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All-Too-Familiar Story of Greed and Corruption
lavatch8 September 2016
Warning: 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."
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tjberchou25 August 2016
Warning: 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.
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A bit of a let down
Steve Wren29 June 2016
Warning: 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.
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Fairly tense thriller with unexpected laughs
fordmodelt Ford12 June 2016
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.
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Begins brilliantly, but loses steam
Gino Cox13 August 2016
Warning: 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.
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Not realistic or worth watching....
dryanmorr21 September 2016
Warning: Spoilers
The premise of this movie could have been a lot better thought out and a lot more logical or realistic. For a George Clooney film, this should have been a lot better. Anyone with any common sense as far as the police handling a live hostage situation. As soon as the NYPD allowed the girlfriend to go on TV only to call him stupid, dumb, etc. I watched the movie in the background.

And the horrible humor parts of this movie, c'mon, it was so out in left field it just made this movie more of a joke, until you hear that the NYPD is planning to shoot the hostage in order to unarm a bomb vest and eh...don't waste your time.
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Solid and engaging thriller with a timely topic
Samer Abdallah5 June 2016
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.
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do ironing while watching, as will not engage your mind to cause burns
andybevs22 August 2016
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.
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Confusing and not original critique of Wall Street
alexmuns-203-8327218 July 2016
The causes of the global financial crisis of 2008-2010 and the mechanisms that speculators use are complicated and thus not easily packaged into a 90-minute movie. But movies such as "Margin Call", "Arbitrage", "Wall Street" and especially the documentary "Inside Job" do a much better job of explaining them than "Money Monster". Producer- actor George Clooney is known for his anti-establishment movies, and ones such as "Ides of March" are excellent. But on this occasion he and director Jodie Foster try to do too much: denunciation of Wall Street, financial markets, crooked bankers and the news media. Clooney's character is akin to that of well-known financial network program hosts, and thus not original. His banter with Robert's character is at times funny and in my view only saving grace of "Money Monster". But many parts of the plot are a stretch: lack of security at a major financial news network and police restraint. The corrupt banker's investment is in the same sector as in "Arbitrage". Globalization has many discontents. Movies and the media should be cautious about coming close to justifying violent reactions, especially as copycat behavior has been proved.
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Money Monster is your typical hostage thriller with a predictable ending, but the surprising twists keep you guessing and at the edge of your seat.
Ian Hornbaker12 May 2016
Money Monster features George Clooney as one those loud obnoxious Finance TV hosts. It also features Julia Roberts as the shows director. However, when an angry investor played by Jack O'Connell, breaks into the studio and holds George Clooney hostage till he gets some answers, George Clooney has to do anything he can to stay alive.

I originally went into this movie with relatively low expectations. I thought the plot was going to be predictable and boring, but overall, I found it to be very entertaining.

The Good:

The performances. You can always expect a good performance from George Clooney And you can honestly say the same thing about Julia Roberts. That being said this is the 3rd movie that features Jack O'Connell in a leading role and let me just say that he is quickly becoming one of my favorite actors. At this point, I think he can do no wrong.

The next thing I liked were the clichés in the movie. This movie reminded me a lot of John Q in that it is a normal person standing up for something he knows is right, even though the means might not have been the best. That being said, even though many of the hostage clichés that you get in movies like John Q, the Negotiator, and The Inside Man, are still here… the result of the clichés took a completely different turn. So although I thought they were going to be cliché, they actually turned out to be completely unique.

Money Monster was also surprisingly funny. Now don't get me wrong, I wouldn't call it a comedy by any stretch of the imagination because there were moments that were roll-you-eyes obnoxious, most of which came from the TV shows production, but there were definitely moments where I found myself laughing out loud.

The Ehh:

As I said already I liked how the movie would start a plot point with a cliché and then completely turn it on it's head. I only wish the same thing could be said about the ending. I figured out roughly how the movie was going to end by about 5 minutes into the movie. It was pretty obvious where they were going, but it was still refreshing how they ended up getting there.

