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Considering this is a pretty intense movie about a desperate guy threatening to shoot and blow up people, this movie had moments of unexpected humour. The whole cinema was laughing at various points. Which was very cleverly done by director, Jodie Foster. The movie is well scripted and well acted. Clooney and Roberts clearly enjoy working together (just don't remind me of Ocean's 12). I agree with the other reviewer who said the movie should have just stopped with the return to the foosball table, and not gone for the schmaltzy hospital scene. Not the greatest movie of the year and not Oscar-worthy, but well worth the price of the movie ticket. Can't understand why it's only got a rating of 6.8 on IMDb.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
MASSIVE SPOILER ALERT!!!! Part of the appeal of this sort of a movie is
to see the REAL bad guy get his comeuppance. The real bad guy was of
course - Gates. Even more so than Camby and certainly not Kyle (he's
just a whiny "Never been told I'm wrong" Y-Gen loser) Gates is a ring
master at a freak show. The decadence of Wall Street and reality TV
show meets game show of the Money Monster is atrocious. I needed the
climax to be that Camby was exposed but it all got watered down and the
consolation prize to our emotions was to see Kyle gunned down. It
cheated me - not Kyle.
The movie was OK but Clooney - I dunno. He's not an action star, not a comedian, what the hell is he? For me the most overrated actor in a generation. Speaking of overrated - Ms Roberts takes the cake. So the choice was more about box office appeal than substance.
I'm sure the NYPD would have plenty to say about the way police procedures were portrayed. While I'm watching it I'm thinking 'it's just a movie. It was so 'staged'. Zero character development. Zero empathy for anyone other than maybe Kyle (a bit) and what the hell was that scene with the girlfriend?? Was it comedy relief? They would have cut her off with the first sentence. That, by the way, would have been more artistic and funnier.
I'd have liked the relationship between Clooney and Roberts to have mirrored Ed Harris and Mary Elizabeth Whozis from "The Abyss" but that would have taken time this film didn't seem to have.
Love you Jodie - maybe better next time. This was average at best and tragically, could have been better.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I simply cannot believe the positive reviews on this movie. It was in a word....terrible. The theme was important-that the (financial) system is "rigged" and perhaps that was what attracted a big name like George Clooney to it. I think the only redeeming quality of the movie was George Clooneys acting, which he seems to do so effortlessly.
But the execution of this movie was laughable. There are simply too many ridiculous and non believable actions by humans in this movie to list here, and I've forgotten more ridiculous things than I have remembered. But, it ruined the movie.
First, the obvious one that has been mentioned before. There is simply NO WAY a producer would decide to keep a hostage taker live on the air like the way she did. The hostage taker was obviously an idiot with no understanding of the technicalities of a TV show production, and would have not known whether he was live on the air or not. The movie lost most of its credibility within a very short time after it began because of this.
A few things other things that I do remember were especially comical. The movie seemed to be written by someone who has ZERO understanding of the financial markets/investment industry. That would be OK, except that the whole movie was focused on this industry. The fact that the writers/director didn't care to do their homework is representative of the laziness and lack of detail that you see over and over again in this film. For instance, the term "algo" was used countless times with seemingly no understanding of what an algo does or its potential ability to move a stock price for an extended period of time (and none of the people who were supposedly in the investment industry seemed to know in the movie either).
So many math problems too! The hostage taker in the movie supposedly bought the stock of IBIS Pharma at $75/share (mentioned by Clooney), and the companys stock price during the hostage taking (after an "algo attack") dropped it $8/share where is was during the film. Clooney mentioned that the hostage taker lost 60% on the stock, but this would have been an almost 90% drop. The hostage taker said he "lost $60K" with the stock drop, and at a later time the detectives learned that the hostage taker had gotten $60K exactly from his mother which he put all in this stock. Well, he would have then lost 60% or 90% of the $60K right? And he only would have lost that money if he had actually sold the stock, but based on what happened in the movie (when Clooney was trying to get the public to buy the stock to make him whole again) he was still holding the stock. Also, Clooney said he wanted to "triple" the stock to make the hostage taker whole but really that would have only gotten the stock back into the $20's, far from where he he bought the stock at $75K. The lack of attention to detail drove this viewer crazy!
