Financial TV host Lee Gates (George Clooney), his producer Patty Fenn (Julia Roberts) and the entire TV crew are put in an extreme and volatile situation when irate investor Kyle Budwell (Jack O’Connell) takes over the studio with a gun and a bomb.
Money Monster looks into the human cost betting on Wall Street has and how those who play with the figures don’t care while normal people don’t understand what it all means. Kyle has lost everything and he’s now a desperate man who just wants answers. Every scene where he is on screen is intense as you’re not sure what he’s going to do next.
George Clooney does a brilliant job as the smarmy TV presenter who has stopped asking Wall Street the hard-hitting questions. He is rarely off screen and he goes from a nervous wreck to someone who will keep talking because that’s what he’s good at. While they rarely physically share the screen, Clooney and Roberts have an interesting relationship and a lot of chemistry as she sticks by him throughout the ordeal via his earpiece.
Money Monster is great because while it is often incredibly tense and thrilling it also manages to add dark humour to the precedings to give you brief moments to breathe. All the characters’ reactions to the situation are believable and they are all incredibly well-written. People will swear and shout and not hold back in a situation like this and it’s all there to see on screen.
Got to mention the women in this film. Patty is incredible. She’s the director of a popular TV show thrust in an incredibly unusual situation and manages to handle her entire crew and the police while chaos is all around her. Diane Lester (Caitriona Balfe) the woman who is forced to be the spokesperson of an investment company that’s under fire, is also competent and quietly badass. While them two are the main female characters, Bree (Condola Rashad) Patty’s assistant and Molly (Emily Meade) Kyle’s girlfriend also have moments to shine.
Money Monster does a brilliant job of combining thriller with satire and it’s always entertaining. 5/5.