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Showing 1-10 of 927 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 1,059 reviews
on March 10, 2016
Informative presentation on the economic catastrophe of 2008. I rate 4 stars only because it helped me gain a more informed perspective of what happened and why. However, I did get the feeling that quite a bit has been left out or just plain misrepresented. The writer(s) presents a mixed character portrayal of the key government officials involved in this pivotal period of our nation's history (Paulson, Bernanke, Geithner, etc...), On the one hand, but the Treasury Dept., and other key agencies were portrayed as defenders of the union, creative problem-solvers, and highly motivated to literally save the country. On the other hand, these same officials were caught completely off-guard, thereby inferring that there was some incompetence and negligence that resulted in the tragic vulnerabilities for our country, and the cruel exploitation on the part of Wall Street hooligans. Even more, the movie is almost completely focused on government banking and monetary officials. What was the involvement of the executive branch in support of Paulson and others? White House involvement is incredibly sparse in this movie. The congress is presented as being short-sighted and blinded by party politics. (Well I guess I do believe that the congress actually acted as portrayed in the movie). In general, I only hope that much of what is portrayed was not the case in real life, The final nail in the something must be missing theory is the naiveness (of Paulson and others reflected) in the decision to "trust" banking industry leaders to use the bailout money as intended -- Really??? I think it would be more believable if Paulson or members of his staff had made a deal for kick-backs in return for the free money that had been awarded to the Wall Street gang. Oh well, guess I will have to wait a while longer to either get the real story, or to be convinced that this movie really is how it happened.
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on January 9, 2012
I'd been disappointed in Curtis Hanson's work since "LA Confidential." None of the movies lived up to that film. This film does. Hanson gets the most out of his actors and tells a story that unfolds every bit the thriller "LA Confidential" was. He avoids the popular "Wall Street crashed America" meme by presenting these guys without judgement and neither showing them in a positive or negative light. We understand what it is these people do and why they made the decisions they did. No one other than Dick Fuld (James Woods in a knock-out performance) comes across as a villain, although Hank Paulsen comes across as the man who saved America. Hanson feels the story needs a hero and he gives us one. People should leave this movie with a better understanding of how Wall Street works and that they aren't the two dimensional characters they're depicted as. Hanson takes great care to not have Paulsen and his staff identified with a political party. They aren't Republicans Democrats can hate or vice versa. They're people trying to solve the crisis. By avoiding policy Hanson has created a more accessible film.

To depict Paulsen as such a hero, Hanson needed an actor who could deliver. William Hurt is rarely thought of the guy who immediately becomes the biggest man in the room. Hurt delivers a performance where you can tell what he's saying without the actor talking. I've seen William Hurt in countless movies, but here I only saw Hank Paulsen.
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on November 12, 2015
Good drama about the 2008 Financial Crisis, particularly the collapse of Lehman Brothers and the effects from that up until the TARP legislation passed. Starting in the summer after the collapse of Bear Sterns, this film focuses on the eventual collapse of Lehman Brothers as a lens toward viewing the wider Financial Meltdown. It touches on other events during that time in passing (Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac, Countrywide, Merrill Lynch, etc.), but spends most of its energy on Lehman and the Treasury Department's attempt to solve the crisis, and then shifts its focus to the Treasury's attempts to stabilize the markets.In all a good, entertaining film that doesn't get too deep into the esoteric machinations that brought about the Crisis.

That last would be one point of contention I had about this film. It kept everything on a fairly simplistic level and accepting the "Financial pundits' thesis" ultimately placing the blame on the homeowners and American people for causing the crisis, rather than the overleveaged Wall St. banks. This is like saying "Those innocent Wall St. bankers were swindled by those savvy, cutthroat Average Joe Americans who took those Wall St. Bankers for a ride." And that's ridiculuous. As one who saw the crisis coming remarked after the collapse, "That idea assumes that 5 million average Americans all decided to lie on their mortgage applications and were all so good at doing it that they fooled the Wall St. bankers at places like Goldman Sachs and Merrill Lynch. And if that's the case, then those people should be working on Wall St., rather than those bankers."

