Film & TV

Film Review: Money Monster

The host and team of a popular finance TV show are held hostage by a viewer who lost his life savings when a recommended investment went horribly wrong.

How much is your life really worth? It’s a difficult question to ask and one which some of us, including fictional TV host Lee Gates, might not enjoy hearing the answer to.

Gates is the host of a popular finance TV show, Money Monster, and doles out advice to his not-so-savvy viewers on where they should invest their hard-earned cash. Gates might see it as light entertainment but some of his viewers heed his advice as an option for solid financial planning. When an investment Gates has recommended goes horribly wrong, his team find themselves held hostage to a gun and bomb-wielding viewer who has lost his life savings.

With the help of Patty, his TV show director, Gates finds himself giving the performance of his life to prevent his imminent death.

Providing an unattractive snapshot of our modern day fixation with greed and live news entertainment, Money Monster is a very smart thriller. The story is not too far fetched and the characters are mostly relatable and believable. It’s a plot that you could see unfolding in real life and a human-interest story that shows us what we already know but don’t often admit; the bad guys are perhaps not all that bad and that too often we let atrocious white collar crimes go unquestioned.

The acting and directing are really good too, which is not surprising considering the Hollywood heavyweight names attached such as George Clooney, Julia Roberts and director Jodie Foster, to name a few. Great performances also from Jack O’Connell, Caitriona Balfe and Dominic West make Money Monster a very enjoyable watch as a thriller that somehow finds the perfect blend of comedy and entertainment.

Money Monster is not an edge-of-your-seat type thriller; it’s more interesting than that, and in my view that makes it better.

Reviewed by Ceri Horner
Twitter: @CeriHorner

Rating out of 10:  8

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