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      Abacus: Small Enough to Jail

      Released May 19, 2017 1 hr. 30 min. Documentary TRAILER for Abacus: Small Enough to Jail: Trailer 1 List
      93% 72 Reviews Tomatometer 85% 500+ Ratings Audience Score Abacus, a small family-run bank, becomes the only U.S. bank to face criminal charges in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis. The indictment and subsequent trial forces the Sung family to defend itself -- and its bank's legacy in the Chinatown community -- over the course of a five-year legal battle. Read More Read Less Watch on Fandango at Home Premiered Jul 05 Buy Now

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      Abacus: Small Enough to Jail

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      Critics Consensus

      Abacus: Small Enough to Jail transcends its less-than-dramatic trappings to present a gripping real-life legal thriller with far-reaching implications.

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      Audience Reviews

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      Alec B The most interesting thing here is the way the narrative frames the fallout from the '08 Financial Crisis. The public's desire for justice coupled with an unwillingness on the part of the Government to go after those who were really responsible meant that somebody had to be offered as a sacrifice and obviously they targeted people who couldn't really fight back. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 01/05/24 Full Review Audience Member This doc, part of the superb PBS Frontline presentations, and directed by Steve James, gives us another infuriating example, at times, of the staggering hypocrisy of government prosecutors. Spending years and many millions of taxpayer dollars on building a mortgage fraud case against the family-owned Abacus Federal Savings Bank, in Chinatown, NYC. This, while giving the huge banks, "too big to fail" a $700 billion bailout for their fraudulent loan practices, costing the U.S. economy $22 trillion during the financial crisis beginning in 2008. Abacus Federal, the 2651st largest bank in America, with its "huge" network of 6 branches, still remains the only bank ever indicted as a result of the 2008 crisis. Yes, you can see the bank made some mistakes mostly in their compliance policies, but in the overall scheme of things it was trivial in comparison to what the giant financial institutions were doing. Overall, a most solid documentary which tried to present both sides' cases to the viewer. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 02/25/23 Full Review Audience Member A really good example of how to make a cohesive documentary that touches on so many aspects of a legal case and yet never loses its focus or feels superficial, becoming even quite touching and tense as we realize what is at stake for this family who needs to prove their innocence. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 02/14/23 Full Review Audience Member Overprosecution at its finest. Heartbreaking saga. Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 01/17/23 Full Review Audience Member While it brings nothing new to the table, "Abacus: Small Enough To Jail" is nonetheless a compelling documentation of a trial meant for the government to scapegoat a small bank for the more severe crimes of banks that are allegedly "too big to fail". Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars 01/24/23 Full Review s r I want to go visit the bank next time I am in NYC. Despite its hints to try and tie this to the banking crisis, the true issue at risk comes out. Informative and well made narrative. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 03/31/23 Full Review Read all reviews Post a rating

      Critics Reviews

      View All (72) Critics Reviews
      Michael Phillips Chicago Tribune The personalities make the picture, and James' camera presence is such that "Abacus" never seems to gin up or theatricalize anyone's thoughts or behavior. Rated: 3.5/4 Jan 25, 2018 Full Review Tom Long Detroit News "Abacus" is probably the only film made in the past decade that could get an audience rooting for a bank, but it does just that. Rated: B+ Jul 22, 2017 Full Review Edward Porter Times (UK) When Steve James's documentary suggests that Abacus was the victim of a concerted Establishment plot... it doesn't have quite enough evidence for a conviction, but it is an absorbing study of the court case, the bank and Chinatown itself. Rated: 3/5 Jul 11, 2017 Full Review Jason Adams The Film Experience James doesn't mess around, aiming straight for our sentimental jugulars Jul 2, 2021 Full Review Aaron Pinkston Battleship Pretension Away from the case, the biggest joys of Abacus are seeing the Sung family together, around a conference room table or the dinner table alike. The way they interact with each other feels so familiar... Jan 4, 2021 Full Review Richard Propes TheIndependentCritic.com Abacus: Small Enough to Jail is an intelligent and involving doc feature. Rated: 3.5/4.0 Sep 1, 2020 Full Review Read all reviews

      Movie Info

      Synopsis Abacus, a small family-run bank, becomes the only U.S. bank to face criminal charges in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis. The indictment and subsequent trial forces the Sung family to defend itself -- and its bank's legacy in the Chinatown community -- over the course of a five-year legal battle.
      Director
      Steve James
      Executive Producer
      Raney Aronson, Christopher Clements, Sally Jo Fifer, Justine Nagan, Gordon Quinn, Betsy Steinberg
      Distributor
      PBS Distribution
      Production Co
      Kartemquin Films, Motto Pictures
      Genre
      Documentary
      Original Language
      English
      Release Date (Theaters)
      May 19, 2017, Limited
      Release Date (Streaming)
      Sep 13, 2017
      Box Office (Gross USA)
      $111.8K
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