The Big Short (2015)


Biography | Comedy | Drama


Adam McKay




Christian Bale, Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, John Magaro, Finn Wittrock, Brad Pitt, Hamish Linklater, Rafe Spall, Jeremy Strong, Marisa Tomei, Melissa Leo, Stanley Wong, Byron Mann, Tracy Letts, Karen Gillan, Max Greenfield, Adepero Oduye, Margot Robbie, Selena Gomez, Richard Thaler, Anthony Bourdain


Four outsiders in the world of high-finance predict the credit and housing bubble collapse of the mid-2000's, and decide to take on the big banks for their lack of foresight and greed. 


A great cast -- what am I saying, a tremendous cast -- and such an important story to tell are the premise to a great film. Turns out I was wrong: I was honestly expecting more, much more. What a disappointment.

"The Big Short" provides a good look and a different perspective on the 2007-2008 crisis, but its dialogue, and some questionable directorial and editing choices make of it a slightly above average film.

Written by McKay and Charles Randolph, the screenplay is very inherent to the world of banking, finance, and economics but fails on the dialogue front. It was probably the screenwriters' purpose, but the dialogue is very complex, and very technical, and very hard to understand for those who doesn't know a thing about economics. In this regard, having a celebrity -- Margot Robbie, Anthony Bourdain, Selena Gomez and Richard Thaler -- explaining what the heck was happening was a smart move.

When it comes to telling the story, the film does a good job. It tells the disaster created by big banks, which still is affecting us today, with some humour and manages to make you think about the principles a man lives on. 

And now the direction. I'm not sure McKay's decision of fast-paced and quick-cat editing and the addition of young pop-culture references was a winning choice. Also, the camera moves like a top, the shots seems disoriented, some are out of focus and overall they feel amateurish. One gets the feeling that the camera is a person who is experiencing with the characters, but I don't think it quite works in this kind of film.

The strength of the film is the acting, at least the stellar cast didn't disappoint. Steve Carell gives a wonderful performance as Mark Baum, and once again proves that he is a capable dramatic actor, and wasn't just lucky in "Foxcatcher". Christian Bale is simply flawless as Michael Burry, and deserves to be recognized for his unique ability to do such a variety of roles all so convincingly. Ryan Gosling also does a fantastic job, although he portrays the same character as he did in "Crazy, Stupid, Love.". The rest of the cast also does a good job.

Despite all I have said above, I think "The Big Short" is a must see for all those who have someway lived the 2008 recession. 

Truth is like poetry. And most people fucking hate poetry. - Overheard at a Washington, D.C. bar


  1. I like that quote! I have read other reviews and some really loved it but most seem to be like you-a really good film but something is missing. All agree Carell is great.

    1. I'm not a fan of Carell but I hope he keeps on during serious roles like this one