Still all in all an enjoyable film with a good cast. Some famous faces (William Hurt, Paul Giamatti, Bill Pullman, James Woods) and many great character actors you will recognize but not immediately know (Topher Grace, Michael O'Keefe, John Heard). But they all do a decent job.
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on July 11, 2016
A tough subject but technically well done. Also liked the non-administration judgement side of it. As it should have been. Too easy to blame a president when congress and regulators are totally to blame. I don't routinely like the "blame" aspect but in this case the watchers should have been escalated in the public eye if not prosecuted. But not good for any administration or political party. This was handled very well, for those paying attention. Why Barnie Frank is not in jail escapes me but that is too much of an opinion. Well done from a documentary perspective. We were all appropriately frightened by our government.
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on August 25, 2012
This is a DAMNED good movie. The acting is superb and the factual arrangement is not to be overlooked. It is fast paced, never boring. William Hurt and this all star talented cast understand their role in this very complicated game of high economics. This is an excellent film to use for an economics course. The terminology used through the movie is higher than our understanding.

What I enjoyed about this film is that there is a scene which considers the audience in explaining some of the complicated terminology and explaination of finance enough to help the audience understand in layman terms what this entire country was up against and is still up against.

We haven't nearly crawled out of the woods yet in this disaster. What needs to be understood is that we just made it in the nick of time and only by a 1/16th of a hair from the Great Depression. We have truly no idea how close we have come to complete and total disaster. What I also enjoyed about this film is that there was a humility behind these giants behind our money in which even Hurt's character is so very frightened that he vomits and is so terrified of the possible outcome of the mess that was made due to toxic lending and lack of legislation and control in lending practices. It should have taught many NOT to be so damned greedy, even in our personal lives. I mean, how big does your house have to be?

This is an important movie to watch in that most of our banks and lending finds so many of us to be stupid enough to chase after "things" that we wish to afford and are too whimsical to accept that we cannot. Greed is what nearly destroyed us and still many of the banks who were saved by the few who did not want to take that chance have not repaid those banks from bailing them out. Pay attention to James Woods character because this is how most banks and how most of your lenders truly view us. This is a very good movie for your collection to watch again and again.
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on March 11, 2016
This was a great synopsis of the events. It may have even been accurate in the emotions of the characters at the time. The portrayal of the characters was amazing, truly off the charts.

For those that were already familiar with, or have age old recollection, of the names of the players and the banks and investment organizations, I am sure it would have been / will be a whole lot better. In my case, seeing this so many years later, even the organizations of the past were not so fresh in memory.

If it doesn't already exist, what would have been great top have is a pre-movie option, to introduce the players (real life and in character) and the companies they represented, and a recap of their market focus and holdings at that time. If I could have captured all the players, researched their history, the organizations, and how this all fit into the economy of the US and the world at that time, and THEN watched it, I would thing I would have easily rated this 5 stars.
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on December 7, 2016
This should be the movie of the week every week on Network TV until the middle class understands and figures out what happened .It should be preceeded by the movie RECOUNT (staring Kevin Spacy and many others) and then followed by THE BIG SHORT(2015) . If the average American could just watch these 3 films in order a few times, there would be an understanding of how far back and to what extent the government has become one of corruption and the everyday crime against the very people it is supposed to protect and represent. These 3 movies should be mandatory for citizenship, high school graduation and anyone getting any type of college degree and anyone who is registered to vote and especially for those who are not. OK Does that cover everyone with a pulse and a brain?
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on March 6, 2016
Superb movie, well cast, well acted, defined the 2007 meltdown of Lehman Brothers in human consequences. No Hollywood chase scenes, violence, guns, etc. William Hurt did a great job as Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, former CEO of Goldman Sachs.. We again were treated to the doom and gloom and sour facial expressions of the Chairman of The Fed Paul Giamatti who played Bernake, Haven't seen his sour puss since the movie Sideways. Ed Asner does a credible job as Warren Buffet.Billy Crudup did a great job as Timothy Geithner, the Chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of NY. Tony Shaloub (The Big Night) was fantastic as John Mack, CEO of Morgan Stanley. An all star performance was turned on by Evan Handler who played Loyd Blankfein, CEO & Chairman of Goldman Sachs. I loved the lack of smiles and look of consternation when the Fed made financial demands on the CEOs of the top 9 banks in the US. Evan Handler's squirming was classic! This is a 5 star movie!
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on December 3, 2015
Great docudrama about the crash and how our banking system was so very close to failure. I learned about about this through the years and had wanted to watch this movie since it was released (I just did nto have the time until recently). I would l highly recommend this movie for a great 10k foot level view of one of the issues the global financial and economic challenges the entire world had to address during the 2008 crash.
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on August 3, 2017
good movie. very interesting & scary really....knowing that there's a small group of wealthy, senior citizen fuddy duddies basically ruling & running the globe. ignorance is bliss???

my copy skips at the beginning but once i get past it, it works well.
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