What lengths would you go too to discover what happened to your money if you lost everything? What happens if you lost the money playing the stock exchange? Most of us would simply turn the other, rather painful, cheek. Not in Money Monster, the latest directorial movie from Jodie Foster.

Lee Gates, George Clooney, is the presenter of TV show Money Monster. You’ve seen the type of show, lots of shouting, pushing red buttons for ‘funny’ graphics or videos to illustrate what they’ve just said. Generally talk about stocks and try to predict what’s going to happen. Julia Roberts plays Patty his director, the voice in his ear.

On one particular show, in walks Kyle Budwell, Jack O’Connell (’71, Unbroken) as a delivery man, except he makes his way onto the live recording of the show, takes out a gun and takes over.

Kyle is after one thing. Answers. He wants to know what has happened to his life savings. It’s not the money, it’s that he, and everyone else who invested, was lied to about the ‘glitch’ that supposedly happened. Can he convince Lee and Patty that something isn’t right too?

It’s easy to see what drew Jodie Foster to direct this. The story and dialogue from Jamie Linden (10 Years, Dear John), Alan DiFiore (Grimm, The Bridge) and Jim Kouf (Grimm, Taxi) is superb and Foster directs it all with aplomb. It’s gripping when it needs to be, free and flowing when it’s right.

The movie is of course helped by a stellar cast who all perform as you’d expect. Clooney is excellent as the on-camera bravado Lee Gates but really he’s a lonely man, divorced three times with a kid he hasn’t seen. You don’t get to hear much about Roberts but she performs well as the voice in the ear. As for Jack O’Connell he shines as he has done since ’71. He starts out all confident and brave before an incident live on air which turns him into, almost, the hostage.

The twist near the end is great, Clooney and O’Connell trading places and both seeking answers from the man who’s lost the money. It’s slightly hard to believe that the information they find is so easily available and that no-one has looked before but still.

The very end, the penultimate scene, is heart-wrenching as you find yourself rooting for the man with the gun. However I was reminded of Falling Down with Michael Douglas. That’s no bad thing, as that too was a fantastic film.

Money Monster is a great film and thoroughly recommended.


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