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Margin Call Review Critics


Dave White Profile

#occupy Read full review


Grae Drake Profile

Invest your time in something better. Read full review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 4.0

    out of 100

    Generally favorable reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 60

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Stephen Farber

    The first-rate cast cannot be faulted. Chandor has assembled an extraordinary ensemble.

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  • 80

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    As such, it's chilling and enjoyable in unequal measure. Entertainment predominates, but entertainment with smarts, and a well-honed edge.

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  • 91

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Owen Gleiberman

    You could describe Margin Call as a thriller (it's wired with suspense), yet the tension all comes from words.

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For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 16+

Thoughtful Wall Street drama has drinking, language.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that the biggest issue of concern in this dramatic thriller set on the eve of a huge Wall Street market crash is language. Characters liberally use "f--k," "s--t," and other strong words throughout the drama. They also drink and smoke frequently, seemingly as a response to stress. There's a brief scene in a fancy bar with sexy waitresses in skimpy clothes, and some brand names are visible from time to time. Despite all this, the movie is thoughtful and patient -- though teens may not be interested in the subject matter. But those who are could learn a bit about the ins and outs of recent Wall Street history.

  • Families can talk about the way in which many of the characters drink alcohol and smoke, as if out of necessity. Are the characters enjoying their drinks and cigarettes? What are the other reasons they could be smoking and drinking so much? What are some healthier ways to respond to stress?
  • Does the movie have a clear message? Does it have a clear hero? What would have been the right thing to do in this situation?
  • What do stock brokers actually do, according to the movie? Why do they bring in such big paychecks?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: In a time of financial crisis, these characters generally disagree on the right thing to do. Some of the characters appear to lean toward self-preservation at others' expense. But many of the main characters doubt this path, even though it's not clear exactly what they should do.

  • rolemodels true0

    Role models: Sam Rogers is arguably the most responsible character; he argues against the self-preservation action that the firm's leaders want to take. But in the end, he loses the argument and ends up going with the company.

What to watch for
  • violence false1

    Violence: Occasional arguing.

  • sex false1

    Sex: A brief scene takes place in a fancy bar, where waitresses are seen wearing sexy outfits while serving. One character mentions the amount of money he's spent on hookers.

  • language false4

    Language: Very strong, fairly frequent language includes multiple uses of "f--k," as well as "Jesus Christ," "s--t," "ass," and single uses of "p---y," "c--t," and "t-ts."

  • consumerism false1

    Consumerism: A McDonald's "M" (golden arches) is visible twice during an aerial view of the city. A bottle of Snapple brand water is visible on a desk. Nicorette gum is mentioned by name.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false3

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Characters smoke and drink constantly. One character frantically chews Nicorette gum but succumbs to having a real cigarette from time to time. Other characters smoke the occasional cigarette as well. One character drinks heavily throughout the night, swigging from a bottle in a paper bag. Main characters are seen drinking in a bar.