The Bad:

The dang TV show that George Clooney's character hosted. I can't stand shows like Mad Money, and Money Monster is an extreme version of that. Luckily the main story line started pretty quickly so I didn't have to see too much of it.


Even though Money Monster is your typical hostage thriller with a predictable ending, the great acting and surprising twists keep you guessing and at the edge of your seat. For those reasons I recommend that this movie should be seen in theaters. Visit Unpopped Review for more movie review from a movie lover, not a movie critic.
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Poor All Over
rehcab27 September 2016
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.
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Flawed, but a pretty descent thriller.
DarkVulcan2918 May 2016
Warning: Spoilers
Lee Gates(George Clooney) an over the top T.V. host of the show called Money Monster, in which he helps people make and save money, is suddenly having a dog day afternoon when he and his studio is taken hostage by Kyle(Jack O'Connell) cause he went broke over bad advice he took from the show. A bomb is put on Lee, with the help of his producer(Julia Roberts), we wonder if Lee will get out of this alive?

George Clooney is awesome here, for the most part is being himself, but then he really gives it his all. Julia Roberts is also great, she does pretty well for someone who is stuck in one area, she plays it so real. Jack O'Connell is quite intense here, you don't know weather to like or dislike him. Jodie Fosters direction is good in spots, but the other parts it gets quite lazy, there are funny moments, but they come in at the wrong time, and Kyle has a pregnant girlfriend, thinking she is gonna become a big part of the film, nope she is introduced and is gotten rid of pretty quickly, no follow up nothing. And the way this movie ends is also very lazy, it's like the writers didn't really know how to end this.

But still a pretty good thriller, like a puzzle you are trying to put together, and when those scenes happen, keeps you on the edge of your seat. Clooney and O' Connell work pretty well together.
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I Love Julia Roberts and loved this excellent movie.
avirariva25 May 2016
Warning: Spoilers
Cable financial guru Lee Gates (George Clooney) is in the midst of airing the latest edition of his show, "Money Monster." Less than 24 hours earlier, IBIS Global Capital's stock inexplicably cratered due to a glitch in a trading algorithm, costing investors $800 million. Lee planned to have IBIS CEO Walt Camby (Dominic West) appear for a softball interview about the crash, but Camby unexpectedly left for a business trip in Geneva.

Midway through the show, a deliveryman ambles onto the set, pulls a gun and takes Gates hostage, forcing him to put on a vest laden with explosives. The "deliveryman" is laborer Kyle Budwell (Jack O'Connell), who invested $60,000—his entire life savings, inherited from his deceased mother—in IBIS after Lee endorsed the company a month earlier on the show. Kyle was wiped out along with the other investors, and now wants answers. Unless he gets them, he will blow up Lee before killing himself. Once police are notified, they discover that the receiver to the bomb's vest is located over Lee's kidney. The only way to destroy the receiver—and with it, Kyle's leverage—is to shoot Lee and hope he survives.

With the help of longtime director Patty Fenn (Julia Roberts), Lee tries to calm Kyle down and get him some answers. However, Camby is nowhere to be found, and Kyle is not satisfied when both Lee and IBIS chief communications officer Diane Lester (Caitriona Balfe) offer to compensate him for his financial loss. He also is not satisfied by Diane's insistence that the algorithm is to blame. Diane is not satisfied by her own explanation either, and decides to contact the programmer who created the algorithm for answers, reaching a man in Seoul. The programmer insists that an algorithm could not take such a large, lopsided position unless a human meddled with it.

In the meantime, the police find Kyle's pregnant girlfriend and allow her to talk to Kyle through a video feed. When she learns that he lost everything, she viciously berates him before the police cut the feed. Lee, seemingly taking pity on Kyle, agrees to help Kyle discover what went wrong.

