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Film Review: Money Monster (2016)


First Martin Scorsese gave us Wolf of Wall Street (2013) and then Adam McKay delivered The Big Short (2015) and now the latest film to centre on the corrupt world of high speed finance is Money Monster (2016). Directed by Hollywood veteran Jodie Foster, this latest American thriller stars George Clooney, as the colourful stock market guru, Lee Gates, who shares his insight into the stock markets on his weekly TV show ‘Money Monster’. Patty Fenn (Julia Roberts) is the show’s long time programme director who acts as a grounding force to Clooney’s ego inflated Gates. Jack O’Connell, a rising star, gives a brilliant performance as Kyle Budwell, a disillusioned young man, who takes gambles all of his finances on Gate's financial advice and ends up loosing everything. Kyle believes that his only option is to take Gates hostage on live TV, where the whole world watches in anticipation. 

Jack O’Connell is the highlight of the film. The British actor first came to the attention of audiences at the age of 15, playing Pukey Nicholls in Shane Meadows’s acclaimed indie hit This is England (2006). Since then, his status has grown rapidly. He starred alongside Michael Fassbender in Eden Lake (2008); took a leading role as James Cook in the edgy British-TV teen drama series Skins and then made his international breakthrough as real-life war hero Louis Zamperini in Angelina Jolie’s film Unbroken (2014).

For me Jodie Foster succeeds in creating a enthralling thriller where the villain in the story is not the man waving the gun, but rather offers points the finger at the financial world, dominated by corporate greed and income inequality. 

Though Money Monster may not score any points for originality it does offer an absorbing and entertaining 98 minutes.

Written by Sophie Watts

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