This movie caught my eye because of the financial associations. I’ve never really liked Shia Lebeouf, but I figured why not….
Shia Lebeouf doesn’t act like Shia Lebeouf. In most of his movies, he comes across like a caffeinated gnat. This one, not so much. I actually really liked him and his role.
The story is interesting if you are big into Wall Street matters and the jargon. If you don’t understand that, you’re going to dislike this movie. The film makes no allowance for educating you either, so either you come in knowing it or you drown trying to understand.
Like I mentioned, if you don’t care for or understand the financial markets, you’re going to get lost. There is one scene in particular where you get a glance at a balance sheet, and if you can’t read and interpret that information quickly, you will miss a crucial part of the film. I had to explain to Courtney several concepts like margins, short and long positions, and so on.
As far as an accurate telling of the market collapse… not so much. There are some loose comparisons, but overall it is pretty much a different story.
You come away from the film truly hating Wall Street and anyone involved in it. You also feel a strong distrust of corporations (especially investment banks), the Fed (probably accurate), and the integrity of the system. Add to that the fact that most of the major characters treat the rules and ethics that govern the integrity of our system with flagrant disregard, and you can’t help but want to pull all your accounts and stuff your cash in the mattress.
Oh, and without saying too much, the ending was awful and totally unbelievable.
Two f-words, some other language, no sex….
I actually liked Shia Lebeouf. That has to count for something. Michael Douglas did well enough. The girl (I don’t know her name) was enjoyable as well.
The two story lines are of comparable quality and enjoyment, though if you do not understand the markets (again), you won’t enjoy the film overall.
If you’re a market geek, like I am, I’d give it 3 stars.
If you’re not, maybe 1.5 stars. At the most.