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Watch Money Monster (2016), & All You Want To Know About A Great Movie

Sep 5, 2022
Watch Money Monster (2016), & All You Want To Know About A Great Movie

Watch Money Monster (2016), & All You Want To Know About A Great Movie

 

Money Monster (2016)

Financial TV host Lee Gates and his producer Patty are put in an extreme situation when an irate investor takes them and their crew as hostage.

Money Monster is a 2016 American crime thriller film directed by Jodie Foster, with a screenplay by Jamie Linden, Alan Di Fiore, and Jim Kouf from a story by Di Fiore and Kauf. The film stars George Clooney (who also co-produced), Julia Roberts, Jack O’Connell, Dominic West, Caitríona Balfe, and Giancarlo Esposito. It follows financial television host Lee Gates and his producer Patty Fenn, as they are put in an extreme situation when an irate investor takes them and their crew as hostage.

Money Monster had its world premiere at the 69th Cannes Film Festival on May 12, 2016, and was theatrically released in the United States on May 13, 2016, by Sony Pictures Releasing. Despite receiving mixed reviews from critics, the film was a box office success, grossing over $93 million.

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Money Monster (2016) Trailer

 

Money Monster (2016) Reviews

Drop Jim Cramer into “Network” and you have “Money Monster”—and yet the result never ends up being quite as thrilling or thought-provoking as that premise sounds.Jodie Foster has directed a real-time drama that’s lean, efficient and benefits from the enormous charisma of George Clooney in the starring role as a slick, smug financial pundit. And in a bit of an “Ocean’s Eleven” reunion, Clooney totally unsurprisingly has an easy, snappy chemistry with Julia Roberts as his longtime director/voice of reason. But this time, they’re not the ones stealing the money; rather, they end up feeling the repercussions of a massive swindle.
The film’s rage is unmistakable. And yet, despite its present-day setting, it feels rather retro—as if “Money Monster” just narrowly missed the window for maximum relevance where movies like “The Big Short” and “99 Homes” thrived.It’s easy to imagine Clooney’s Lee Gates scheming and preening as he presides over the airwaves at a CNBC-style cable channel, though. The script from Jamie Linden and Alan DiFiore & Jim Kouf definitely gets the live television details right—the buzzing energy, the gallows humor, the technical elements. Like Cramer on his signature show “Mad Money,” Lee makes potentially dry stock talk lively with gimmicky graphics, sound effects and a generally bombastic personality. The great cinematographer Matthew Libatique (who, coincidentally, also shot Spike Lee’s “Inside Man,” which covered similar territory and featured a brilliant Foster performance) captures it all with intimacy and verve.Lee may or may not truly care about the stocks and funds he promotes; he may or may not even be all that knowledgeable. But Clooney being Clooney, he makes this soulless shell of a man thoroughly engaging; Roberts’ sharp and serene Patty Fenn, always the smartest person in the room, keeps him in check. The actual time they spend on-screen together is minimal—he’s mainly on set, she’s mainly in the booth—but the connection between these two longtime friends and co-stars still crackles.

But a pretty typical day for the anchor and crew gets shattered when a delivery man walks onto the stage with a gun and a vest full of explosives he’s fashioned specifically for Lee. Jack O’Connell’s Kyle Budwell lost everything he had—$60,000—when he invested in a stock Lee swore was a sure thing. The stock’s value plummeted when $800 million disappeared overnight, supposedly the result of a glitch in an algorithm. Now, the company’s chief executive officer (Dominic West) is somewhere on his private jet and unavailable to answer the tough questions, leaving his spokeswoman (Caitriona Balfe) to face the cameras and struggle to stay on message.

Foster slowly, steadily builds tension as Lee and Patty work together to keep Budwell calm and comply with his demands on live television. The fact that the action takes place pretty much entirely within the confines of the studio for the first two-thirds of the film greatly enhances the feeling of claustrophobia. At the same time, “Money Monster” keeps us on our toes with a couple of dramatic moments that don’t necessarily turn out the way we might expect. And while there’s little room for sentimentality in this high-stakes world, longtime character actor Lenny Venito provides a welcome source of warmth as a veteran cameraman who sticks by Lee’s side, no matter what.

