“The Big Short” Short Review

“The Big Short” Short Review

As a Wall Street company, we love giving critiques on the new hit Wall Street movie The Big Short, starring Ryan Gosling, Christian Bale, Steve Carell and Brad Pitt. Our review is based on academic factors from a normal audience viewpoint. The review has definitely some Wall Street flavor, coming from us.

The Movie in Brief

In short, the movie portrays the era of the 2008 financial crisis and the micro and macro economic surroundings of the crisis. The same plot or story is being told from many viewpoints and they all revolve around the same topic: the crisis. All of the viewpoints were personal though. It’s all about how the crisis fits into the professional life of big players in the financial scene. There were many storylines in parallel to that, some are personal and some relate to real companies, and they all coverage to the crisis at many points along the movie.

Selena Gomez

Should I Be Finance Major to Watch the Movie?

We were stopped at the box office by a random girl asking whether we were finance majors and she advised that only finance majors will understand the movie. Well it’s a Wall Street movie, and even after hard attempts to explain financial terms, it’s still hard to grasp all the details. The filmmakers were very creative in addressing this point. They had actors literally stop acting and look to the camera to explain some terms. They even had guest starts like Selena Gomez to explain some terms. Some on-screen notes were used as well to explain certain abbreviations and acronyms. Despite all the attempts, you still need a minimum of finance background to understand everything. This complexity doesn’t stop you from following the story, however.

Brad Pitt in a small but important role.

Film Genre & Style

It’s hard to tell whether it was a drama, comedy or biography. For sure, it was far from romance. We would call a drama anyway. What’s more significant is the movie style. The way the director chose the theme is brilliant. It looked like a Wall Street Documentary. That’s a whole new genre in itself; a documentary in a feature movie. Well, of course it wasn’t a documentary that documented viewpoints, facts or aspects of the crisis era, however it was so much of a drama that would capture you to be part of the stories of all those individuals and companies in the movie. Just like most novels, it’s hard to tell who the star is. All characters were stars at a point. No villains, no good guys, just characters all around.

Steve and Ryan in one of the movie’s many master scenes.


Extensive advertising. All sorts of financial giants, watches, car models and New York towers. Just too many advertising. However, it was well placed. It reassured this documentary-like feeling. It made you feel like watching a reality show or a newscast. Most of the stories were inspired by true events and the use of brand names was very well integrated to the extent you would feel it’s a fully true story.

The Story

We haven’t read the book it was based on, but it was a very well written story; lines were well crafted and met at the right points. The screenwriting was as good. It was very well portrayed as a movie. You could hardly spot the story’s conflict, which makes movies much interesting. It’s a complex level of conflict, sometimes it’s pure financial and some other times it’s so much drama. Just a great story as far as we think.

Steve doing what he does best: sarcasm.

Visuals & Acting

It’s very entertaining, but it’s not at all a mainstream Hollywood production. It’s actually far from being one. Although it benefited from all the greatness of Departmental Cinema, the product was so not commercial. No traditional camera angles or colors, far from traditional screenplay. Editing was sometimes too fast to give the Wall Street feeling and some other times it was slow so that the audience can grasp the concepts and switch to a rather emotional mood. Most of the actors have played very unusual roles and they played it well, however characters weren’t so hard to play; just another role for each of them, nothing really significant here.


Long Story “Short”

Fun, entertaining movie that, unless you’re a finance major, you can watch on TV. We enjoyed it much because we’re fond in love with finance and Wall Street. But not everyone loves finance that much.