Once Camby arrives back in New York, Diane goes through his passport. She discovers that he didn't go to Geneva at all, but to Johannesburg. With this clue, along with messages from Camby's phone, Patty and the "Money Monster" team contact a group of Icelandic hackers to try and discover the truth. After a police sniper takes a shot at Lee and misses, he and Kyle resolve to corner Camby at Federal Hall, where Camby is headed according to Diane. They head out with one of the network's cameramen, the police, and a mob of fans and jeerers alike. They barely manage to corner Camby, and after ensuring that he will not run away, they finally confront him with the full story, with video evidence obtained by the hackers.

It turns out that Camby bribed a South African miners' union, planning to have IBIS make an $800 million investment in the mine while the union was on strike. If Camby's plan had succeeded, IBIS would have generated a multi-billion dollar profit when work resumed at the mine and the stock of the mine's owner rose again. However, the gambit backfired when the union stayed on the picket line, causing IBIS' stock to sink under the weight of its position in the flailing mining company. Confronted with the evidence, Camby admits his swindle. Satisfied, Kyle kills himself by allowing the police to shoot him after throwing the detonator away.
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Money Monster
cultfilmfan28 May 2016
All the years I spent watching Jim Cramer and his bombastic yet highly entertaining financial advice show, Mad Money (which I think George Clooney's character, Lee Gates and his financial show in the film entitled, Money Monster is clearly a satirical stab at), I always wondered while I watched Cramer give advice on certain stocks, or even recommending some as a must buy, or a do not sell, or do not buy, I always wondered whether anyone was really out anything by listening to Cramer and his advice. Did anyone ever listen to one of his stock tips that ended up being devastatingly wrong and perhaps lost a lot of money, or maybe even more collateral than that listening to his advice on a risky stock tip? Yes, at the end of each Mad Money program, or really any financial program, there is always a disclaimer at the end of these shows telling the viewers to consult a professional financial accountant, or broker before making any rash decisions regarding your funds and investments and in a sense the shows in question tried to take no responsibility if someone ever was to lose a lot because of these programs and their hosts on the air. What if a situation like what happens in Money Monster, were to really happen? A blue collar worker invests every cent they have based on a stock that was highly recommended on said program only to have it go belly up and end up losing everything in the process. I think we can all understandably say we would be furious and looking for someone to blame after everything was gone. But who is to blame? Is it the host of the television program who is trying to entice you with a lot of bells and whistles and fancy jargon over buying a stock? Or perhaps the station and the people who put the program on the air? Are they to blame? Or does it go even deeper than that and in fact involves shady business dealings with the actual companies themselves, who may have more stake and more involved in a company's win, or loss than you might expect? Are they the ones who should handle the blame and take on the responsibility of those who are out nearly everything buying, or selling one of their stocks? These questions and more is what the new film, Money Monster tries to answer in what is a very captivating, thrilling and entertaining 98 minutes of a movie. George Clooney plays the obnoxious Lee Gates, who is the host of Money Monster and Clooney as in typical fashion, is really good at playing suave, somewhat sophisticated and arrogant characters such as Gates and here he is totally believable in the performance and does a great job. That is one of the film's really strong points which is the acting, whether it be from pros such as Clooney, or Julia Roberts to newcomer Jack O'Connell, all deliver exceptional performances and really keep the film going. This type of a film needs three main things to keep it's momentum and audience interested and that is truly capable actors who can handle the material they are given, but also who fascinate us as viewers and want us to keep watching them and see where and what happens to their characters. Also we need a script that has a plausible yet fascinating beginning, middle and final act with just the right amount of things to thrill the audience, keep us guessing and wanting to see what happens at the end and also a certain message to drive home to the viewers to leave some food for thought after you have left the theatre and to truly keep the film fresh in your mind. The direction also has to know how to keep the scenes in question lively and fast paced, but also allowing us in it's brief running time to have a certain connectedness to it's protagonists and make us believe in what is happening and also exciting and giving us reason to be angry at what is going on not only in the film, but in real life as well. The film passes all these check points and exceeds abundantly in each of these areas. Money Monster is one of the most entertaining thrill rides of the year, but it is not an empty movie. It is filled with good thoughts and questions that need to be asked and will rally any individual who has ever been questioned, or burned, or just plain angry about the things mentioned earlier in the review. The film has great and sharp dialogue and not just one dimensional characters, but very interesting characters who are great pawns in this giant chess game of a film. The film has a strong message and will leave you thinking about it's message, but will keep you riveted while doing so. One of the best times at the films so far this year and I look forward to seeing more of Foster as a director and hope Clooney and cast continue to shine in other films because they are all on the top of their game here.
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Twizard Rating: 86
goolizap25 May 2016
Warning: Spoilers
It's a common theme in films that Wall Street is largely corrupt. We've seen it played out countless times. Especially lately. And many of these films mesh together to become indistinguishable from each other. Money Monster may feel different. But is it maybe due to the ridiculously large ad campaign or because it says things that the others don't?

