If it wasn’t for the US recession, Rich Carver (Michael Shannon) would have been a nice cuddly realtor. But when people stopped buying homes from him, he started repossessing them from people; from those sad unfortunates that fate fails to favour. And he grew rich. And on the way he repossess the home of our Faustian hero and handy man, Dennis Nash (played with convincing realism by Andrew Garfield).
Notwithstanding having a portmanteau of skills that would shame every Polish builder, Nash finds no alternative but to obtain employment with Carver, at first making properties good, then making ‘em bad, and then conspiring with Carver to defraud Fannies Mae and Mac, the US state property lenders.
Nash makes money, even throws people – lots – out of their homes – including a particularly moving encounter with Mr Baldwin (Don Brady) who, confused also by age and the recent loss of his beloved wife, finds himself out on the sidewalk.
With repeated suggestions that the banker’s don’t play fair or honest (oh come now, we have no real need for a man with integrity to head the FCA eh, George?) and the rich get richer through the misfortunes and misleadings of others (and you’re surprised that Corbyn is getting a look in!), Nash tries to buy his old house back.
But he takes a step to the dark side too far. A little bit of forgery forces him to choose whether the Devil has claimed him, or redemption (albeit via likely incarceration) is possible. No prizes for guessing which he chooses.