The Big Short – Film Review

Duration: 2 hrs 10 mins

Rating: 15

Release Date(UK): 22 January 2016

Genre: Biography, drama,

Director: Adam McKay

Cast: Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, Finn Wittrock, John Magaro, Christian Bale, Brad Pitt…

Description: A biographical film about the financial crisis of 2007-2008 which resulted in people getting evicted from their homes, foreclosures and prolonged unemployment. This films follows the events leading up to the collapse and the four people in high-finance that predicted the event years before it actually happened.

My Thoughts: I went to see this film for two reasons (Haha! I originally wrote for two years… I did not see this film for two years! Although it felt like it at times…). Reason #1: I like watching films about real-life things that have really highly changed society and the world for whatever reason and films about things that will highly change the society or the world (such as climate change or the further development of technology etc.) anyway, so I went to see this film because I thought it would be really insightful and I hadn’t previously been aware of the banking crisis of 2007-08. Reason #2: I went to see it is because it had Christian Bale in it, and he’s a really big inspiration to me. The other members of the cast were really good as well.

After going to see this film for the insight into the collapse I didn’t understand it at all! I was so confused the whole way through the film and although I know they were all bankers they could have simplified it slightly and made it easier to understand for those of us unfortunate enough not to understand the complicated world of finance.

They did have a few moments when they ‘paused’ the film of sorts and gave you a little explanation of what was going on but I found it even more annoying than if they hadn’t said anything at all! I would rather not understand it the whole way through than have this annoying explanation given to you by people that aren’t even in the film to begin with, for example there was one time when it was Selena Gomez who was playing poker (or something along those lines) and she randomly started explaining it to us and it was really weird and a bizarre way of filming a film(although Selena Gomez did make the most sense out of the film out of all of them) and the other example (which was shocking!) was a scene in which this random blonde woman was in a bubble bath sipping champagne (we’d never seen her before and never saw her again) and she was explaining the story to us and it was okay that she was explaining the story to you, if that’s how they wanted to film it but why the bubble bath?! They wouldn’t have done that with a guy would they? If they had a guy say the exact same lines that the woman said they would not have put him in a bubble bath and have him sip champagne so why do it with the woman?! It’s so freakin’ sexist and it made me really annoyed throughout the whole film like how are people so blind to the fact that it’s sexist to have a female in a bubble bath sipping champagne explaining the complicated world of banking, I am not going to understand the information more if she is in a bubble bath so why do it? And if they’re not blind to the fact that it’s sexist why do they think it’s exceptable? Urgh!

Anyway… moving on.

There were a few other weird filming choices, for instance they had a thing for zooming into someone’s face and making you stare at a cinema screen full of someone’s mouth or their eyes and it was really weird and didn’t really add anything to the film. Also, there was a part of the story that they added in that I didn’t think was necessary and they didn’t properly continue it on throughout the rest of the film, let me explain – there was a small part of the film in which Christian Bale’s character Micheal Burry explained how he had always felt socially awkward and a bit of an outsider and this is because he lost one of his eyes in a childhood illness and he now has a glass one and then it showed you an example of an awkward situation in which he was at school playing a football game and someone pushes him over and his glass eye falls out and everyone stares at him and laughs but then whenever you saw Christian Bale I paid particular attention to his eyes and neither of them looked glass (obviously because neither of them are) but I feel like they had spent the time putting that into the story so they should have done something that made it look like Christian could have a glass eye and if that wasn’t possible why put that element of his character into the story at all?

There were a lot of moments when the screen/scene was really blurry and I thought it was a real shame, there were a lot of moments in which it happened and I don’t know whether it was a stylistic choice or whether it accidentally ended up like that and they didn’t think it was worth going back and re-filming it, or it could even have been the cinema screen I don’t know but it was annoying.

