(2015) (Christian Bale, Steve Carell) (R)
- QUICK TAKE:
- Dramedy: A number of investors decide to short the subprime mortgage market before the financial collapse of 2007.
- It's 2005 and socially awkward money manager Michael Burry (CHRISTIAN BALE), always on the lookout for a potentially lucrative investment, has discovered that highly rated, bundled mortgage bonds actually contain risky home loans, including those about to blow up in 2007 when their adjustable rates kick in.
Knowing those defaults are on the horizon, he wants to "short" the still booming housing market and has banks invent a financial instrument known as a credit default swap (basically insurance on the bonds) to make that a reality. Thinking he's foolishly throwing away his investors' money, they eagerly fulfill his request to the tune of a collective $1.3 billion, and amount that doesn't sit well with his boss, Lawrence Fields (TRACY LETTS).
At a bar, Wall Street banker Jared Vennett (RYAN GOSLING) hears of this development and tries to convince fund managers to invest in his credit default swaps. Due to a wrong telephone number, social crusader and short-tempered hedge fund manager Mark Baum (STEVE CARELL) and his team of analysts -- Vinnie Daniel (JEREMY STRONG), Porter Collins (HAMISH LINKLATER) and Danny Moses (RAFE SPALL) -- end up listening to Jared's pitch and consider the potential.
Also intrigued, but hearing about it a different way are young investor friends Jamie Shipley (FINN WITTROCK) and Charlie Geller (JOHN MAGARO) who've turned an initial investment of $110,000 into $30 million by investing in things people fear. Needing help to get in the game, they contact their former neighbor and mentor, retired banker Ben Rickert (BRAD PITT), who believes the world is headed south and is preparing for the worst, for help via his connections.
As all of those investors do their homework to make sure the credit default swap is a wise investment, the tipping point in the housing market is finally hit and things start falling apart, meaning a lot of money is going to be lost by many while a few stand to profit handsomely for a disaster few others could see coming.
- WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
- Older teens might, especially if they're interested in the story or are fans of the high-profile cast.
- WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: R
- For pervasive language and some sexuality/nudity.
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