There was a mention in the movie that the company in the middle of the whole controversy "had all of its pensions depleted", as if the stock price of this specific company had any affect on the value of its pensions (which would be diversified in any corporation into bonds/stocks, etc, NOT invested solely in its own company stock!). Furthermore it seemed to be the case that IBIS's OWN algo was responsible was its stock price dipping 90%, as if IBIS would be in the business of controlling its own stock with an algo, which is highly illegal (and impossible for an extended period of time). No one in the industry seemed to think this was an usual thing. Later in the movie there was some Asian genius that appeared for a minute that seemed to know all about the algo, and made some seemingly profound statement like "its just math" and said there was no way an algo could be completely responsible for dropping a stock price 90% for an extended period of time. He said this as if 100% of the people in the investment industry would not have known this already.
You also had a hostage taker walking the streets of NY with a gun and a bomb and a hostage, and the NYPD seemed to think it was OK to allow pedestrians withing spitting distance from the man, and when the man opened fire on the crowd, the police said "dont shoot" (at the hostage taker)? Are you kidding me?
It was an F.
The movie sounded good upon description and even began in an enticing, if somewhat smart-mouthed, way. But it soon deteriorated. Mr. Clooney's acting was extremely uneven, ranging from cavalier to scared senseless to domineering--all in relatively short order and all unbelievable. Miss Roberts was one dimensional. Mr. O'Connell emoted a bit too much. Yet, the actors' shortcomings seemed primarily the result of Miss Jodie Foster's absent direction. She apparently let these big name stars do what they wanted to do. (They must have been signed for a small fortune.) Even Miss Foster may be partially forgiven as the script was terrible. Character actions and motivations were often just outright implausible. The whole movie gave a sense of a cheap, quickly done production more suited to the TV screen than to the theater.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
"Money Monster" begins brilliantly. The opening scenes set in a
television studio seem authentic on a very detailed level. The pace is
frantic and various characters and subplots are introduced organically.
The direction is assured, acting is superb and production values are
excellent. The first act offers every assurance this will be a
compelling drama, if not an instant classic.
But then it loses momentum. The hostage/revenge plot is too boneheaded to maintain interest for long and the underlying defalcation makes no sense at all. An average Joe invests $60M in the stock of a company that loses $800MM in a single day, causing its stock to lose about 85% of its value. The guy then complains that he's lost everything he had. Granted, he took a huge beating, but he should still have stock worth about $10M, unless he purchased on margin, but we don't know. Then we learn the company has a fleet of corporate jets, at least one of which is a Lear Jet 85 with a base sticker price of $20.8MM. If the company is large enough to have perhaps $75-150MM invested in jets, one wouldn't expect even a $800MM loss to have such a devastating effect. But why is this average Joe buying equity shares? Wouldn't he ordinarily invest in some investment fund or pool managed by the company? There is another scheme to artificially depress another company's stock in order to earn billions on the defalcated $800MM. But for this to work, that company would need to lose about 75% of its market value and then rebound. The mechanics, timing and scale make no sense at all and there is no way the villain could expect to pull it off without getting caught. He would have done better trying to smuggle cocaine on his Lear. But DeLorean already tried something like that and it didn't turn out well.
But maybe it doesn't need to make sense. After all the recent financial scandals, the burst of the housing bubble, Greece, Brexit, the precarious state of pension funds and the imminent bankruptcy of the Social Security trust fund, perhaps movie audiences don't need much evidence to assume some slick financial type is a villain.
At one point, Clooney's Gates character tells the villain that his scheme isn't complicated. That's the problem. The plot needs a brilliant scheme that requires Gates's unique skills and efforts to unravel. Instead, it is a rather obvious plot that Roberts's Fenn unravels behind the scenes with the assistance of a character turned whistle-blower for reasons that aren't explored sufficiently to make them credible, with the assistance of a group of hackers who are able to find an obscure bit of evidence on a surveillance camera that would be zoomed in at nothing but an empty patch of ground if a couple of people hadn't decided to frame themselves perfectly while one of them incriminated himself.
