Money Monster

Movie:  Money Monster

Rating:  4 Stars (Out of 5)

Review:   Wall Street is a money monster that can be very unpredictable and capricious, and if an investor is not careful, their little nest egg can be gobbled up in the blink of an eye.  Money Monster is also a cable TV show hosted by financial whiz Lee Gates (George Clooney), and he is on the air waves to help guide less savvy investors through the perils of the markets.  The producer of the show is Patty Fenn (Julia Roberts), and with her calming voice in Lee’s ear piece, the show stays on an even keel despite the devil may care attitude of its star.

One day the Money Monster show gets an unexpected cameo appearance from Kyle Budwell (Jack O’Connell), who is a little miffed that the life savings for him and his wife disappeared in one day.  Lee Gates plugged a “can’t miss” stock called IBIS, and novice investor Budwell put all his chips on it and the roulette wheel of fate landed on green, you lose.  Now a live TV audience is going to find out how an algorithm “glitch” could cause $800 million to disappear.  IBIS Financial Officer Diane Lester (Caitriona Balfe) is stuck for an answer, and everyone would like to ask IBIS CEO Walt Camby (Dominic West).  Answers better come quickly, as Kyle Budwell has a gun and a bomb vest for Lee Gates to put on.  Stay tuned for the exciting conclusion of this episode of Money Monster!

This movie is a fast paced suspense story that grabs you and carries you along on a pretty good ride.  George Clooney is well cast as the smooth talking handsome TV star, and Julia Roberts is his perfect foil and Girl Friday.  Their interaction keeps the wheels of this film rolling smoothly.  Jack O’Connell (star of Unbroken, the WW 2 film) does a fine job of being the poor confused schmuck who knows he’s been wronged, but just doesn’t know what to do about it.  Caitriona Balfe (TV’s Outlander star) holds her own with the mega stars in this film.   If you ever invested a dollar in the stock market or money markets, you should enjoy this character driven movie.

Dialogue Nuggets:  Lee Gates – “We’ll figure it out together.”  Patty Fenn – “It always sounds so simple, yet so moronic.”

Lee – “We don’t do gotcha journalism here.  Hell, we don’t do journalism.”

Kyle Budwell – “I want everyone to know something.  I’m the one with the gun, but ‘m not the real criminal!”

Kyle – “It was a f*cking glitch!  What does that even mean?  They lost 800 million dollars overnight.  How is that even possible?”

Lee to Audience – “I want you to dig deep and ask yourself what a life’s worth.  What’s my life worth?”  

Patty – “IBIS is a pig in a prom dress.”

Lee – “They’re shooting at me, asshole!  Not you!”

Lee to Camera Guy – “What did I do to deserve such a loyal crew.”  Camera Guy – “Not much.”  Lee – “That’s right.”

Lee – “Do you really need your portfolio to know where you put 800 million dollars?”

Huh?  What the….:  On the live TV screen for the Money Monster show, the Dow index never changes.  It’s always 18,132….


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