Blu-ray Review: All the Money in the World

STUDIO: Sony | DIRECTOR: Ridley Scott | CAST: Christopher Plummer, Michelle Williams, Mark Wahlberg, Charlie Plummer, Romain Duris
RELEASE DATE: April 10, 2018 | PRICE: DVD $17.99, Blu-ray $19.96
BONUSES: featurettes, eight deleted scenes
SPECS: R | 132 min. | Drama | 2.40:1 widescreen | DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1/Dolby Digital 5.1 | English, French and Spanish subtitles

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

All the Money in the World, Ridley Scott’s (AlienPrometheus) true-life story of the kidnapping of John-Paul Getty’s teenage grandson in 1973, is a gripping suspense outing that received lots of pre-theatrical release ballyhoo when, with little more than one month before its release, Scott decided to replace the completed film’s besieged co-star Kevin Spacey with Christopher Plummer (Beginners) as the senior billionaire. What took a seemingly impossible effort from the 80-year-old Scott proved worthwhile as the 88-year-old Plummer not only gives a formidable supporting performance as the shifty oil tycoon but also received an Oscar nomination for his yeoman’s effort.

The saga focuses on John Paul Getty III (The Dinner’s Charlie Plummer, no relation to his on-screen grandpa) who is swiped by a group of Italy’s terrorist Red Brigade and held for $17 million in ransom. Gail Harris (Michelle Williams, Manchester by the Sea), his mother, is divorced by the senior Getty’s trouble-plagued son,and has given up any piece of the family fortune for custody of her kidnapped son. This forces her into dealing with J.P. Getty (Plummer) himself, an eccentric billionaire whose thriftiness in the face of impending disaster is downright unsettling. Aiding Gail in her quest to retrieve her captive child is Fletcher Chase (Mark Wahlberg, Deepwater Horizon), ex-CIA agent and Getty family fixer, who bonds with Gail despite his tightwad employer’s disregard for the perilous situation.

The ever-prolific Scott—he helmed Alien: Covenant released earlier in the year and produced three other films and several TV series—is at the top of his game, cross-cutting between different time frames, shifting locations around Europe, and finding tension among the adults trying to formulate a game plan to release the 16-year-old. All this as he stirs in material on the the teen and his abductors, including one (Romain Duris, The New Girlfriend) who may be sympathetic to his situation.

Along with Plummer, Williams is terrific as the anxious mother caught in a no-win situation, but Wahlberg, delivering a low-key turn, appears out-of-place as the cagey company operative. Scott, meanwhile, alludes to classics such as Citizen Kane and Lawrence of Arabia in scenes involving Plummer’s John Paul Getty, as he paints a picture of an enigmatic figure becoming increasingly detached with the humanity around him as he becomes more enamored with his fortune.

Despite good reviews and pre-release attention, All the Money in the World fared only so-so at the box-office with a $25 million return.  With the high profile names and recent Danny Boyle-produced Trust FX miniseries covering similar terrain, it’s a safe bet that All the Money in the World will score healthily on the home market.


Buy or Rent All the Money in the World

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.