Money Monster

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Directed by Jodie Foster
Writing Credits
Screenplay … Jamie Linden, Alan DiFiore, Jim Kouf
Story … Alan DiFiore and Jim Kouf
Cinematography … Matthew Libatique
Runtime 98 min Color
Aspect Ratio 2.35 : 1
Camera Arri Alexa XT Plus, Panavision C-Series Lenses

Cast
George Clooney … Lee Gates
Julia Roberts … Patty Fenn
Jack O’Connell … Kyle Budwell
Dominic West … Walt Camby
Caitriona Balfe … Diane Lester
Giancarlo Esposito … Captain Powell
Christopher Denham … Ron Sprecher
Lenny Venito … Lenny (The Cameraman)
Chris Bauer … Lt. Nelson
Dennis Boutsikaris … Avery Goodloe CFO
Emily Meade … Molly
Condola Rashad … Bree (The Assistant)
Aaron Yoo … Won Joon
Carsey Walker Jr. … Tech Sam
Grant Rosenmeyer … Tech Dave

Lee Gates (George Clooney) is a popular TV financial advisor (think Jim Cramer) who for weeks had been pushing a stock that, after weeks of going up, took a sudden substantial drop. Gates, and most of the financial world was calling it a “Glitch” caused by a one-time error in its trading algorithm. As the film opens we see the staff led by Patty (Julia Roberts) rushing to get prepared for the broadcast of the daily live show. Gates was a star on Wall street before he became an even bigger star on his show, and he seem not to grasp the hard work many put in to make him look good on air.
The show opens with its usual mix of comedy and financial advice, when a package delivery guy sneaks past security, makes it on to the live show, points a gun at Gate’s head and forces him to put on an explosive vest. He tells all that if he lets go of the button on the remote trigger, the bomb goes off. The guy taking the show hostage is Kyle Budwell (Jack O’Connell), a 20 something janitor who holds Gates responsible for him losing everything investing in that stock the show pushed and called a safe investment.

Because of the “Dead-man’s switch” on the bomb, the swat team has to been very careful and wait for the just the right moment, that leaves the show’s director, patty, talking into Gates’ earpiece helping him keep calm and stall for time. The more he engages his captor, Kyle, the more he questions the “Glitch” and the more he and his team demand answers and accountability from the CEO.

George Clooney is always George Clooney, yet like Humphrey Bogart, he is simultaneously believable in his roles. Julia Roberts, Jack O’Connell and the rest of the cast all turn in competent performances, Foster’s direction helps keep the film’s pacing and builds suspense. In fact all elements of the movie seem to work well, yet miss the mark of a great film. While it falls just short, it works well while you’re watching it on the screen.

 

 

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