Director J.C. Chandor, who also wrote the script, delivered a fascinating portray of a fast social climber and self-made man, who is surrounded by a viscous environment: Abel & Anna have to struggle not only with more or less criminal competitors, they also have to deal with a powerful trucker union and a nosy district attorney, who his politically highly ambitious. This leads to a chain of events which are fascinating to watch (this is a spoiler free blog). I really cared how Abel & Anna fared.
The movie gets most of its strength from the compelling acting. Oscar Isaac impressed as Abel. The actor radiates the aplomb and self-confidence someone needed in this times to survive. Jessica Chastain performed convincingly as his congenial partner.
"The Most Violent Year" is an underrated gem of cinema.