Money Monster

Financial TV host Lee Gates and his producer Patty are put in an extreme situation when an irate investor takes over their studio.

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  • ★★★★ review by Tasha Robinson on Letterboxd

    The dismissive "eh, it's okay" reviews aren't giving this film nearly enough credit, either for its tight action (reminiscent of Inside Man) or its bleak sense of humor and awareness of the media environment and people's cynicism around corporate America. Money Monster has a lot of surprises — for God's sake, see it before a trailer gives half the movie away — and the biggest one is how subtle it is about getting across some of its more heartfelt points, while only soft-selling the more conventional and expected ones. Shrugging off this film because the "Wall Street is bad" message isn't convincing enough is missing the fact that that isn't the actual message at all. This film takes some cues from Network and Dog Day Afternoon, and it's better viewed from that angle than as a sincere, conventional hostage drama.

    Full review here for The Verge.

  • ★★★½ review by Frank Knezic on Letterboxd

    I'm sure one day a Quant will point out the Glitch in my Algo.

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  • ★★★★ review by Wesley R. Ball on Letterboxd

    Capitalism: A Horror Story

    Would it be a bit of a stretch to call Money Monster this year's The Big Short? Although not necessarily as good as the latter, Jodie Foster's latest film certainly has a lot to say in the short time it is given, yet doesn't do a whole lot to make any real call to these issues. These real world issues are lightly scrutinized, yet the film seems more focused on resolving the fabricated concepts rather than promoting a clear message. Perhaps it is because this has been going on for so long now that everyone (even Foster and the writers) are somewhat desensitized to just how big of a crisis we are headed into. You can wave a gun around and scream "The bankers are taking all of our money!" all you want, but in the end is anyone really going to do anything about it? Or will the pockets of those paid to turn a blind eye continue to deepen while the big men in thousand dollar suits continue deceiving the public?

    That's not to say there isn't a great plot in this film. Money Monster goes beyond the typical hostage crisis and provides a thrilling subplot that proves to be vital to the overall story. I was genuinely surprised when I discovered there was actually a mystery to be solved, although rather disappointed that I solved it so quickly. Then again, maybe Foster's intent wasn't to cover the mystery in a shroud. Maybe she deliberately made the plot so easy to decipher, in an attempt to deliver her message to the audience in a more easily digestible manner. I was surprised enough that I understood most of the plot regarding the stock market (numbers are my worst enemy, despite working for a credit card company), but what really shocked me was that my sister, whom I dragged with me to see this, completely understood what was going on. She's typically the one who doesn't like anything I recommend or make her watch, yet afterwards she told me, and I quote, "That was one of the less bad movies you've made me watch." Neither of us had any real expectations going in, and yet we both understood the intricacies of the plot and managed to enjoy it almost equally. That's the best part about Money Monster. Like The Big Short, it doesn't try to confuse its audience with Wall Street lingo or extraordinarily complicated phrases that only bankers would understand, but it instead allows the audience to get an easily deciphered inside look into the world it examines. 

    Money Monster is a politically charged and psychologically taut thriller that is never short of heart racing suspense or heartbreaking drama. Despite a somewhat flat performance from Jack O'Connell, the moments of dramatic tension did feel genuine, in a way. George Clooney is perfect as the suave talk show expert, and Julia Roberts is great as she can be, as the director and voice of reason. Money Monster elicits a wide range of emotions, from tearful, to laughter, to even raw anger. Foster makes these characters surprisingly sympathetic in such a brief window of time, and doesn't try to shove any unnecessary moments that feel forced or add nothing of value to the story. Partially a hostage crisis, partially a political investigation thriller, Money Monster is a genuine surprise of the year. What I had conceived to be a weak political thriller ended up being a genuinely unique and intriguing drama that had me in an adrenaline rush on more than one occasion. It's a great film that is certainly worth checking out.

  • ★★★★ review by Ava Davis on Letterboxd

    This movie was honestly really good but all I could think about for a lot of it was how during the trailers there was a preview of Hell or High Water and my dad whispered to me while gesturing to Chris pine "There's Star Trek" and I was like yes dad that is indeed Star Trek star Chris Pine or Captain Kirk good observation Michael

  • ★★★★ review by josh lewis on Letterboxd

    i'm sure it's just a result of how dire the current studio model of filmmaking is at the moment but this slick, mid-budget, star-driven, r-rated schlock felt like a total breath of fresh air... if this came out in 1996 it'd have been an oscar contender

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