Movie Review: The Big Short (2015)

Finances. While they are important for society (somehow), I find it hard to give a shit about them. They’re not interesting, they’re not fun, and they often make little to no sense.

Disclaimer: I know this thing is based on a true story, but I will not base my review on how perfectly accurate to the real situation it may or may not be, but I will instead judge it as a movie… which it is. Disclaimer over.

Ladies and gentlemen… “The Big Short”.

In 2007, some people working within various sectors of the financial world predict that the global economy is gonna collapse in a very near future. So we follow these men as they either try to do something about it or try to earn a profit from it. And this gives us all a deep look into the world of banking, finances, and the people behind all of that shit. And while it’s an interesting enough idea for a plot, I was never really invested in it. It does a pretty good job of trying to explain things in a way that an idiot like me can kind of understand, I felt like this plot wasn’t that strong. It felt a bit unfocused and the tone was a bit inconsistent. It went from comedic to really serious at times. And while that can work in a movie (See “Up in the Air”), here it felt a bit off. I wouldn’t necessarily call it bad, overall it is an interesting plot and I was never bored… but the clashing tones and the amount of plots going on makes it a little messy.

What this movie lacks in plot, it makes up for in characters. While none of them are heroes in any way. they were all fleshed out, entertaining, and interesting to watch. Christian Bale plays Michael Burry, a really smart but kind of socially awkward guy who is the first person to kind of predict the financial crisis, and Bale is great in the role. Steve Carell plays Mark Baum, a man who’s part of all of this who also happens to be kind of prone to anger. And Carell gives a great performance. Ryan Gosling plays Jared Vennett, a wall street man who more or less acts as our narrator, and Gosling was good in the role. Brad Pitt plays Ben Rickert, a veteran within the business, and while he wasn’t in the movie much, he was really good in the role. Then we also got a whole bunch of great supporting performances from people like Hamish Linklater, Melissa Leo, John Magaro, Finn Wittrock, Marisa Tomei, and a whole bunch of other people.

The score for the movie was composed by Nicholas Britell and it was really good. What I especially enjoyed about it was how it played around with a whole bunch of different styles. From more serious and gloomy piano pieces to fun and energetic tracks. And it worked very well for the movie, often elevating scenes. There were also a whole bunch of licensed tracks throughout the movie, and not only were they often overall good songs, but they also worked very well in the scenes they were used in.

This movie was directed by Adam McKay and he did an okay job. His direction takes on a very documentary-esque style, containing a lot of quick zooms and feeling very amateur-ish. And while that can work for certain movies, I don’t think it worked too well for this one. Especially with some of the weird fourth wall breaks that the movie has. Again, it’s not necessarily bad directing, but I feel like it wasn’t the best choice for this story.

This movie has been very well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has an 88% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 81/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,8/10. The movie won 1 Oscar in the category of Best adapted screenplay. It also got an additional 4 Oscars in the categories of Best picture, Best supporting actor (Bale), Best director, and Best film editing.

“The Big Short” is a movie the critics loved, but I thought was only fine. It features an okay plot, good characters, great performances, great music, and okay directing. My problems with the movie (as previously stated) come from the story being kind of messy and the directing being a little too amateur-ish for the subject matter/story. Time for my final score. *Gulp*. My final score for “The Big Short” is a 8,50/10. While quite flawed I’d still say that it’s worth buying.

My review of “The Big Short” is now completed.

That 8,5 I gave it was on the edge of not being worth buying (8,5 is minimum for “Worth Buying”). So I ask y’all out there, what is a movie the critics loved that you didn’t think was that great?

One thought on “Movie Review: The Big Short (2015)

  1. I agree this movie was a bit messy. I liked the unusual approach to telling the story – I had read the book, which is a bit of a grind in places – and I thought the quirky approach helped explain the financial goings-on.

    Like you said, this film has terrific characters, and the cast is terrific. I’m glad you reviewed this. Even though I saw it just a few months ago, you’ve made me want to see it again.

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