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A Most Violent Year | 2014 | R | - 3.5.8

Set in 1981 New York City: a husband and wife struggle to keep their family business afloat as they are pressed from every side to slip into the violence that surrounds them. Also with Oscar Isaac, Jessica Chastain, David Oyelowo, Alessandro Nivola, Albert Brooks, Andrew Walsh, Elyes Gabel, Catalina Sandino Moreno and Peter Gerety. Directed by J.C. Chandor. [2:05]

SEX/NUDITY 3 - A wife kisses her husband and unties his tie; they kiss passionately and sex is implied. A husband and his wife kiss in several scenes. A husband kisses his wife's face and bare shoulder and they hold each other.
 A woman wears low-cut blouses and dresses that reveal cleavage in many scenes throughout the movie. A woman wears a low-cut negligee that reveals cleavage and bare shoulders. A woman wears a deeply cut top that reveals cleavage. A man is shown shirtless while shaving and his bare chest and abdomen are visible with a towel around his waist.
 A young man watches and admires young women walking by on a college campus.

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VIOLENCE/GORE 5 - A man with a gun approaches two other men and a woman: they talk and he yells and cries before shooting himself in the head (blood splatters behind him and we see him lying dead with blood pooling around him).
 A man chases another man into a subway car, shoves him out of the car and beats him in the head with a gun (we see the man's bloody face); the man holds the gun to the bloody man's eye and the man pleads for his life (he is let go).
 Two men with guns approach a truck stopped on a highway; they pull the driver out of the truck, hit him in the face with a gun and throw him on the ground before stealing the truck and driving away (we see the injured man on the ground with blood on his face and mouth and we see the man later in the hospital and hear that he has a broken jaw). A man on a sales call is taken out of the house by the customer, who punches him in the face; we see the man later unconscious in an empty truck bed before he is dumped into a hole in the ground (he gets out OK).
 We hear a man being attacked and his truck is stolen; another man in a car follows the attackers in the truck and they drive on narrow dirt roads and into a very dark tunnel before the truck tips over outside the tunnel and the driver runs away; we see another man in the truck with a bloody forehead and he is presumably dead. A man in a truck with a gun shoots at two other men with guns as they approach his truck; the two men shoot at him and move around the truck while yelling at him and they all run away when police arrive.
 A dog whimpers at the front door and its human companion grabs a baseball bat to investigate; he walks through the house and finds nothing, then goes outside to find a man wearing a mask who hits the man and runs; the man recovers and chases the masked man (we see his foot later with a bloody cut). A man is chased by police and he hides in a building.
 A young girl picks up a handgun that she finds in the shrubs outside her home; she holds it and plays with it before pointing it at her face (the girl's mother takes the gun away from her before it is discharged).
 A man driving on a dark road at night hits a deer; we see the broken windshield and the injured animal on the side of the road whimpering as the man gets a tire iron from the car to use to kill it before his wife shoots it with a handgun.
 A husband and his wife argue and she slaps him in the face as he yells at her. A man confronts another man and threatens him. A husband confronts his wife about having and using a handgun. A husband confronts his wife about money in a bank account and they argue. A man runs and climbs out an apartment window as another man questions his wife about his whereabouts. Two men argue about arming truck drivers with handguns for protection. A woman yells at her husband about their young daughter finding a loaded handgun in the yard. Two men argue briefly. A woman tells a man, "My husband will kill you." A man says, "We are at war." We hear that trucks are being robbed, more murders and rapes are taking place and there is industry-wide corruption. We hear a radio report that there was a reported murder in a schoolyard. We hear a report of police officers having been shot on a subway. We hear that someone invaded a man's home when he was a child. We hear that a truck driver was attacked and the truck was stolen. We hear about a "mad slasher on the streets."

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LANGUAGE 8 - About 37 F-words and its derivatives, 13 scatological terms, 3 anatomical terms, 4 mild obscenities, name-calling (stupid, cowards, punk, goon, bunch of thugs, gangsters, idiot, cheat, whore), 1 religious profanity (GD), 8 religious exclamations (e.g. Jesus, Oh My God, God, Jesus Christ).

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SUBSTANCE USE - A woman pours herself a glass of wine at her home and drinks, a woman drinks a glass of wine in a few scenes, and two men drink brandy. A woman smokes cigarettes in several scenes in her home, and a woman smokes outside a car while waiting for her husband.

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DISCUSSION TOPICS - Violence in large cities, violence in 1980s New York City, corruption, respect, business expansion, truth, unions, ambition, pride, embezzlement, sucker mortgages, the American Dream, weakness, political influence, felony charges.
MESSAGE - The American Dream can be a challenge to attain without violence.
CAVEATS

Be aware that while we do our best to avoid spoilers it is impossible to disguise all details and some may reveal crucial plot elements.

We've gone through several editorial changes since we started covering films in 1992 and older reviews are not as complete & accurate as recent ones; we plan to revisit and correct older reviews as resources and time permits.

Our ratings and reviews are based on the theatrically-released versions of films; on video there are often Unrated, Special, Director's Cut or Extended versions, (usually accurately labelled but sometimes mislabeled) released that contain additional content, which we did not review.



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We are a totally independent website with no connections to political, religious or other groups & we neither solicit nor choose advertisers. You can help us keep our independence with a donation.

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