a series of sharply intense clandestine confrontations with each level of higher-ups recognizing the ramifications of the inevitable disaster, each one far more nuanced in character than we are used to seeing in films from Oliver Stone about greed and immorality. Blessedly, Chandor doesn't stoop to the customary stereotypes in this corporate cage match, but what he does manage is capture the moral compass underneath each player by way of a cast that really delivers the goods with powerfully implosive performances.
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Up-front warning: there are no exploding cars, steamy sex scenes or "You can't handle the truth!" catch-phrases in this remarkable movie. Don't get me wrong, I like that type of movie, but this is something different. It's a drama, not a melodrama. It's a reality show about actual reality, which unlike most reality shows, usually moves along in an orderly fashion.

If you've never been a manager in a serious company, it might not appeal to you. As an ex-software company exec, I can say it felt real to me. I found the story exciting, because I could relate to the characters and their understated pain. Many things are shown, rather than stated. For example, they work all night long in their suits, but no one ever talks about going home, or the hours, etc. If you've been in a management crisis and experienced a long hellish night, you'll feel this movie in your bones.

The best part was the placement of the viewer in the shoes of the company execs. Imagine your place of work for 20 or 30 years going down in flames around you. If you are a teacher, imagine the school is going to close at the end of the week forever if you make the wrong choice tonight. Every kid in your school will never be educated if you fail. The only way to possibly save yourself and your students is to lie your ass off. That is not a fun place to be, and that's the tension behind the film.

On a final note, I didn't sense an overt political viewpoint from the filmmakers. I didn't feel this was a hit-piece on Wall Street or anyone else. It was dramatized and probably shrunken down in time-scale, but quite believable. I found that refreshing.
3 Comments 140 of 152 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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By AMP on November 1, 2011
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Having been a wall streeter for most of my professional life I can say that this film gets it right it gets right the firing, it gets right the way in which people are so disconnected, so self serving, it gets the way many young misguided college graduates think of wall street. I started working in the 1990s on wall street at a time when Risk Management meant something and at a time when firms like JP Morgan out of 23 wall was leading risk management with risk metrics and most of us coming out of great Universities with technical degrees were welcomed, albeit heralded as the saviors of the new age of finance. Sadly we believed it and so did the rest of the world including key people in the administration "Summers" defended our new financial engineering products so much so that even in light of the near collapse of LTCM they said that we had it right. Why do we believe that we can dilute ourselves? Mass delusion I say. And I say it again we must be mass deluded. As an insider working in Private Equity who never lost his job after the financial crisis I have to say three things. One that the movie I just saw is very accurate narrating what did happen,as to which firm it was portrayed in the film? well that I wont say, not because I cant say but because it isnt for me to say but what I can say is that it isnt the obvious one it is not Lehman. Second is that the movie reflects on something that it is amiss among our society which is the lack of what we call Humanity and common sense. Third is that I totally understand why people feel the way they do about us wall streeters, we have not lived up to the expectations or rather, we have.Read more ›
8 Comments 154 of 178 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Margin Call [Blu-ray]
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