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The Big Short Movie Review

Director: Adam McKay

Starring: Christian Bale, Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, Brad Pitt, John Magaro, Finn Wittrock, Hamish Linklater, Rafe Spall, Jeremy Strong, Marisa Tomei

Oscar Wins: Best Adapted Screenplay

Other Nominations: Best Supporting Actor (Christian Bale), Best Director, Best Film Editing, Best Picture

Remember that scene in The Office when Michael Scott asks Oscar to explain surplus to him like he’s 5 and Oscar uses a lemonade stand example to help him understand? That’s what I need to make sense of The Big Short.

There are two things I took away from this movie. One – no matter what role Steve Carell has from here on out, I will always just hear Michael Scott. Two – banks are bad.

Starring Christian Bale, Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling and Brad Pitt, The Big Short is a biographical comedy/drama about the financial crisis of 2008, which was triggered by the US housing bubble. With almost an obnoxious amount of banking and stock terminology, this movie uses unconventional techniques to help explain itself. Various celebrities, including Margot Robbie, Anthony Bourdain, Selena Gomez and Richard Thaler, break the 4th wall to explain concepts such as subprime mortgages and collateralized debt obligations. Gosling, who also serves as the narrator of the movie, talks to the audience here and there as well to better explain the complicated plot.

Though I didn’t understand this movie fully, I got the gist. Major banks all engaged in fraudulent, criminal activity and didn’t give a rat’s ass about it. The government bailed them out, just like the banks knew would happen, and the little guy had to pay for it all. This caused millions of people to lose their jobs, their homes, their retirement plans and their futures. And the scary thing is, it will happen again.

Despite its heavy content, The Big Short does have a sense of humor and is actually quite funny. As one reviewer said, “This is by far the most entertaining movie I never understood.”


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