DVD Review: Money Monster

MoneyDVDSTUDIO: Sony | DIRECTOR: Jodie Foster | CAST: George Clooney, Julia Roberts, Jack O’Connell, Giancarlo Esposito, Emily Meade, Lenny Venito, Dominic West
RELEASE DATE: 9/6/16 | PRICE: DVD $17.99, Blu-ray $19.99
BONUSES: featurettes, deleted scenes, Analysis of a Scene, music video
SPECS: R | 99 min. | Thriller | 2.39:1 widescreen | Dolby Digital 5.1/DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 | English, French, Spanish, Chinese, Korean, Thai subtitles

RATINGS (out of 5 dishes): Movie  | Audio  | Video | Overall

 

Stars George Clooney (Tomorrowland) and Julia Roberts (August: Osage County) and director Jodie Foster (The Beaver) seem like a can’t-miss trio, but the financial thriller Money Monster remains something of a disappointment considering the talents involved.

money-monster-1_optThe story centers on Jim Kramer-ish boob tube money wizard Lee Gates (Clooney), whose stock tips prompt Kyle Budwell (Jack O’Connell, Unbroken) to invest $60,000 in a tech company that he has pushed on his TV show. When the company’s stock plummets, the angry Budwell, armed with guns and explosives strapped to him, takes Gates hostage on live TV. Trying to guide Gates to safety is Patty Fenn (Roberts), his ever-diligent longtime producer.

Clocking in a trim 99 minutes, Money Monster does have moments of tension and suspense. Director Foster keeps things moving quickly, but one wonders if it is to cover some of the plot inconsistencies. Clooney’s brash, not-very-likable character doesn’t help draw empathy early in the film;  Roberts is solid as the good soldier caught in the middle; and O’Connell’s culprit could use more of a backstory. In addition, the reason for the tech company’s demise would sure be helped by more clarity.

Still, the powerhouse combo will bring interest from those who neglected it in theaters where it turned in a so-so $41 million in wide release accompanied by mixed reviews.

Buy or Rent Money Monster
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About Irv

Irv Slifkin has been reviewing movies since before he got kicked off of his high school radio station for panning The Towering Inferno in 1974. He has written the books VideoHound’s Groovy Movies: Far-Out Films of the Psychedelic Era and Filmadelphia: A Celebration of a City’s Movies, and has contributed film reportage and reviews to such outlets as Entertainment Weekly, The Hollywood Reporter, Video Business magazine and National Public Radio.