A new review from the desk of The Movie Snob.
The Big Short (B+). This movie is entertaining and infuriating and unnerving at the same time. It’s sort of an educational movie in that it tries to explain, at least in broad outline, what caused the housing bubble and the following economic crash in 2007. (Greed, stupidity, and lack of oversight all seem to have played large roles.) When the jargon starts to get too complicated, director Adam McKay lightens the mood by pausing and bringing in Margot Robbie (Z for Zachariah) and Selena Gomez (Spring Breakers) to explain and simplify things for us. But the movie is mainly entertaining because it focuses on a handful of financial outsiders and oddballs who figured out not only that the bubble was bound to burst (and even roughly when it would happen) but also how to cash in when it did. These characters are well played by Christian Bale (American Hustle), Ryan Gosling (Blue Valentine), Brad Pitt (Troy), and especially Steve Carell (Seeking a Friend for the End of the World) as a tightly wound money guy who starts out thinking that the whole world is full of crooks and frauds and eventually realizes he still wasn’t cynical enough. It’s not at all what I would have expected from McKay, director of Talladega Nights and Anchorman 2. All in all, it’s a solid movie, but one that left me a little angry and a little nervous about the future.