Hey, moviemakers, are you looking for new villains? Might I recommend "the 1 percent"?
Hey, moviemakers, are you looking for new villains? Might I recommend “the 1 percent”?
The Wall Street drama “Margin Call” isn’t what most people would consider a thriller. It’s very talky, mostly takes place in an office and has a plot advanced by a math equation. You might find it boring. I found it enthralling.
In 2008, an unnamed Wall Street firm is going through a round of brutal layoffs. Youngsters Peter Sullivan (Zachary Quinto) and Seth Bregman (Penn Badgley) survive the cuts. Veteran Eric Dale (Stanley Tucci) does not.
Eric gives Peter a project he’s working on, warning, “Be careful.” As Peter stays late crunching numbers, he finds out why.
His discovery unfolds slowly in the film, but its seriousness is shown as his superiors — Kevin Spacey, Paul Bettany and more — get late-night calls to the office before the markets open the next morning.
First-time writer-director J.C. Chandor makes a stunning debut with a taut script reminiscent of “Glengarry Glen Ross.” Compiling this stellar cast certainly didn’t hurt.
Spacey is excellent even as he treads familiar waters, and Jeremy Irons is a scene-stealer as a ruthless boss.
It’s only when you contemplate the ripple effects of these decisions that the true impact is felt. “Margin Call” is a thriller where the thing that blows up is your pension fund.