The former is most likely true, but it doesn't mean this film should be tossed aside. There's a lot to like about it.

George Clooney plays Lee Gates, the host of a stock market show where he advises people on what to stocks to buy and sell. In one situation, he advises everyone to buy shares of a specific company, saying it's a surefire bet. So many viewers do, but when the company's stock plummets, costing investors $800 million, everyone wants answers.

Most specifically, a young man named Kyle (Jack O'Connell), who sneaks onto the show's set and threatens everyone. Flailing a gun around and strapping a bomb around Gates' chest, he goes into a rant about losing his entire $60,000 life savings on the company because of Gates' advice.

Kyle and the script have a lot to say, but never quite hit the nail on the head in a grand way. It's well thought out, but doesn't play as so, instead giving us popcorn thrills and adrenaline rushes. Which, by no means, is a bad thing.

Bordering on transparent and cheesy a few times, its wittiness jumps back out of it quickly--and fortunately.

At a little over 90 minutes, the film is paced well. It keeps us awake on the edge of our seats pretty much the whole time, which is interesting considering almost the whole thing takes place on a television set with just a couple of people.

This may have to do with the fact that the point of view is all over the place--an odd decision for a thriller. We see what the filmmakers conveniently need us to see--not always what makes sense for us to.

Though not as big or impactful as it wants to be, it stands as a microcosm of the financial stresses most of the country is constantly going through. It's an important movie, but there are others that are slightly more important. Although, it doesn't hurt to watch this one and be thoroughly entertained in the process.

Twizard Rating: 86
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Worst movie that George Clooney was ever part of.
Sudarshan Rao28 August 2016
This movie is about Wall Street. The ostentatious hedge fund guys wearing 1000$ suits, traveling in their G-5s and at the same time fooling the public and robbing their money by employing "High Frequency Trading".

The premise of this story is entirely laughable. There is a "Black Swan" event in the financial markets. People lose a lot of their money and one disgruntled nincompoop, amateur investor goes bonkers and takes financial studio hostage. Stitching together complicated terms such as High Frequency Trading, Dark pools, mathematical anomalies etc. this film gives an entirely inaccurate view of how money is lost in the stock markets, I'm no expert myself but this isn't how that works.

The story line is just full of holes, plain banal and just regurgitates popular sentiment about how Wall Street or hedge funds dupe money out of investors.

The acting is sadly isn't that great. Would've expected more out of Clooney and Roberts. On top of it the story line doesn't help their case as well. I actually am writing this review with the movie playing in the background. I just want to get it over with, my earphones are on and am simultaneously writing this scathing review. The only thing worth watching in this movie is - Caitriona Balfe. Real pretty and easy on the eyes. Nothing much apart from her.

