Gangster films have covered every subject matter from drugs to prostitution but I bet that there's few if any whose subject of choice is fuel oil.

Set in 1981 "A Most Violent Year" is a crime drama where not so honest business men battle over fuel oil. Set in New York Oscar Isaac plays Abel Morales a successful businessman whose fuel trucks are being stolen by his rivals. His wife (Jessica Chastain) is not as concerned about the legalities has her husband, she herself comes from a family that had connections to the mob, and she encourages him to take the law into his own hands. When one of his trucks is held up at gun point and the driver ends up in hospital even Abel's advisor (Albert Brooke's) tries to convince him to arm his drivers.

Morales speaks and looks like a hood, in a scene that could be straight from "The Godfather", he even turns up at a meeting of all the fuel bosses, who are having a meeting in an empty Italian restaurant, and warns them of the consequences of messing with him. On top of the problems that he has with his rivals, Abel also has the DA after him as he believes that Morales is running a dodgy business. With all these forces closing in on him threatening to destroy his family and his business Morales finds that he has a decision to make, should he follow his own moral compass or take the path of violence that others around him are encouraging ?

The subject matter might seem to be a strange choice, however "A Most Violent Year" is a gripping drama with some great performances from its lead actors. If you enjoyed director J.C Chandlers "Margin Call" and the excellent "All Is Lost" then this is well worth a look.




A Most Violent Year


starring: Oscar Isaac, Jessica Chastain, Albert Brooks, Christopher Abbott, David Oyelowo


UK Release: Friday 23rd January 2015

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