6.8/10
16,991
57 user 34 critic

The Wizard of Lies (2017)

TV-MA | | Biography, Crime, Drama | TV Movie 20 May 2017
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The fall of Bernie Madoff, whose Ponzi scheme robbed $65 billion from unsuspecting victims; the largest fraud in U.S. history.

Director:

Barry Levinson

Writers:

Sam Levinson (screenplay), John Burnham Schwartz (screenplay) | 3 more credits »
Reviews
Popularity
1,572 ( 131)
Nominated for 2 Golden Globes. Another 3 wins & 17 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Robert De Niro ... Bernie Madoff
Diana Henriques Diana Henriques ... Diana B. Henriques (as Diana B. Henriques)
Nathan Darrow ... Andrew Madoff
Alessandro Nivola ... Mark Madoff
Michael Kostroff ... Peter Madoff
Kathrine Narducci ... Eleanor Squillari
Michelle Pfeiffer ... Ruth Madoff
Steve Coulter ... Martin London
David Lipman ... Martin Flumenbaum
Kelly AuCoin ... Agent Cacioppi
Don Castro ... Agent Kang
Amanda Warren ... SEC Investigator
Mark La Mura ... Ike Sorkin (as Mark LaMura)
Michael A. Goorjian ... Dan Horwitz (as Michael Goorjian)
Sophie von Haselberg ... Nicole De Bello
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Storyline

The fall of Bernie Madoff, whose Ponzi scheme robbed $65 billion from unsuspecting victims; the largest fraud in U.S. history.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Only those you trust can truly betray you.

Genres:

Biography | Crime | Drama

Certificate:

TV-MA | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

HBO

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

20 May 2017 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Arcyoszust See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Robert De Niro and Alessandro Nivola appeared in American Hustle (2013). See more »

Goofs

In a montage in which Bernie is calling Ruth from prison, he leaves her multiple voicemail messages. This is technically impossible to do, as all phone calls placed from federal penitentiaries must be accepted by the person the prisoner is calling. This is to prevent people from receiving unwanted phone calls and voicemail messages from prisoners.

The entire premise of the montage is unrealistic. If prisoners could call whomever they want whenever they want, all kinds of people would receive unwanted and threatening messages, including victims of the prisoners' crimes. See more »

Quotes

Bernie Madoff: [to his 8-year granddaughter] Shut up and eat your food!
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Soundtracks

Since I Don't Have You
Written by Jimmy Beaumont (as James Beaumont), Wally Lester (as Walter Lester), Joseph Rock, Jack Taylor (as John Taylor), Joe Verscharen (as Joseph Verscharen) & Janet Vogel
Performed by The Skyliners
Courtesy of The Bicycle Music Company
See more »

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User Reviews

 
The Big Short It Is Not
21 May 2017 | by senorgrandeSee all my reviews

An interesting attempt to weave a story line on the Madoff ponzi scheme but one that in the end is disjoint, incomplete, and largely unsatisfying. It certainly falls far short of other great financial movies – the Big Short, Margin Call, and Smartest Guys in the Room, to name a few. Worth watching but not likely a movie to savor, add closure, provide moral assurance, or make you feel anything. Too many moving pieces that lack grounding – the timeline has no center and the flashbacks and jumps forward are too disjoint, too many supporting characters are painted as morally ambiguous, and the many defrauded clients are nameless and faceless.

As for the some of the details, it's hard to get around Michelle Pfeiffer accent. It may be spot-on but the voice is just annoying. Add in Robert De Niro's unbalanced intonations and a discordant soundtrack and sound-editing and it is not a movie that will sit well with your ears.

It should have been done as a 3-4 part mini-series. They would have had a lot more time to not only relay the full time line and details of the case but also go into the many interesting sub-stories and tragedies. For example, the efforts of Harry Markopolos to unmask the fraud is addressed only by showing Bernie and Ruth watching 30 seconds of testimony on the TV in their condo. The questions of the hundreds of millions potentially transferred to London accounts for the benefit of Madoff relatives is not explored. The ineptitude of the SEC, FINRA and other agencies is also given short-shrift. Did you know that Shana Madoff, the chief compliance officer and niece of Bernie Madoff, married an Assistant Director of the Office of Compliance Investigations and Examinations at the SEC. They met in 2003 when he was performing an examination as to whether Madoff was running a Ponzi scheme. The SEC Director of Compliance Investigations and Examinations attended their wedding in 2007.

As it is, the movie dips its toe into the $64.8B (yes $64.8 billion) fraud case and provides some insights as to who in the inner circle may or may not have been culpable– all in the course largely telling a family drama. Interesting and entertaining, yes. A good film, meh. Disappointing for what it could have been, most definitely.


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