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Nerdlocker Movie Review: The Big Short

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A film about the mid-2000’s credit and housing bubble collapse shouldn’t be this entertaining and enthralling and most surprisingly this damn hilarious. But if you create a movie with this subject and Adam McKay at the wheel and a cast this insanely talented you can make any subject fascinating. The Big Short has the benefit of being helmed by a smart director and stellar cast which all lend to make this one of the best films of the year.

The most interesting aspect is the style of the film. It’s fast and frenetic at times and has moments that come out of nowhere but somehow completely fit into the narrative and instead of hurting the film they enhance it to make this one of the more uniquely stylized films of 2015. The fourth wall is broken repeatedly and at times the characters talk to the audience with a sense of superiority as if they are too smart for our own good. It would be condescending if someone were to talk to another in person like this but on the big screen it’s comical.

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And now the cast… what a cast it is.

Christian Bale, Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling and Brad Pitt star as a group of outsiders in the financial world who discover the likelihood that an impending catastrophic collapse in the credit and housing markets was on its way. On one hand their motivations are to make money off the stupidity of others’ greed but they also need to understand the level of greed they’ve encountered. Repeatedly they come across people who have delved into a depth of avarice that was previously thought impossible. Through false hubris and more ignorance than any of them knows what to do with a collapse of the financial system sneaks up and mangles virtually everyone in the U.S. They want to make money but this kind of cupidity is stopping them in their tracks leaving them dumbfounded that this kind of selfishness can actually exist. Well this is the American financial system after all so of course it exists. And who pays for it all when it goes tits up? Us.

This movie manages so many emotions and the most astonishing thing is most of it comes from simply explaining what actually happened. There’s no need to embellish to create hatred and contempt for these inhuman bags of dogshit that tried to destroy this country. This movie is infuriating and somehow through genius storytelling it’s simultaneously hysterical. With such a touchy subject this had a lot of ways to fail but through sheer bravery it works.

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The dialogue is sharp enough to cut and it’s always going for the kill. Each new scene is another chance for each actor to one up the other and each time someone stands out. As talented as this cast is and as phenomenal as all the performances are there are two that stand out among the rest as nothing short of Oscar material and Steve Carell and Ryan Gosling are standing ovation worthy. It’s a real spectacle to watch actors portray assholes but still manage not just a level of relatability but likeability as well. It’s a sort of highwire act of performance art and these two nail every nuance and every line as if it were their last. When these two are on the screen it is living breathing fire.

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The premise might sound boring but I can’t state enough, this movie is anything but. It is constantly in motion moving from one moment to the next in some doomed attempt at explaining how truly awful these fat cats were and continue to be to this day with complete impunity. I say doomed because it is a valiant effort on the filmmaker’s part but I feel much like the Titanic hitting the iceberg, it was only the tip. I don’t know about you but I for one don’t like being on the receiving end of “just the tip” (or any of it for that matter). Brave filmmaking took what could have been nothing but “Oscar bait” and turned it into one of the best films of the year inside the Academy and out. If only given the chance, I know it could really impress. It certainly won me over.

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Rated R For: pervasive language and some sexuality/nudity
Runtime: 130 minutes
After Credits Scene: No
Genre: Biography, Drama, Comedy
Starring: Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, Christian Bale, Brad Pitt
Directed By: Adam McKay

Out of 5 Nerdskulls
Story: 5/ Acting: 5/ Directing: 5/ Visuals: 3.5
OVERALL: 5 Nerdskulls

Check out the trailer below:

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