A yuppie broker courts a corporate raider with inside information.
Michael Douglas won an Oscar for perfectly embodying the Reagan-era credo that "greed is good." As a Donald Trump-like Wall Street raider aptly named Gordon Gecko (for his reptilian ability to attack corporate targets and swallow them whole), Douglas found a role tailor-made to his skill in portraying heartless men who've sacrificed humanity to power. He's a slick, seductive role model for the young ambitious Wall Street broker played by Charlie Sheen, who falls into Gecko's sphere of influence and instantly succumbs to the allure of risky deals and generous payoffs. With such perks as a high-rise apartment and women who love men for their money, Charlie's like a worm on Gecko's hook, blind to the corporate maneuvering that puts him at odds with his own father (played by Sheen's offscreen father, Martin). With his usual lack of subtlety, writer-director Oliver Stone drew from the brokering experience of his own father to tell this Faustian tale for the "me" decade, but the movie's sledgehammer style is undeniably effective. A cautionary warning that Stone delivers on highly entertaining terms, Wall Street grabs your attention while questioning the corrupted values of a system that worships profit at the cost of one's soul. --Jeff Shannon
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Don't miss the sequel, set (fictionally, and made in reality, about 15 years later, Wall Street, Money Never Sleeps[[ASIN:B004GWQTCG Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps].
Michael Douglas IS Gordon Gecko in this film and that's probably why he walked off with the Oscar for Best Actor at the 1988 Academy Awards in this fascinating look at the high pressure world of the stock market.
While Charlie Sheen was the hot commodity at the time this film was made, his acting hasn't aged well and it's quite clear that a better choice could have been found for this movie, where the same thing can be said for Darryl Hannah who is only slightly better in her role as the high priced artist for sale to the highest bidder (richest boytoy she can find).
Oliver Stone's directing is very good but the backstory relating to BlueStar airlines could have been a little better but perhaps I just don't have very positive memories because of the trite acting by Charlie Sheen.
However, Michael Douglas alone is worth watching this film and its the performance of his career.
You look at a movie like WallStreet and realize not much is different from the 80's. The cycles repeat, there is no limit to human greed, it is far easier for a good person to go bad than a bad person to ever go good and it is a bit depressing.
It's funny looking at Wall Street with the green text monitors, brick cell phones, 80's style excess, and everything is dated, but you also realize the movie's story and warnings are the same today in 2009.
The speech about greed and American way of life given by Douglas at the share holder's meeting is one of the best short speeches I have heared and seen on the silver screen. Michael's character is what makes this movie.
Oliver Stone directed this film right after finishing The Platoon (1986) both of which films happen to be his best works.
Certainly was a warning sign to the direction in which our country was going business-wise. Too bad so many took Gekko's credo as their own instead of the reverse.
Aside from that, I didn't seem to be interested unless Michael Douglas or Martin Sheen were onscreen. Those two carried this film, IMO.