The police involvement seems authentic initially, but stretches credibility during a bizarre sort of chase scene and culminates in an inexplicable act of violence against an individual who has gained widespread sympathy while recorded on live television.
The story would have been stronger if the average Joe had invested money that he had earned and saved, rather than life insurance proceeds perhaps an accumulated pension from working at a company for a long time and then being laid off due to economic circumstances.
The taste of death moment seems contrived.
Gates lacks a character arc. He recommended an investment that turned sour in part because an executive at the company proved to be disreputable and in part because nobody seems to know what the company actually does, other than deliver impressive profits. It turns out that the company doesn't know what they do either, as their much- touted trading algorithm was actually developed by a Korean programmer. In the final scene, Gates asks Fenn what they will do for the next program and neither one knows. His question may have been intended as humorous, as in how to top the drama of that day's events, but also reveals that he hasn't learned anything. He made a poor choice that cost the investors who relied upon his advice a lot of money. Tomorrow, he needs to make another recommendation, but he hasn't learned anything to guide him. Despite various implications that the system is rigged against the little guy, everything Gates has learned only applies to this one company. He was fooled and the public was defrauded. But nothing has happened to provide the public with better protection or to enable Gates to make better choices.
This is one of few real time films -meaning the flow of events matches
the duration of the film- that is quite successful in keeping the
viewer's attention all along, and Jodie Foster is very efficient as a
director presenting what seems initially a daunting technical subject
(how a computer "glitch" causes an 800 Million Dollar loss to
shareholders in a public traded company) as a dramatic thriller that
never looses pace.
The cast is excellent, Julia Roberts as the ever conscious producer calculating how each camera angle is best to follow on the unfolding live drama, George Clooney in one of his finest roles as the careless theatrical advice giver of the money program who gradually comes to realize how damaging his show is to the masses (in one particular touching scene he is in the street in NY and sees on-lookers imitating his dance moves on the show, and he becomes aware of what a buffoon he is), and finally Jack O'Connel who is very convincing as the candid investor who really wants to know how "the system" works (casting him was an inspired choice, he is not a well-known actor so he adds more credibility to the character he plays, a simple man from the street who looses all his money in Wall Street). None of the main or even secondary characters in the film are one dimensional, they have their problems (like lonely dinners for some) and concerns and values, whether it is the camera man or the public relations lady officer reporting to the big CEO, or even the main police officers in charge, all are multi-dimensional characters and their human aspects are not ignored.
Even though the film deals with a serious subject, an eye opener leading one to wonder about the real money monsters out there, it remains an excellent thriller with top class actors.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This was a truly boring and predictable watch. The acting was terrible
and the story had so many flaws and "as if" moments. Far too many to
Does anyone at any point actually think George Clooney is going to be killed of? The whole suspense of the movie is built on the fact that Georges character is at risk of being killed by the dopey assailant.
Georges character is so unlike-able that I found myself not caring if he were to be killed off. All the while I knew he wouldn't be or the movie would have to end. So while I knew he wouldn't be, I wanted him to be killed off so the movie would end. Its not good when you wish for the end of a movie to come soon
I have to say I regret the fact that I actually paid money to watch this.
A really terrible movie, watch at your peril!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Directed by Jodie Foster, "Money Monster" rehashes the cliché film
dramatization of Wall Street fraud and the commonplace Americans who
are the big losers in a tycoon's greed.
George Clooney and Julia Roberts have good chemistry as the star television talking head Lee Gates and his hard-working producer Patty Fenn. The simplistic story is that of a "hostage drama" when Gates is held captive in the studio by a crazed investor who has lost his fortune due to a Wall Street scammer and the advice given over the air by Gates. The plot unfolds with Gates and Fenn actually bonding with the terrorist to get to the bottom of malfeasance on the part of the CEO of a company called IBIS.
