Money Monster: Jodie Foster’s Timely but Severely Flawed Financial Thriller

money_monster_7_clooneyThematically, Money Monster, Jodie Foster’s fourth feature as director, is severely flawed, for several reason (our long review will be published later today). Technically, however, this timely, socially relevant financial thriller, represents her best and most commercial effort–by far




Reasons to See the film:

Timely issue: Wall Street greed

Socially and politically relevant satire of commercial TV shows

Three male characters that represent flawed, damaged men—albeit for different reasons.

Excellent performances from the central trio, played by George Clooney as a song-and-dance TV host, Julia Roberts as his calm and always in control producer, and Jack O’Connell as the desperate guy who takes Clooney as hostage and sets the tale in motion.

Technically accomplished: Foster’s most fully realized film to date (she had directed three features before)

Moderately engaging, with some really suspenseful, edge of your seat moments.



A genre film (hostage thriller) that tries to do too much, resulting in a flawed narrative, juggling too many ideas

Money Monster tries to be effective as a financial thriller, suspenseful hostage tale, critique of Wall Street, satire of TV shows

The shadow of maestro Sidney Lumet looms large over this film: Inevitable comparisons will be made with Dog Day Afternoon (1975), starring Al Pacino, and Network (1976), featuring Peter Finch.

Some dull spots in the middle, though helmer Foster manages to overcome them

A finale (last reel) set on the streets of New York, that is so preposterous and unrealistic that it almost negates the real-life compelling situations that precede it.

Neat resolution, too simple for what is essentially a more complex and complicated situation.

Desperate efforts to redeem each of the male characters, with soul-searching, confessions, and apologies (both personal and collective), even when they do not merit or deserve redemption.

Too cute and childish in its very last scene, especially images shown as the end credits roll down.