Don’t be fooled by the top billing actors for the film because Christian Bale and Brad Pitt are billed in the top four and they both feature in the film for like twenty minutes and the reason why this bothered me is because there were some people that had much bigger roles and weren’t billed in the top and it’s insulting to them because they have a much bigger part than Christian or Brad but I think because Christian and Brad have already lead really successful careers they’re being billed at the top to convince people to come and see it but I feel like it’s unfair to the more main cast.

Although I didn’t understand the film I think everyone was really good acting wise, they all seemed really dedicated to the film and I felt like it meant a lot to them being in the film and that really came through in the scenes (although they are actors so… yeah, they’re supposed to be good performers), but I think you can really tell even if someone’s a good actor if they’re really dedicated to something. And I could really tell with some of the cast members that they were.

I think if you actually understood it (which I didn’t and I was also the only young person in the cinema, everyone else was like 60-70… :/) and it was the kind of style that you like then this would be a really enjoyable film full of great actors! But I didn’t understand it and I didn’t like the style of it but it’s still in cinemas so if it takes your fancy go and see it!

I’m not going to give this film a star rating due to the fact that I didn’t properly understand the plot and therefore feel like I can’t give it an accurate review.

If you’ve seen this film and would like to share your own thoughts please feel free to leave them in the comments section below this post!

If you’ve reviewed this film yourself on your own blog then please feel free to leave a link and I’ll make sure to check it out!

Warnings: Alcohol consumption, swearing, some nudity. For full details please click the link to the IMDb Parental Guide:

Trailer: To see a trailer and read more information on the film and cast please click the link:

Other Information: The Big Short is a film about the financial crisis of 2007-08, in which loads of people were left homeless and unemployed. This financial crisis which threatened the collapse of large financial institutions came about by banks not properly doing their jobs when it came to lending people mortgage money and therefore they ended up lending people money for houses they couldn’t afford and then having to take the houses away from the people after they had failed to pay back the mortgage in time, this not only resulted in people being homeless and unemployed but also resulted in banks losing loads of money. For more details on the financial crisis of 2007-08 please click the link to the Wikipedia page about it:

2 thoughts on “The Big Short – Film Review

  1. Jamila Smith says:

    I also like watching stuff about real-life things that have changed the world! While I haven’t seen this (but you’ve made me curious now) I recently watched something about capitalism in America, and how it’s affected lots of poorer people because the rich people just keep taking their money and houses and getting richer. It was quite fascinating to hear about the nasty tricks and what goes on behind the scenes in big companies, but like you say with this film, there were parts I didn’t understand either. I think I remember the financial crisis in 2007-8?? Is that what people refer to as the credit crunch or am I just being really thick?…

    At first when you mentioned Selena Gomez, and then the blonde woman, I thought maybe they were including them to make fun of sexism and how capitalism uses women’s bodies to make things appealing? But it does sound really random… I really hate it as well when there are sexist things where they have a woman doing something that they would NOT have a man doing.

    I recently started watching something about the conflict and protests in Ukraine a few years ago – it’s on Netflix. Do you watch documentaries on Netflix, or mainly in the cinema? I’ve just been scrolling through the docs on Netflix and they look so interesting! There are loads. And there are a couple about hacking that I want to see because they look interesting, but I feel like if I knew more about computers I’d be able to understand them more and appreciate them, but I don’t really know that much about computers… I should write about films I watch too on my blog.

    I really enjoyed reading this review! Sorry the movie wasn’t great :/
    Hope you’ve had a good day!


  2. Alexis says:

    I enjoyed the Big Short. I think the complexity of the banking system is shown. You mentioned that you didn’t understand the movie but the bankers didn’t fully understand the risks they were taking on. Everyone thought these mortgage investments were sound. But a closer look shows no one was watching. The SEC was looking the other way and the SEC and Wall Street had a cozy relationship.

    There is a youtube video made several years ago that describes it better. It is funny but it is very accurate:

    I thought it was a good movie because it wasn’t hard to see that there was a problem and why did Allen Greenspan not see this It did not take much investigative work to uncover this. Nobody wanted to see the truth. Right now many politicians want to do away with the regulations that were put in place after the crisis. This movie shows why it is important.


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