Dumb Money (2023) Review

By Allison Rose   X Formly Known as Twitter
3 Min Read

Even with all the finance jargon, Dumb Money has a lightheartedness to it and some humorous lines expertly delivered by the cast.

As the wealth gap in the United States grows wider, the "little guys" are trying to fight back against the one percenters.  A dozen years ago, Occupy Wall Street started out as a 2000-person march in lower Manhattan to protest the greed and inequality of the richest portion of the United States and ended up being a two-month "sit-in" of sorts.  Then in January of 2021, the Game Stop Short Squeeze movement once again pitted David against Goliath resulting in lots of shareholders making a good amount of money while stock market CEOs lost millions of dollars each day.  Based on the book The Antisocial Network, Dumb Money offers a dramatized version of the events that transpired over thirty months ago.

In the summer of 2019 Chartered Financial Analyst, Keith Gill (Paul Dano; The Batman) took an interest in Game Stop Stock, feeling the company was being undervalued.  He spoke about his thoughts on the company on his YouTube channel and on Reddit.  Discussing his own investment and suggesting others look into the stock, he inadvertently (or not) creates a short squeeze.  As more and more "common people" invest in Game Stop, Wall Street CEOs become exceedingly nervous.  Ultimately, Gill and many of his investors became rich while those greedy CEOs lost millions and millions of dollars.

Dano does a terrific job portraying a goofy, YouTuber, and financial analyst who seems a little naive but intelligent. He comes across as somewhat innocent but how innocent can someone be who, along with thousands of others, short-changed the the Wall Street rich?  Speaking of... Seth Rogen (This Is the End) and Vincent D'Onofrio (Freaky) join a solid cast who play out this real-life story. The rest of the cast includes Pete Davidson (The King of Staten Island), America Ferrera (Barbie), Sebastian Stan (Captain America: Winter Solider), Shailene Woodley (Divergent), Anthony Ramos (Transformers: Rise of the Beasts), etc.

Director Craig Gillespie (Cruella) keeps the pace of the film moving along and takes writers Lauren Schuker Blum's and Rebecca Angelo's (Orange is the New Black) script and author Ben Mezrich's (The Accidental Billionaires) novel and spins them into complex visuals.  The writing as a whole is well done even though some of the concepts and financials will go over audience members' heads unless they earned a business degree in college.  Luckily, most of the dialogue is put into layman's terms making it easier to follow what exactly happens in the film.

Even with all the finance jargon, Dumb Money has a lightheartedness to it and some humorous lines expertly delivered by the cast.  Here is where Davidson and Rogen shine the brightest with the former playing a pot-smoking, delivery boy, "man-child" and the latter portraying a billionaire who watches as his fortune dwindles in a matter of days.  America Ferrera's character has some good one-liners as well but she also does a good job of trying to explain the Stock Market.

Dumb Money is a cautious tale about how sometimes the little guys actually win but not before the big, bad giants try to shut them down only to get a slap on the wrist for their schemes to try and hold onto their fortunes.  If you were one of the lucky ones to sell your Game Stop stock at its peak and made quite a bit of money, you should definitely see this movie to watch a dramatization of what happened to the one percenters.  If, like me, you didn't invest but witnessed the whole thing play out on the nightly news for weeks, you will hopefully get a better understanding of what occurred, how the stock market works, and generally watch how the CEOs make their money.  If you don't fall into either of the previous categories, you should go see Dumb Money for the sheer entertainment.

Grade: B+


Cast:
Directed By:
MPAA Rating: R
Running Time: 104 minutes
Distributed By: Sony Pictures

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For more information about Dumb Money visit the FlickDirect Movie Database. For more reviews by Allison Rose please click here.

Dumb Money images are courtesy of Sony Pictures. All Rights Reserved.


FlickDirect, Allison   Rose

Allison Rose, a Senior Correspondent and Critic at FlickDirect, is a dynamic presence in the entertainment industry with a communications degree from Hofstra University. She brings her film expertise to KRMS News/Talk 97.5 FM and broadcast television, and is recognized as a Tomatometer-Approved Critic. Her role as an adept event moderator in various entertainment industry forums underscores her versatility. Her affiliations with SEFCA, the Florida Film Critics Circle, and the Online Film Critics Society highlight her as an influential figure in film criticism and media.




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