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Margin Call (2011)

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Follows the key people at an investment bank, over a 24-hour period, during the early stages of the 2008 financial crisis.

Director:

J.C. Chandor

Writer:

J.C. Chandor
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Popularity
1,203 ( 1,922)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 8 wins & 23 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Kevin Spacey ... Sam Rogers
Paul Bettany ... Will Emerson
Jeremy Irons ... John Tuld
Zachary Quinto ... Peter Sullivan
Penn Badgley ... Seth Bregman
Simon Baker ... Jared Cohen
Mary McDonnell ... Mary Rogers
Demi Moore ... Sarah Robertson
Stanley Tucci ... Eric Dale
Aasif Mandvi ... Ramesh Shah
Ashley Williams ... Heather Burke
Susan Blackwell ... Lauren Bratberg
Maria Dizzia ... Executive Assistant
Jimmy Palumbo ... Security Guard
Al Sapienza ... Louis Carmelo
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Storyline

A respected financial company is downsizing and one of the victims is the risk management division head, who was working on a major analysis just when he was let go. His protégé completes the study late into the night and then frantically calls his colleagues in about the company's financial disaster he has discovered. What follows is a long night of panicked double checking and double dealing as the senior management prepare to do whatever it takes to mitigate the debacle to come even as the handful of conscientious comrades find themselves dragged along into the unethical abyss. Written by Kenneth Chisholm (kchishol@rogers.com)

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Be first. Be smarter. Or cheat.

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site | See more »

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

29 September 2011 (Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

El precio de la codicia See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$3,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$561,906, 23 October 2011

Gross USA:

$5,354,039

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$19,504,039
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Jeremy Irons work visa expired just prior to filming his scenes. His agency had to immediately to scramble to get him the work visa through the British Embassy as well as a few U.S. Senators that helped expedite the process which usually takes two to three weeks. All of this happend during the Fourth of July weekend in which Irons was finally able to get his visa and literally take the plane to the airport in England to get to New York for the shoot. See more »

Goofs

With Peter Sullivan being a "rocket scientist" with a PhD, someone should have corrected Tulda from repeatedly calling "Mr. Sullivan" rather than "Dr. Sullivan." Possibly, Tulda did this to demean Sullivan or, more likely, no one at the meeting has the gumption to correct Tulda. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Seth Bregman: Just like that? Jesus Christ! Are they going to do it right here?
Will Emerson: You guys ever been through this before?
Seth Bregman: No.
Will Emerson: It's best to keep your head down and ignore it. Keep your head down and go back to work.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Steven Spielberg appears in the "Special Thanks" in the end credits but misspelled as "Steven Speilberg" on theatrical prints. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Ebert Presents: At the Movies: Episode #2.15 (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Deep Tech
Written & Performed by Philip Quinaz
Courtesy of Philip Quinaz Music/BMI
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Perfect visualization of recent financial crisis, showing how people on all levels in the financial industry act and think
17 October 2011 | by JvH48See all my reviews

I saw this film as part of the Ghent filmfestival 2011. Its announcement promised an inside view in the financial industry, and particularly how it could cause the recent financial crisis. And precisely this is what it did splendidly. I gave it a "very good"mark (5 out of 5) for the public prize competition when leaving the theater.

I particularly liked the way they avoided the techno babble about financial products, from which we all learned the hard way to be paper constructs only, none of these related with things in the real world. The story also clearly illustrates that higher echelons in the financial industry do not under­stand those technicalities either, something we assumed all along but didn't dare to ask for confirmation.

Departing from the very different purposes and backgrounds of the main characters, the story line got us involved in the attempts of each of them to cope with the situation at hand. Though their job motivations may drastically differ from yours and mine, this film had no really distinct good and bad guys.

The main characters were properly introduced in the time-line when logically needed. We got the chance to know each of them, with their own coping behavior in this volatile environ­meant, yet every­one bringing along his own human characteristics. In the process we also saw the golden chains to attach each of them to the company, making it virtually impossible to cut themselves loose from this line of work. We may call it greed, but it is a fact of life that everyone gets used to incoming cash flow, however large and unnecessary it may seem in our eyes. Once being there, it is logical to buy a bigger house and to send kids to expensive schools. After that there is no easy way back, and each one smoothly grows into a life style that is difficult to escape from.

The story line as such is not that important, apart from the fact that it succeeds very well in tying all the above together. It also maintains a constant tension all the time. I consider both aspects an achievement in itself, since nothing really happens in terms of dead bodies, physical fights, and chasing cars. Only a few short scenes were shot outside, but all the rest happened in a standard office building. The final outdoor scene was a bit unexpected (I won't spoil it for you), but it shows that even bankers are human after all.


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