Posted in 3½ Stars, Film Reviews

Money Monster – Review

✯✯✯½

Jodie Foster stated at one point she wishes to be known for directing although at this rate it’d be impossible to deny her icon status at least from playing Iris in Taxi Driver or Clarice Starling in The Silence of the Lambs. However she’s convinced me that she can pull off something rather solid after seeing Money Monster, which convinced me that she might have more capabilities as a director than I’d have thought after having been left unimpressed with The Beaver. Although it very much is extremely flawed, Money Monster leaves behind enough to provide a solid thrill from start to finish.

Julia Roberts watching over a hostage situation in Money Monster.

Money Monster is a film that’s evidently angry with what capitalism is doing to society, as it’s made clear that it is taking the world down into a financial crisis, which even goes out and tacks on these real world issues. Although the insight is not nearly as thought-provoking as it could have been, there’s at least something fascinating to be found within how Money Monster is going out against how all of these false images which plague media, for Jodie Foster competently is building intrigue around said field from beginning to end. It’s dealt with in a rather familiar manner but at least while it lasts, it’s rather fascinating to see where it heads as I felt as if I was right on the edge of my seat a good amount of the time.

It’s rather interesting seeing how Money Monster has no trouble moving along between its Dog Day Afternoon hostage situation to another subplot in regards to what may have been the source for why everyone is being held up – and it racks up the tension rather neatly. Although that’s not to say that sequences which show George Clooney playing Lee Gates being held up by Jack O’Connell’s Kyle Budwell can be rather repetitive, but another half which is dedicated towards Caitriona Balfe trying to get down to the very bottom of the situation at hand is where Money Monsterbuilds up excitement.

That’s not to say even with how entertaining most of it is, certain moments don’t really seem to fit in so well with the tone of the film. From what I understand, Jodie Foster was attempting to approach Money Monster in such a way it looks like a Dog Day Afternoon-styled thriller about the damage from capitalism, but at times it certainly can be felt that there’s a touch of comedy present. While I admire that Foster is accurately representing how media would be reacting within a hostage crisis much like this, some of these moments certainly feel distinctively comedic in comparison to the rest of what’s offered and at best, it feels rather out of place given the intent.

George Clooney and Julia Roberts work great together, although the real star at hand is Jack O’Connell. While I wasn’t particularly impressed with other films in which I’ve seen O’Connell within a major role, he usually provides something great given his dedication within his performances and in Money Monster, he steals the show once again. Roberts, whom I generally can’t stand as an actress usually seems to work so perfectly well whenever she’s together with George Clooney as the Ocean’s films have shown me (minus Thirteen, which I passionately loathe), and in here, she works rather perfectly with Clooney once again.

It’d be easy to dismiss Money Monster as some film trying to shout out that “Wall Street is bad” if you’re only watching the trailers (which give off a noticeably preachy vibe in comparison to what the actual film is providing) but under a different veins there’s still something worthwhile, for that’s not the message being provided in the first place. It’s certainly far from perfect but its intentions given how it looks at the damages left behind from financial crisis together with the energy and tension it manages to rack up make everything worth a viewing. After this, I’m genuinely curious what next can Jodie Foster perform as a director.


Watch the trailer right here.

All images via Sony.


Directed by Jodie Foster
Screenplay by Alan Di Fiore, Jim Kouf, Jamie Linden
Produced by Lara Alameddine, George Clooney, Daniel Dubiecki, Grant Heslov
Starring George Clooney, Julia Roberts, Jack O’Connell, Dominic West, Caitriona Balfe, Giancarlo Esposito
Release Year: 2016
Running Time: 98 minutes

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Author:

Jaime Rebanal writes film reviews regularly for Letterboxd and is also the founder of Jaime Rebanal's Film Thoughts, a blog dedicated to discussing the good and bad for the many films he views. He has written consistently for at least a year and continues to allow his content to roam free across the web, and is always open to discuss with fellow film fans.

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