Sep 072016

Money Monster, in spite of the talent involved, never delivers. George Clooney and Julia Roberts give good performances but I had a really hard time feeling sorry for Jack O’Connell’s Kyle character even as the filmmakers try to pull at the dramatic strings in the third act.



Money Monster

Genre(s): Suspense/Thriller, Crime
Sony | R – 99 min. – $30.99 | September 6, 2016

Date Published: 09/07/2016 | Author: The Movieman


Directed by:
Jodie Foster
Writer(s): Alan DiFiore & Jim Kouf (story), Jamie Linden and Alan DiFiore & Jim Kouf (screenplay)
Cast: George Clooney, Julia Roberts, Jack O’Connell, Dominic West, Giancarlo Esposito
Featurettes, Deleted Scenes, Music Video
Digital Copy: Yes
Formats Included: Blu-ray
Number of Discs: 1
Audio: English (DTS-HD MA 5.1), French (DTS-HD MA 5.1), Portuguese (DTS-HD MA 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1), Thai (Dolby Digital 5.1)
Video: 1080p/Widescreen 2.39
Subtitles: English SDH, Cantonese, Chinese, French, Indonesian/Bahasa, Korean, Portuguese, Spanish, Thai
Disc Size: 31.6 GB
Codec: MPEG-4 AVC
Region(s): A, B, C


THE MOVIE — 2.5/5

Note: This review contains spoilers.

One could call Money Monster an old-school thriller from the 1990s, ridiculous plot devices and all, heck kind of reminds in some respects to Mad City starring John Travolta and Dustin Hoffman, however even that one does a better job in terms of commentary on the media whereas this one’s examination of the unfairness of the financial market, while valid, doesn’t hit the mark.

The film, which takes place in real time, follows over-the-top financial TV host Lee Gates (GEORGE CLOONEY) and his producer, Patty (JULIA ROBERTS), who are put in an extreme situation when an irate investor, Kyle Budwell (JACK O’CONNELL), forcefully takes over their studio and in one of the first absurd moments, is allowed to stay on the air, live. Sure, the producer might allow it, but I highly doubt the NYPD, led by Captain Powell (GIANCARLO ESPOSITO), who have gathered outside, would. Budwell straps Gates with a bomb vest and demands answers to how he lost everything he had in an investment that went belly-up after the company lost $800 million due to a technical “glitch”.

Meanwhile, Patty works with another of the station’s producers to be on the outside and unravel the mystery including tracking down the company’s, IBIS, CEO, Walt Camby (DOMINIC COOPER) who has suddenly gone missing and off the radar. His own chief communications officer Diane Lester (CAITRIONA BALFE) beings to suspect something is wrong and delves deeper into the so-called “glitch”.

This aspect of the film does no favors to the main plot going on in the studio which in itself isn’t as tense as it could’ve been as there was not one moment I felt Gates or Patty were in any danger. It doesn’t help matters that I really didn’t care about Kyle and his situation as much as the filmmakers wanted me to. For instance, in order to calm him down, as he beings to unravel, they bring in his pregnant girlfriend on camera and instead she lays into him about losing their money and in a final slap, reveals, on national television that he cried when they had sex. Now, the last part is a low blow for sure yet I had a hard time disagreeing with her. No doubt IBIS is a scoundrel of a company however I have little sympathy for a person to invest into something they know nothing about. Call me cynical, but the term “a fool and his money” came to mind.

George Clooney does given a lively and successful performance showcasing that charm that’s served him well in the past while Julia Roberts is nice in a limited role where she’s mostly communicating over an earpiece to Clooney. Jack O’Connell for his part is fine but as I said, I had a hard time really buying into his character and his plight. And Dominic West gets the thankless job merely playing the typical asshole corporate villain.

What’s surprised me, and why I had some interest in Money Monster was it was the return to the directing arena for Jodie Foster who, albeit only having 4 movies under her belt, has proven to be a half decent director from 1998’s holiday family drama Home For the Holidays (which features wonderful performances by Holly Hunter and Robert Downey Jr.) and more recently, the 2011 character drama, The Beaver, is that while competently directed, there’s a lack of suspense and there was not one moment where I didn’t know what was coming. I even knew what the fate of the naïve Kyle would be…

In the end, Money Monster never quite delivers on its potential but perhaps as a rental or perhaps as it airs on television, it might be worth watching.



This release comes with a semi-glossy slip cover and inside is a redemption code for the Digital HD copy.

Deleted Scenes (2:23; HD) – We get three scenes that were cut, however nothing especially noteworthy outside of an alternate opening.

George Clooney: The Money Man (5:27; HD) is a featurette on Clooney’s colorful character, Lee Gates. Includes interviews with Clooney, Julia Roberts and director Jodie Foster.

Inside the Pressure Cooker (9:55; HD) looks at the logistics of telling the story and meshing different tones.

Analysis of a Scene: The Showdown (7:09; HD) breaks down the New York City street sequence and inside the lobby.

Music Video (3:05; HD) for “What Makes the World Go ‘Round (MONEY!)” by Dan the Automater (feat. Del the Funky Homosapien)

PreviewsGhostbusters (2016), Concussion, The Shallows, Don’t Breath, Inferno


VIDEO – 4.5/5

Money Monster is presented in high-definition with a 1080p transfer and shown in its original 2.40 widescreen aspect ratio. The transfer, as one would expect, looks great; detail is relatively sharp and colors, in spite of the dark subject of a hostage situation, the colors are bright and lively. There were no obvious signs of artifacts or aliasing making for a clean transfer.

AUDIO – 4.5/5

The movie comes with a strong and effective DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track where dialogue sounds clean and when the action does pick up, which is late second, early third acts, the front and rear channels come to life and the score, by Henry Jackman, makes nice usage of these channels. The LFE track does kick in a time or two but its mostly low key.


OVERALL – 2.75/5

Overall, Money Monster, in spite of the talent involved, never delivers. George Clooney and Julia Roberts give good performances but I had a really hard time feeling sorry for Jack O’Connell’s Kyle character even as the filmmakers try to pull at the dramatic strings in the third act. The Blu-ray offers great video and audio transfers and a so-so selection of bonus material.





Check out some more screen caps by going to page 2. Please note, these do contain spoilers.

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