Be first, be smarter, or cheat: Margin Call Review

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Rank: King Kong | 1,283

Margin Call (2011)
105 min - Thriller - 21 October 2011 (USA)
Director: J.C. Chandor
Writer: J.C. Chandor
Stars: Zachary Quinto, Stanley Tucci and Kevin Spacey

I read somewhere this weekend that this movie came out on Friday and I decided like a good finance geek to go watch it tonight. I must say that out of all the finance movies I've seen and own (Boiler Room, both Wall Streets, Rogue Trader, and a plethora of documentaries), this might be my favorite one.

Lets begin by the cast. Spacey, Jeremy Irons, Demi Moore, Stanley Tucci. All world renowned actors that have before played power drama roles. The casting director did a great job at selecting these actors for their respective characters. I look forward to reading about how they prepared for their roles, in the likes of how LaBeouf shadowed traders and HF managers for Wall Street 2. The way these characters interacted reminded me of Suits, with all the power play dialogue but in an Investment Bank setting.

Next, the quant: Zachary Quinto. I'm guessing he got this role after Mr. Chandor watched Star Trek (He played Spock). He plays the quant who discovers the issue that sets the plot/power games going. His character must convey 'genius' while at the same time adaptation to the investment bank culture. I don't work at an ibank but I share the elevators with ibankers everyday, and man the guy can play the role.

Quinto's pals at the firm are Penn Badgley (Gossip Girl) and Paul Bettany (A Beautiful Mind). Badgley's character reminded me of the monkeys at WSO. Wont reveal much more but I can see even the trolls agreeing with me. Bettany's character plays the young director stuck in his role. This was my favorite character because his struggle goes much deeper than everyone else and the writer is good at exposing that even though his character plays a small role in the plot (but gets a lot of film time). Finally Simon Baker's character who plays the bridge between the power players Moore, Spacey and Irons. Plays a very level headed VP who when by himself you can see through his eyes fear of what is unfolding in front of him.

The movie is made to keep you in your toes the entire time, even though very little 'action' is seen. I felt that the movie had a 'no sugar coating, no bullshit' theme that I really enjoyed. I could see nearly all of the conversations happen on a trading floor on a day to day basis. I'll have the ibankers and traders chime in on this one.

All in all as a first impression I really liked the movie. Very focused on the plot, no side stories or subplots like both Wall Streets. This movie is made for the finance geek even though they try to simplify the dialogue as much as they could. I would love to hear your thoughts.

I tried to keep this post as spoiler-free as possible, and I hope the responses are the same. I don't want to ruin this movie for anyone on this site.

Comments (10)

Oct 24, 2011
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    • 1
Oct 27, 2011
Oct 27, 2011
Oct 25, 2011
Oct 26, 2011
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"Kept feeding him dollars 'till it all started to make cents."

    • 1
Oct 26, 2011