I highly recommend that you don't watch this bullshit and save yourself the trouble.
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Hectic and unconvincing and self righteous
phd_travel2 November 2016
Didn't like this movie despite the star cast and timely topic. A man who lost money from a bad stock tip goes after the TV financial adviser (similar to Mad Money's Jim Cramer) whose flamboyant show talked up the shares of a company that crashed. There is something too much about the self righteousness that the people demonstrate. Don't feel for any of the characters. Who asked him to put all his eggs in one basket? Who gave the George's character the right to act so self righteous at the end. He still gave advice carelessly. The one dimensional evil CEO thing has been done to death. Time to find another villain! George is too George Clooney acting as this financial guru - not convincing. Julia Roberts looks tired rather than concerned or anxious as she ought to be. Jack O'Connor from Unbroken is a bit out of place looks to much from across the pond. Nice to see Giancarlo Esposito of Breaking Bad as a cop.

Jodie Foster is not a great director. Her style is hectic and not well paced - a bit manic like the way she talks and acts.

Not a must see.
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A great film that says allot about society
alindsay-al27 May 2016
I have wanted to see this film ever since I saw the trailer and I got my chance today and I really do think this is a great film. The premise sees a host of a financial expert show get held by gunpoint by an investor with a grudge. George clooney plays the host lee gates and does a great job in this film. He is his usual charismatic self in this film but there is also depth to him in this film as he tries to live and tries to truly find out what is going on. Julia Roberts plays the director in his ear who is trying to calm the situation down and she does a great job too because you learn allot about her character from this situation that she has been put in and her chemistry with clooney is really good especially since they don't actually share allot of screen time. Jack o connell plays kyle the antagonist in the film and he is probably the most surprising performance because he is fantastic in this film. You see the anger pouring out of him because of one bad decision he made but you feel sorry for him because he is human and everybody makes mistakes and even though he is probably doing the wrong thing you kind of understand why he is doing it. All the other supporting characters do a decent but unspectacular job in their roles. The story of the conflict between clooney and o connell really drives this film and you feel the intensity of the situation just build and build as the film grows. However, the film spends a decent amount of its time focused on events outside the tense situation and it just doesn't feel as important or thrilling especially as the characters just aren't as interesting. The script has great dramatic moments and dialogue involved in it which sells it as this intense thriller. It also has some fun humour in the film that surprisingly works for the film. The style of the main story is great with the right amount of intensity mixed with humour and character development. However, the pacing is a little off with the other plot lines where you end up not caring about a quarter of the movie. Overall this is a great film that if your a fan of thrillers you owe yourself to see.
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Great cast and story
cathie45415 May 2016
Warning: Spoilers
I went in to the movie expecting to be entertained, and I wasn't disappointed. Dramatic, with a little humor, a perfect combination. I loved the plot twists, and was sad that the inevitable happened. I loved the character Kyle, and I think many of the movie's audience are going to be sympathetic to him, given the state of the economy since 2008 (I know it's getting better, but it's been a slow recovery.) I loved Kyle's girl friend's response to the situation he was in, and it wasn't at all what I expected, but was filled with honesty and emotion. Julia Roberts and George Clooney were both very good. I also liked seeing all the character actors that I've enjoyed on television shows (Breaking Bad, Blue Bloods to name two) as part of the police department officers. I was a little disappointed that the character Camby didn't get more of a punishment for what he did (which of course is just like the banks and mortgage companies getting away with what they did). Showing the people who were watching the live hostage situation from all over the world was a great addition, and of course returning to the Foosball game was exactly what would happen. Very entertaining movie, fun for a weekend afternoon. I think both George Clooney and Jack O'Connell should both at least get Oscar nominations.
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Thrilling hostage drama with excellent cast but themes not pushed far enough
Nathan Osborn1 June 2016
Money Monster is an undeniably taut and thrilling film, moving along at a sharp pace that keeps audiences engaged enough to glance over the issues with theme and the message of the film. The three key players are all strong additions and their chemistry and communication helps audience's care for them (more than the first 15 minutes would have you believe, at least). Jodie Foster has crafted an intense film that looks at politics and economics in a far more interesting and fun way than it is usually handled (and in a FAR superior way to previous Wall Street-based film, The Big Short). You can't help but will the film to take more risks and step outside of conventions and formulas, but it is interesting enough to glance over these issues.