With the primary setting a television broadcast studio, this film might have worked better as a made-for-TV movie, as opposed to a feature film. Most of the action was predictable, and much of it was also unbelievable. The relationship of the young terrorist and his wife was entirely unconvincing. And the inaction on the part of the SWAT team, who had successfully surrounded the terrorist both in the studio and outdoors, was equally improbable.
In the end, "Money Monster" was a formula film that should not provide any surprises to viewers. The only cliché that was missing from the film was a slow crawl across the screen that reads, "Based on a True Story."
The story is SO VERY familiar , so many similar stories have been done before, often as a success, this is far from that.SO not one to remember fondly. Other than being so slow and ultimately very predictable, acting from most of the lead actors overall is at best okay, some scenes were actually unintentionally silly, But the support actors especially the studio crews, the cameramen etc. were all totally so unbelievable, so limp. The police pathetic SO this meant no surprises, no wow, no make us think , no interesting scenes , even if good at start of scene, was to often leaving me with a feeling of emptiness, did I fall asleep, blink to long ,as no punchlines , no drama, no fear, a waste of a good moment, a waste of a good point etc. , no drama, no emotion , no anything. What may of seemed a good idea to someone, shows how even a group of people so experienced and more than qualified took the money and went on holiday, not for a rest, as they all did that , very well already. This seems like a low budget 70s T.V movie. waste of money and actors time..AND MINE. Director must of been on holiday while filming as got nothing out of story or actors, so nothing to give us the fans.
Wall Streets fat cats are the target of Jodie Foster's real-time
thriller Money Monster, as a live broadcast of a tacky but successful
financial advice show is turned into edge-of-the-seat entertainment by
those watching. It's a satire of both our eagerness to lap up whatever
gibberish were told as long as it promises to make us money, and our
morbid fascination with watching live streams of death and destruction
in the era of information. Although both subjects have been tackled
before, it's an intriguing premise, especially with the acting talent
involved. Sadly, Foster seemingly hasn't picked up on the skills of
David Fincher and Martin Scorsese while under their direction, and
Money Monster is a toothless, unfocused effort.
Financial expert Lee Gates (George Clooney) is about to air the latest edition of Money Monster, a show in which he dishes out money-making advice on the stock market in a cynical, over-the-top style. In the wake of a technical 'glitch' in a trading algorithm which cost stockholders £800 million, IBIS CEO Walt Camby (Dominic West) pulls out of a live interview, leaving IBIS chief communications officer Diane Lester (Caitriona Balfe) to face Gates' questions instead. Once the show goes live, delivery driver Kyle Budwell (Jack O'Connell) bursts onto the set with a gun and a home- made bomb jacket, demanding answers to why the $60,000 he invested in IBIS has vanished without explanation, leaving Gates and his trusted director Patty Fenn (Julia Roberts) to track down Camby and keep Kyle distracted.
The real-time format seems custom made for tension and excitement, but Foster displays little talent for setting the pulses racing. Her approach is to shoot clinically and unfussily, similar in many ways to Clint Eastwood, who has made some excellent movies, but whose films of late have been somewhat cold and careless. It blows its wad early on, serving up all the best moments before the film really gets going. Although he is hardly the buffoon he plays regularly under the guidance of the Coen brothers, watching Clooney dance to rap music while wearing an oversized dollar-sign necklace is a joy, and he plays the despicable cable-host reptile remarkably well. When he is quickly silenced by the gun-waving intruder, he stops his sleazeball routine and begins an unbelievable redemptive arc, losing the charisma in the process.
The same can be said of O'Connell, who channels the same repressed rage he did so well in the excellent Starred Up (2013), but is quickly subdued as Gates and Fenn start to ask their own questions. He is arguably the true hero of the film, if somewhat misguided, but Foster seems to lose interest in him while the rich take over and try to save the day instead. It's a contradictory message, and the decision to make the enemy one man with an expensive suit and an untrustworthy smile, rather than the masters of the universe running the world that the film should be attacking, reeks of a lack of ambition. It's a missed opportunity, and the performances are the only real positive I took away from the film. I would have been happier watching a movie focused solely on a man like Gates, and what helps him sleep at night.
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