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  • Writer's pictureStephen Yanni

Dumb Money: Betting Against the House... and Winning.

Updated: Oct 9, 2023

Rating: ★★★1/2☆ (3.5/5 stars)

Released 09-22-2023

Watched 09-23-2023

Reviewed 09-24-2023

Viewed in Theater - Using Cinemark Movie Club

"I like the Stock."

Craig Gillespie's "Dumb Money" is an audacious exploration of the GameStop stock phenomenon of January 2021. Through the lens of Keith Gill, played with admirable depth by Paul Dano, audiences are given a riveting insider's perspective on the chaotic whirlwind that became a symbol of the retail investors' uprising against Wall Street giants.

The supporting cast is a mixed bag. Seth Rogen brings his typical comedic flair, while the likes of Vincent D'Onofrio and Shailene Woodley add gravitas to their roles. Unfortunately, Pete Davidson's performance feels misplaced. Playing what seems to be an exaggerated version of his off-screen persona, Davidson's stoner antics detract from the story's dramatic tension. Playing what feels like an extended SNL version of himself, his antics often pull viewers out of the immersive world Gillespie is striving to create. Davidson's character, while potentially aiming for comic relief, more often comes across as a distraction from the central narrative.

Perhaps one of the film's most significant missteps is its soundtrack. Not only does it occasionally clash with the tone of specific scenes, but it's also glaringly loud and brimming with explicit lyrics. These choices feel not just jarring but unnecessarily edgy, often overshadowing the dialogue.

However, where the film truly shines is its portrayal of the David vs. Goliath battle between individual retail investors and the titans of Wall Street. It adeptly highlights the power dynamics at play and reminds audiences of the unpredictability of the stock market.

"Dumb Money" is more than just a recount of a memorable financial event. It's a testament to the power struggles inherent in our financial systems and the unpredictable nature of collective movements. A few missteps aside, it serves as a thrilling cinematic journey into one of the most surprising financial upheavals of the 21st century. Worth the watch, but you may need to do your best to tune out the soundtrack.


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