FULL REVIEW: review.html?m=1 - let me know what you thought of the film and be sure to share my review! 😊
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High Stakes at it's finest.
ofpsmith1 June 2016
Warning: Spoilers
Money Monster is set presumably in real time. Lee Gates (George Clooney) is the host of "Money Monster", a show on which Lee advises his viewers how to buy stock. A week after an alleged computer glitch that cost investors $800,000,000, Kyle Budwell (Jack O'Connell) one of those investors takes over the studio and holds Lee hostage, as he demands to know who is responsible for the "glitch." The production team headed by director Patty Fenn (Julia Roberts) try to negotiate the situation with Kyle while at the same time trying to discover who is behind the scam. Money Monster keeps the stakes high all throughout. Rarely ever does it let up. Clooney is great as Lee, and O'Connell is amazing as the unpredictable and borderline psychotic Kyle. The acting is beyond excellent and the story never cuts the tension. There were times that I actually remember gasping. If you like thrillers, Money Monster should be a film for you.
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An engaging drama/thriller.
Anurag-Shetty15 May 2016
Money Monster tells the story of a TV show host named, Lee Gates(George Clooney). Gates, his producer Patty Fenn(Julia Roberts) & the crew of the TV show, Money Monster, are in for an unpleasant surprise, when an enraged & dangerous investor named Kyle Budwell(Jack O'Connell), enters the TV studio. Kyle barges into the studio, armed with a gun. Now, it is up to Lee Gates & Patty Fenn, to comply with Kyle Budwell's demands or, it is dire consequences for everyone involved with the TV show, Money Monster.

Money Monster is a superb film. It is thrilling & dramatically intense, at the same time. Director Jodie Foster has done a masterful job, in maintaining the suspense & building the tension, throughout the film. Foster's directorial skills, are as good as her supreme acting ability. This movie keeps you on the edge of your seat & keeps you guessing as to what's going to happen next, right till its shocking climax. The reason this film is so good, is due to its unforgettable performances. George Clooney is outstanding as Lee Gates. Clooney portrays his character's growing anxiety & fear, flawlessly. Julia Roberts is spectacular as Patty Fenn. This role, is another feather in Roberts' cap. Jack O'Connell's portrayal of Kyle Budwell, is the highlight of the movie. O'Connell showcases a variety of emotions in quick succession, in his portrayal of this conflicted character. Dominic West is great as Walt Camby. Caitriona Balfe is impressive as Diane Lester. Giancarlo Esposito is awesome as Captain Powell. Christopher Denham & Lenny Venito are excellent as Ron Sprecher & Lenny(The Cameraman), respectively. Emily Meade is amazing in her small but significant role, as Molly. The supporting cast, is effective as well. Money Monster is a must watch, for everyone who loves edge of the seat entertainment.
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Disagree with the Ending, but Otherwise Good
sfgebel31511 June 2016
Warning: Spoilers
Money Monster is about a financial talk show host becoming a hostage on national television. Kyle (Jack O'Connell) straps a bomb to Lee Gates's (George Clooney) chest and forces the producer Patty (Julia Roberts) to keep rolling. He wants to learn how a company could lose so much money (including his $60,000) without a better explanation than "computer glitch", and he's going to use the media's financial adviser to figure it out.

Let me start by saying I do not understand economics enough to know how well this movie did in portraying that, but what I can tell you is that I thought the cast was great. The three leads were very strong and worked well together. Then again, Clooney and Roberts have done at least three other films together (The Ocean's Eleven trilogy), but this O'Connell fellow–who I don't think I've seen in anything before–was also very strong. Strong acting mixed with a strong script tends to create a strong film.

The film is only 98 minutes and so it seems to be fairly fast-paced so that I was never bored. Even the supporting cast was funny with scenes like when Lee, Kyle, and the cameraman Larry are in the elevator and the camera is rolling on Kyle holding the gun and detonator with Lee wearing the bomb; and then Kyle asks Larry if he's alright. Larry's response is "I don't like elevators". It's a simple scene, but add several of those throughout and we get the bits of comedy needed to break the tension that continues to build as Lee/Kyle/Patty continue to figure out where the money went.

