Abacus: Small Enough to Jail
Abacus: Small Enough to Jail (2017)

Abacus: Small Enough to Jail tells the incredible saga of the Chinese immigrant Sung family, owners of Abacus Federal Savings of Chinatown, New York. Accused of mortgage fraud by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., Abacus… More

Directed By:
Rated: Unrated
Running Time:
Genre: Documentary
Release Date: May 19, 2017
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Critic Score: 86% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews
Matt Zoller Seitz

As gripping as the movie is as a legal thriller, it's even more notable as a portrait of a community.

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Ignatiy Vishnevetsky
AV Club

James' essentially humanist mode of documentary filmmaking can't cut through the surface of the surface.

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Ron Wilkinson
It's Just Movies

Seemingly a story of bank operator-regulator mutually assured embarrassment, there is more beneath the surface.

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Ben Kenigsberg
New York Times

The film persuasively argues that any fraud at Abacus occurred at a low level, and that the bank dealt with it swiftly and properly.

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Kristen Yoonsoo Kim
Village Voice

James spins a fascinating and complex web involving lies, fraud, a months-long trial with a hung jury, and cultural biases against Abacus and the immigrant Chinese community it serves.

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Argun Ulgen

When James captures the Sung family during their lived-in moments, Abacus: Small Enough to Jail improves from a trial procedural to a cinematic vision of the American Dream under siege.

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Mark Jenkins

Abacus: Small Enough to Jail is a compelling non-fiction thriller. It should engross most viewers, even those who've resisted learning what a subprime mortgage is.

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Stephen Dalton
Hollywood Reporter

A minor but touchingly human subplot to the financial crash, Abacus: Small Enough to Jail is both an affirmation and an indictment of the American Dream.

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Todd Jorgenson

... invites cynicism and conspiracy theories regarding the injustice of it all, yet James keeps his focus on the kind-hearted people behind the scenes.

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