ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

"The Big Short" Movie Review

Updated on June 6, 2019
popcollin profile image

Collin's been a movie critic since 2009. In real life, he works in marketing and is also a novelist ("Good Riddance" published in Oct 2015).

In theaters now.
In theaters now. | Source

Adam McKay has made a nice living partnering with Will Ferrell-- all five of his directorial efforts have featured the former SNLer, including both Anchorman films. While McKay’s films are among the funnier offerings of the past decade, none would be considered a serious or smart effort, so it was with a bit of an arched eyebrow that I watched McKay’s latest, The Big Short.

Based on the 2010 bestseller by Michael Lewis, the film examines the mid-00s financial crisis--not exactly the stuff of Ricky Bobby or Dale Doback. But it wasn’t long that my eyebrow returned to its resting position as I realized that McKay may well be one of the more creative and noteworthy directors at work today.

Who knew?

Sure, the idea of sitting down to watch a jargon-filled look at the housing bubble may sound as appealing as filing your toenails, but dammit if McKay (who also co-wrote the screenplay) didn’t craft one of the more memorable films of the year. It’s a quirky, expertly-crafted, rapid-fire hybrid of The Wolf of Wall Street and Ocean’s Eleven, fueled by a powerhouse cast, including Christian Bale, Steve Carell, Brad Pitt, and Ryan Gosling.

Bale is Michael Burry, the hedge fund manager who figured out the housing market was going to collapse years before it happened. More importantly he figured out a way to profit off of it. Eventually his analysis (and plan) caught the eye of investor Jared Vennett (Gosling), who talked trader Mark Baum (Carrel) into coming along for the ride, too.

There’s no shortage of insider lingo tossed around in The Big Short, and it would have been very easy for the script to spiral into an unintelligible morass of financial concepts and buzzwords. But McKay and co-writer Charles Randolph (Love & Other Drugs) wisely realized that the vast majority of their audience don’t know a CDO from a IPO, and they went out of their way to make the sandpaper-dry subject matter not only interesting but riveting (and understandable). Using a series of hilarious, fourth wall-breaking cameos (no spoilers from me!), the ins and outs of Wall Street are explained enough to make The Big Short work… and work well.


If the subject matter weren’t so maddening (we watch as countless fat cats ignore all the warning signs and then purposely defraud the American people) and heartbreaking (we see innocent, hardworking people get shafted by those same fat cats), The Big Short would be a hilarious, unbelievable piece of fiction. But since we all lived through it, it’s a poignant and scathing indictment of the country’s financial system… though no less hilarious and unbelievable.


5/5 stars

'The Big Short' trailer


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)