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
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.
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: Occasional arguing.
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: 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: 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.
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.
Fan Reviews provided by
Intense. Intelligent. Interesting. by QEZF
A must-see. Great cast, great look, great direction, great everything. If you have a chance, you should definitely see this movie! No finger-pointing, no good guys vs bad guys, just very human, very dramatic, very honest, very good.
Nothing special. It's been done before by nickiwalliser
So many of the actors in this movie I love, and that's part of the reason why I wanted to see this flick. Wall Street movies are appealing to me and I feel like this movie has been done so many times before but with a different twist.
I thought it was slow-moving and very clear how it was to end. Most of the time throughout the movie I found myself looking at my watch, wondering when they were just gonna get it over with.
Margin Call by rcalex1
Extraordinarily tight, taught, tense -- and ultimately terrifying but in an extraordinarily cold blooded way. I thought AO Scott's review which was positive, was also off the mark. This movie is so well observed, so well presented, it doesn't need to make judgments. The opportunities for making judgements are there for you to make yourself. An extraordinary independent film, a powerful credit to the genre, and obviously could only be made outside the usual corporate media system.
Masterpiece Monster Movie by weems
You may not understand the inner workings of the monsters (aka mortgage-backed securities) that stalk this Wall Street firm and its employees. But most of them, like earthlings after an alien invasion, readily admit that they don't really know what's wrong either -- just that they've got to get out of here, somehow, even if other people get hurt in the process. (It's a nice touch that the only guy who seems to understand the full dimension of the danger is, really, a rocket scientist.) So watch this as you would a scary sci-fi flick where some creature is on the loose and out to kill. Then marvel at the performances of world-class actors doing some of their best work.Most powerful line in the movie: "Silence" -- see if it doesn't make your hair stand on end.
Not a movie for kids: The language and subject matter are meant for mature people. And it's probably most fun if you actually do know just a little about how we got in the economic mess we're in today.
Meltdown explained in simple terms by ekvegas
This isn't exactly a smoking gun but is does help explain how an internation crisis happend but it would help you have been watching/listening to the news to know what it is they are buying and selling.
My Take 12/25 by el_que_critica
This movie is the least bit about action but works with character exchanges and tension for the theme of this film. Slowly paced so there is really no climatic scene or anything that stands out. Good dialogue and the actors did a good job acting their roles. The story is good and well written. At the end of the day it wasnt a terrible movie but it also didnt really captivate me.
Review Of "Margin Call" by 4949leno
When a writer or a screenwriter writes of an historical event he or she should not whitewash the actors in that event.... How would we like a writer to present a book explaining why the the prison guards at Dauchau were really "nice guys". These Wall Street guys were crooks, and they knew exactly what the y were doing... packingworthless mortgages and selling them to pension plans, schools etc. They were not innocents.... And the term "Margin Calls" is not busually applied to the machinations depisted in the film...So while the film was well made I cant recommend the film.... Go see "Inside Job".... Lsilverstein22@gmail.com
A Must-See! by browningsm
Great movie and casting was top notch. Well written and insightful, overall well done film. Margin Call is a great movie; glad I heard about it and happy I saw it and recommend.
MARGIN CALL A LOOK INTO THE ETHICS OF WALL STREET by tedrpoli
Great movie, but it will sadden you to see how far our society of well educated and intelligent members has fallen to the calls of greed and selfishness.
At least a few showed some signs of remorse.
This is not a film that is intertaining, it is informative and educational.
The old song titled "Mama Don't Let Your Boys Grow Up To Be Cowboys" is now "Mama Don't Let Your Boys Grow Up To Be Wall Street Gangsters"!
finally by kwatinetz
a movie that doesn't dumb down villains and heroes in order to make a point. it is tough to see who to blame here, although the CEO (played by Irons) gets a fair amount of it. One of the more realistic wall st movies, worth seeing. as usual @KevinSpacey gives a stunning, movie-carrying performance as the nuanced 30-year middle manager having doubts about how he has spent his life. spoiler alert: his last speech to the traders on the day of the end of it all...simply fantastic, subtle acting that brings into question our entire (20th century, united states) society. obviously he did not write the script, but only such an actor could deliver that believably without going into kitsch