Set in New York in 1981, A Most Violent Year follows immigrant Abel Morales (Oscar Isaac) as he struggles to stay out of the corrupt web that his industry is entangled in.
As the owner of a fuel company, he must deal with his competitors stealing his fuel and threatening his drivers, while the authorities investigate his books.
The underlying themes of corruption and morality are handled beautifully, showcased through outstanding acting. Julian (Elyes Gabel), an innocent truck driver, highlights that our choices define who we are, and our individual decisions can have consequences that go well beyond our personal concerns.
Abel's wife, Anna (Jessica Chastain), also puts on a stellar performance. The daughter of a corrupt gangster, her roots burst through at key points, even though the Morales try to avoid the gangster reputation.
It feels like Abel is trying to keep the lid on a pot which is threatening to boil over, and the film develops in much the same way. With great acting and strong themes, A Most Violent Year is a film that is sure to be a classic.