Hollywood Gradebook: ‘No One Will Save You’September 29, 2023
Hollywood Gradebook: ‘The Creator’October 1, 2023
Film: Dumb Money (2023)
Plot: Based on the insane true story of everyday people who flipped the script on Wall Street and got rich by turning GameStop (yes, the mall videogame store) into the world’s hottest company. In the middle of everything is regular guy Keith Gill (Paul Dano), who starts it all by sinking his life savings into the stock and posting about it. When his social posts start blowing up, so does his life and the lives of everyone following him. As a stock tip becomes a movement, everyone gets rich – until the billionaires fight back, and both sides find their worlds turned upside down.
Cast: Paul Dano, Pete Davidson, Vincent D’Onofrio, America Ferrera, Nick Offerman, Anthony Ramos, Sebastian Stan, Shailene Woodley and Seth Rogen
Director: Craig Gillespie
Studio: Sony Pictures
Average Grade: B
Dumb Money sells the moviegoer as it being a David vs. Goliath story. I just don’t believe David was a clear winner here. The rich continue to get richer and the poor many are still poor and even poorer after this movement. While something may have changed a lot has stayed the same.
Dumb Money tries hard to be “The Big Short” but drops the ball. It is in no way a bad movie, but its attempt to paint the little guy as being squeezed out by Big Wall Street as a full-scale movement simply doesn’t do the trick.
Dumb Money is no idiot when it comes to crafting a compelling crusade against the rich. This modern-day tale of a Reddit Robin Hood is nothing we haven’t seen before, but the film’s fast-paced The Social Network-like storytelling and revolving door of familiar-faced crooks is gripping. Paul Dano’s commanding performance gives this story its edge as the movie embraces the volatile nature of stocks to create a nerve-wracking ramp-up. Rounding out this solid showing from the flashy get-rich-quick comedy is a boisterous backtrack of pandemic-era hits and a Pete Davidson entirely in his element as the wise-cracking sidekick. Dumb Money is worth seeking out if you enjoy endless celebrity cameos and watching billionaires squirm.
With a title like “Dumb Money,” which references a Wall Street slang term for a group of individual and non-institutional investors and their money, one has to ask if “insane” from the movie’s tagline is talking about a dollar amount or a measurement of wisdom or choices. Well, you’re going to need that shiny quarter to flip. A thoroughly entertained viewer will be finger-pointing insanity occurring, in some shape or form, at nearly every turn of this off-the-cuff, firebrand movie.
Arguably, it might have helped to see more of the major Wall Street figures to better understand what they think they’re doing. While they are all well-cast (the actors include Seth Rogen, Vincent D’Onofrio, Nick Offerman, Sebastian Stan, Rushi Kota), it’s difficult to sort out the alliances and enmities.
Director Craig Gillespie and screenwriters Lauren Schuker Blum & Rebecca Angelo, using Ben Mezrich’s nonfiction book THE ANTISOCIAL NETWORK as a basis, do manage to convey just how extraordinary the events covered in DUMB MONEY are. They tell us enough to make us wish they’d told us more, and with greater depth.
Craig Gillespie totally borrowed most of this from The Social Network. It’s the exact same style, same music, same scenes, everything is a direct copy of that but “about the little guys disrupting Wall Street” instead of Zuckerberg. And in terms of the film’s goal to show us how Wall Street controls everything and will block the little guys from doing anything to change their ways, I think it fails at that as well. They skip over all the who and what behind-the-scenes with Robinhood’s secret meetings to do what the big Hedge Fund guy says and shroud it all in a number of other boring scenes. Nothing much to see here, move along.
Gillespie’s biopic captures the millennial, perpetually online, meme-heavy essence of the historic GameStop short squeeze stock event perfectly. Propulsive, gut-busting hilarious, and informational. It makes the finance talk make sense and never takes itself too seriously, leaning head-on into the culture that embraced a coordinated Wall Street hedge fund takedown. A crowd-pleasing triumph about a rare win for the little guys.
