‘Money Monster’ Review

Actress-gone-director Jodie Foster brings us ‘Money Monster,’ a thriller that places the economy on the forefront with a suspenseful journey.

Even though ‘Money Monster’ goes through more highs and lows than the stocks in question, it carries a story worth your time.

Money Monster
Photo courtesy of Steven Zang.

The hardest part about a brutally honest question is a brutally honest answer. Just ask Money Monster, a new suspense-thriller that takes drastic measures to find out the truth in America’s oldest trick in the book: Wall Street.

This crime drama of sorts follows TV personality Lee Gates (George Clooney) in what appears to be a typical Friday on the set of his New York City-based finance show, Money Monster. With the consistent help and support of his director, Patty Fenn (Julia Roberts), Gates carries the world of stocks on his shoulders, being a beacon of reason and hope for a plethora of eager viewers.

Nevertheless, that Friday, in particular, happens to be the day that one of his viewers takes his words a bit too seriously. Lower-class worker Kyle Budwell (Jack O’Connell) invests all of his mother’s posthumous savings into IBIS, a stock that is guaranteed a return by the likes of Gates.  Hence, when the corporation’s stock falls fast at a steep $800 million decline, Budwell has no choice but to wag his finger at Gates for all of his misfortune. This leads to the cast and crew being held hostage by Budwell on live television, building tension and drama in the mix.

As you can see, the story seems to work. Money Monster, under the direction of notable actress Jodie Foster, holds an underlying weight that is relatable to much of our contemporary middle-class. However, it lightly covers these relations with a clever script (penned by Alan Di Fiore, Jim Kouf, and Jamie Linden) and even more clever twists and turns that leave you questioning each mistakable dead end. The film smoothly blends a strong plotline with the evident weakness of distributing wealth.

Money Monster looks very exciting and worth my time,” said Garfield native and local movie patron Richard Zang. “Even though I’ve only seen the trailer, the film appears to have a lot of strong moments from some of my favorite actors. To be honest, you pretty much had me at George Clooney and Julia Roberts.”

Unfortunately, Money Monster has several moments here and there where the camera angle feels wrong or the acting appears too clichéd. Yet, don’t let this turn you away from the ticket booth; for every flaw that it throws at you, this suspenseful drama matches it with another story arc that practically carries you along its 98-minute running-time. Thus, it does have most of the bell and whistles that the trailer seems to promise.

It’s enough to put your money where your mouth is. Money Monster is currently playing in movie theaters everywhere! Some local venues include AMC Clifton Commons 16, AMC Essex Green 9 in West Orange and even Bow Tie Bellevue Cinemas 4 in the heart of downtown Montclair. For a list of even more theaters and show times, visit fandango.com today!

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