“Money Monster” zips by while it stays in the studio. When it ventures out into the streets of lower Manhattan in the third act, though, it loses its way. Ironically, the film gets loose and meanders just as it should be reaching a tight, tense climax. A hostage situation turns into a circus; what was once dramatic is now just plain silly.Efforts to humanize the blue-collar attacker feel like too little, too late (and the inconsistent New York accent from O’Connell, the British star of “Unbroken,” doesn’t help his cause). Ultimately, the film registers less as an indictment of widespread financial corruption than as a shallow exploration of one man’s greed. But briefly, when it’s at its peak value somewhere in the middle, “Money Monster” is a solid bet.
  • Christy Lemire   – Roger Ebert
  • Christy Lemire is a longtime film critic who has written for RogerEbert.com since 2013. Before that, she was the film critic for The Associated Press for nearly 15 years and co-hosted the public television series “Ebert Presents At the Movies” opposite Ignatiy Vishnevetsky, with Roger Ebert serving as managing editor.

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Money Monster (2016) Credits

Money Monster movie poster

Money Monster (2016)

Rated R for language throughout, some sexuality and brief violence.

98 minutes

Cast

George Clooney as Lee Gates

Caitriona Balfe as Diane Lester

Jack O’Connell as Kyle Budwell

Julia Roberts as Patty Fenn

Olivia Luccardi as Arlene

Dominic West as Walt Camby

Giancarlo Esposito as Captain Marcus Powell

Emily Meade as Molly

Director

  • Jodie Foster

Writer (story)

  • Alan DiFiore
  • Jim Kouf

Writer

  • Jamie Linden
  • Alan DiFiore
  • Jim Kouf

Cinematographer

  • Matthew Libatique

Editor

  • Matt Chesse

Composer

  • Dominic Lewis

 

Money Monster (2016) Plot

Flamboyant television financial expert Lee Gates (Clooney) is in the midst of the latest edition of his show, Money Monster. Less than 24 hours earlier, IBIS Clear Capital’s stock inexplicably cratered, apparently due to a glitch in a trading algorithm, costing investors $800 million. Lee planned to have IBIS CEO Walt Camby (West) appear for an interview about the crash, but Camby unexpectedly left for a business trip to Geneva, Switzerland.

Midway through the show, a deliveryman wanders onto the set, pulls a gun and takes Lee hostage, forcing him to put on a vest laden with explosives. The man reveals that his name is Kyle Budwell (O’Connell), who invested $60,000—his entire life savings—in IBIS after Lee endorsed the company on the show. Kyle was wiped out along with the other investors. Unless he gets some answers, 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 (Roberts), Lee tries to calm Kyle and find Camby for him, though Kyle is not satisfied when both Lee and IBIS chief communications officer Diane Lester (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 with her own explanation, either, and defies colleagues to contact a programmer who created the algorithm, Won Joon. Reached in Seoul, Joon insists that an algorithm could not take such a large, lopsided position unless someone meddled with it.

Lee appeals to his TV viewers for help, seeking to recoup the lost investment, but is dejected by their response. New York City police find Kyle’s pregnant girlfriend Molly 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 his captor discover what went wrong.

Once Camby finally returns, Diane flips through his passport, discovering that he did not go to Geneva 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 seek the truth. After a police sniper takes a shot at Lee and misses, he and Kyle resolve to corner Camby at Federal Hall National Memorial, where Camby is headed according to Diane.

They head out with one of the network’s cameramen, Lenny, plus the police and a mob of fans and jeerers alike. Kyle accidentally shoots and wounds producer Ron Sprecher when Ron throws Lee a new earpiece. Kyle and Lee finally confront Camby 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 a platinum mine while the union was on strike. The strike lowered the mine’s owner’s stock, allowing Camby to buy it at a low price. If Camby’s plan had succeeded, IBIS would have generated a multibillion-dollar profit when work resumed at the mine and the stock of the mine’s owner rose again. The gambit backfired when the union stayed on the picket line. Camby attempted to bribe the union leader, Moshe Mambo, in order to stop the strike, but Mambo refused and continued the strike, causing IBIS’ stock to sink under the weight of its position in the failing company.