There are a dozen or so characters that all get arcs and all have stories but none of them are explored enough so it feels like we are watching people look at their phones for 2 hours
Dumb Money is an insane but true story that pits David vs Goliath for a ridiculously fun film. Fortunately, you don’t need to be well-versed in how stocks work to understand what is happening. They keep the script simple, explaining as needed but in a way that is very stock market for dummies. Gillespie has assembled an incredible cast list who all lean fully into the chaotic reality of the story. Dumb Money is both a riotous rated-R comedy and a surprisingly moving drama about the power of the working class.
DUMB MONEY is a crowd-pleasing financial film for the little guy that explores one of the biggest revolutions in Wall Street’s history with clarity & humor. Solid work from the entire ensemble. Less kinetic than Craig Gillespie’s latest movies but still entertaining & illuminating. It’s nowhere near as good as Moneyball or The Social Network or even The Big Short but to take a line from Keith Gill, “I just like the film.”
Dumb Money plays like a game, it’s exciting, entertaining and easy to understand. You will feel the excitement & frustration throughout the whole movie. Plus it brings back fresh memories of daily lives during pandemic. Masks, zoom, test, like yesterday. Great cast, Paul Dano shines the most.
FANTASTIC. An entertaining riot that not only informs but delivers in something I feel explores a part of our recent history that came & went so fast. Paul Dano delivers one of my favorite monologues of the year easy to cheer for, hilarious, & intelligent
Not the best version of what this kind of movie aspires to be, but it’s far too entertaining to get a negative grade. Good performances, fast-paced with a Kendrick Lamar needle drop. I’ll take these any day of the week.
Dumb Money is a hastily, uninspired retelling of a recent event that needed a few more years to marinate before receiving the film adaptation treatment. It attempts to frame itself as a haves versus have-nots fable. In theory, this works but it props itself up as the moment inequality was uncovered specifically in American society. In trying to simplify the story for all audiences, it just comes off as elitist and treats its audiences as if they are dumb.
DUMB MONEY is an exciting exploration of the GameStop stock fiasco and how the little guys picked a fight with Wall Street. Thankfully, it’s really easy to follow along and quite thrilling in certain moments — will they or won’t they sell? Solid work from a talented ensemble.
The stock market makes no sense. Granted, this is coming from the perspective of somebody who knows next to nothing about Wall Street. If Dumb Money is any indication, though, even those who make billions off the stock market annually have no idea what they’re doing. Social media has added a wild card, but it’s one more inclined to benefit the other 99%. Some will describe Dumb Money as a companion piece to The Big Short. Craig Gillespie’s film is just as much The Anti Big Short, however. Where one will leave you furious at Wall Street, the other will have you smirking throughout. Yet, both share a common theme: greed.
Lupe Rodriguez Haas
Directed by Craig Gillespie (CRUELLA, I, TONYA), the filmmaker brings his quirky style of storytelling and pacing to the adaptation. Once the slow and somewhat boring introduction of the supporting characters is out of the way, DUMB MONEY is an engrossing film in a David vs. Goliath plot that has you rooting for the little guy and gal.
Craig Gillespie knocks it out of the park once again with Dumb Money. A deeply engrossing and funny film about the rise and fall of the GameStop stock. Paul Dano is fantastic as Keith Gill, while the rest of the talented cast embraces the insanity of this true story. It’s an absolute blast!
Being a dedicated gamer, this film filled me with pride for all the support I’ve given to GameStop throughout the years. It’s a comedic semi-biographical picture that easily ranks among my favorites of the year. The way it exposes the corruption on Wall Street is truly eye-opening.
Dumb Money is fast-paced, fun, and highly entertaining – a true David versus Goliath story. The script was well written, and I was fully engaged plus the performances were stellar from the all-star cast. For those who aren’t savvy in this TikTok generation, I can see how people may feel it is too noisy and overwhelming with the constant soundbites in some scenes. That being said, I liked the use of music and TikTok references because it played into what was happening at the time. This type of filmmaking is contemporary and will resonate with those who enjoy and understand social media. It was a fun take on recent events! I recommend seeing it.