To be honest, my largest critique is that I think they should have ended the film a bit earlier, and cut out the final scene. I'm going to try to explain what I mean without spoiling too much. The film ends with a hospital scene, which I actually think they shouldn't have done. I will not tell you who lives and who dies, but I will tell you that Kyle finds Walt Camby (Dominic West) the CEO who "lost" the money, and he does get the answer he wanted. As soon as that happens the film cuts to people in a bar who've been watching and these guys go back to playing their foosball game. Then it cuts to the hospital scene.

In my opinion, as an avid moviegoer, reader, and storyteller I feel the film should have ended with the people playing foosball, because that shows how society just goes back to their lives like nothing has happened. Like they haven't just spent the day watching a celebrity with a bomb to his chest. They were all glued to the television when there was a potential crisis, but the minute the crisis is over they shrug their shoulders and wash their hands. They go back to not caring about the money, which is one of Kyle's main points. I think that would have been a stronger ending to show just how screwed up our system is and I feel it is unfortunately very realistic. Therefore, to me, the hospital scene at the end weakens that powerful message.

Other than that, I found the movie to be an overall success. It was suspenseful, had good acting, a consistent script, and an interesting plot. So I guess you have to ask yourself how important is the ending to you? And more importantly, understanding the balance between learning the truth and then actually doing something about it–which I think is the key to this film.
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Mega Money
Corey James28 May 2016
Money Monster (spoiler free)

**** (4 out of 5)

Director: Jodie Foster

Cast: George Clooney, Julia Roberts, Jack O'Connell with Dominic West and Caitriona Balfe.

Plot: Financial TV host Lee Gates (Clooney) and his producer Patty (Roberts) are put in an extreme situation when an irate investor (O'Connell) takes over their studio.

Financial thrillers are becoming ever so popular and this is just another addition to the ever expanding genre though this is a very different financial thriller because it adds intense action into the mix.

Money Monster is the name of the TV show in which Lee Gates (Clooney) hosts along with his director Patty (Roberts), this TV show is basically used as a daily insight into the financial market. This film is very informative and is very gripping even when furious investor Kyle Budwell (O'Connell) comes in.

This is possibly the best film by director Jodie Foster mainly because it's a very intellectual thriller, it has a mix of intense action and incisive intellect last seen in Sicario (2015, not connected). Here are some points on this is a must financial film:

Intellectual plot: This film has a very intellectual plot which won't be understood by everyone there is a lot of thinking that has to be done. Just because it has an intellectual plot it doesn't mean it's boring it mainly shows the financial market and how much of colossal mess it really is and that's basically the entire well just about.

Intense Thrills: This film will keep you on the edge of you seat with the amount of thrills it has, especially the main thrill involving IBIS CEO Walt Camby (West) who tries convince to Gates that he is the good guy. It's very suspenseful and literally a monster of a film. The thrills will literally blow your mind.

Performances: All the performances showed in the film are out of this world in my personal opinion they are the best performances from both Clooney and Roberts. The main standout performance though comes from BAFTA Rising Star winner Jack O'Connell* his performance as Kyle Budwell, is very explosive with his epic performance that literally takes over the show.

The bad point about this film is George Clooney's dancing that is very off putting, but other than that an interesting take on the financial genre and definitely not one to be missed.

Hope that Jodie Foster directs another feature because this is just one film that shows that she knows exactly what she is doing. The director is basically the head of the film in a sense, and she leads Clooney, Roberts and O'Connell just perfectly a tremendous achievement.

Verdict: Captivating, thrilling and and the most intense financial thriller ever made. 8/10 excellent.

*2015 BAFTA Awards EE Rising Star Award.
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A toothless, unfocused satire
tomgillespie200220 September 2016
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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