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Movie Review: Money Monster Is An Issue-Driven Movie With Preachy Overtones

Money Monster arrives onto the big screen with a bang (pun intended), highlighting humanity at its best and worst.  The movie stars George Clooney, Julia Roberts, Jack O’Connell, and is directed by Jodi Foster, and the cast for the crime drama doesn’t disappoint.

The film opens as lead character Lee Gates (Clooney) is filming an episode of his CNBC-like finance show Money Monster.  Kyle Budwell (O’Connell), a disgruntled investor takes Gates hostage on-air, strapping a bomb vest onto and instructing the producer of the show, Patty Fenn (Roberts) to keep the cameras rolling.  Budwell demands answers from Gates after investing his life’s savings, $60,000, into IBIS, following Gate’s bad stock advice.

IBIS had a “computer glitch”, causing the company to lose 800 million of investor dollars.  As the film progresses, the interplay between Gates and Budwell expands to include IBIS’s spokeswoman and CEO. IBIS’s computer glitch ends up being a result of greed and fraud by the leadership of the organization.  Budwell’s relentless pursuit of answers, and uncanny investigation is the catalyst that discovers the fraud.

In one of the more intense moments of the film, Gates and Budwell’s dialogue escalates and ends with Budwell exclaiming,

“You believe in money, you don’t believe in people.”

Jodie Foster discusses the crux of Budwell’s desires in an interview with Time, stating that Budwell “was looking for somebody to say they did the wrong thing and that he was right.  He wanted moral vindication, he wanted ethical vindication.  It’s not like he was saying, Give me money. He was saying, Give me dignity.”

Even though Budwell’s character is “the bad guy” in the film, the audience sympathizes with him on his hunt for morality.  Parts of the film’s story lines are a little rough around the edges, and feels a little unbelievable.

I would still highly recommend it, based on the fact that it has a strong cast, a good plot, and quickly gets the point across in 98 minutes.  This movie isn’t ultimately about money; it’s about dignity, morality and humanity

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