Despite the evidence, Camby refuses to admit his swindle until Kyle takes the explosive vest off Lee and puts it on him. Camby admits to his wrongdoing to Kyle on live camera. Satisfied with the outcome, Kyle throws the detonator away, then much to Lee’s dismay, gets fatally shot by the police. Lee punches Camby with anger and disgust because his greed and corruption cost Kyle’s life. In the aftermath, the SEC announces that IBIS will be put under investigation, while Camby is charged with violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

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Money Monster (2016) Box office

Money Monster grossed $41 million in the United States and Canada, and $52.3 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of $93.3 million, against a net production budget of $27 million.

In North America, the film was released alongside The Darkness and the wide expansion of Green Room, and was projected to gross $10–12 million from 3,104 theaters in its opening weekend. The film grossed $600,000 from its early Thursday night previews and $5 million on its first day.[23] It went on to gross $14.8 million in its opening weekend, beating expectations and finishing 3rd at the box office behind Captain America: Civil War ($72.6 million) and The Jungle Book ($17.1 million). It fell 53% to $7 million in its second weekend, finishing 6th.

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Money Monster (2016) Critical Response

On Rotten Tomatoes the film holds an approval rating of 59% based on 286 reviews, with an average rating of 6.00/10. The site’s critics consensus reads: “Money Monsters strong cast and solidly written story ride a timely wave of socioeconomic anger that’s powerful enough to overcome an occasionally muddled approach to its worthy themes.” On Metacritic the film has a weighted average score of 55 out of 100, based on 44 critics, indicating “mixed or average reviews”. Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of “B+” on an A+ to F scale, while PostTrak reported filmgoers gave an 81% overall positive score, with 56% saying they would definitely recommend it.

Clooney’s performance was praised by critics. A.O. Scott of The New York Times said that the “quality of the acting both enhances the credibility of the narrative and exposes some of its weak points”. Christy Lemire of RogerEbert.com, in a mixed review, praised Clooney’s “enormous charisma”, but criticised the film for not “being quite as thrilling or thought-provoking as [its] premise sounds”.[29] Chris Hewitt of Empire however gave a more positive review.

Several reviewers praised the atmosphere of suspense. Sandra Hall of The Sydney Morning Herald praised the film, particularly Foster’s directing and her ability to “keep things moving”. Richard Brody of The New Yorker wrote that Foster “keeps the action vigorous and the suspense high”, but said that the film was “swallowed up by the very hectoring and impersonal sensationalism that it derides”.[32]

Some reviewers criticised the script. Wendy Ide of The Guardian gave the film a negative review, writing that the film lacks the “authentic anger” of The Big Short and the “sniper-like accuracy” of Network, criticising Clooney’s “complete lack of sincerity”. Peter Travers of Rolling Stone said that what the script lacks in “emotional subtext” can be found in the cast’s “richly detailed” performances.

In a mixed review, Robbie Collin of The Telegraph called the film a “raucous hostage thriller that eschews explanation for wish-fulfillment”, concluding by saying that “in the heat of the moment, Money Monsters bluster and nerve keeps you hooked”.[35] Josh Lasser of IGN was critical of the film’s mix of comedy and drama, calling the transitions “too fast, ripping the audience out of the unfolding drama”.[36]

Despite comparisons of Clooney’s character to Jim Cramer and his TV show Mad Money, Clooney and Foster denied this.

 

Money Monster (2016) Accolades

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Money Monster (2016) Movie Info

Lee Gates is a Wall Street guru who picks hot stocks as host of the television show “Money Monster.” Suddenly, during a live broadcast, disgruntled investor Kyle Budwell storms onto the set and takes Gates hostage. He tells Lee that he lost everything on one of his tips. As Gates tries to plead with Kyle, he’s also using an earpiece to communicate with his longtime producer in the control room. Together, they must figure out a way to defuse the situation and disarm the angry young man.

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Money Monster (2016) Pictures

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