You know what I'm going to say. The book was better. That said, director and screenwriter Adam McKay managed to make a film that is entertaining, educational and often quite funny. The Big Short, based on the book by Michael Lewis, tells the story of the 2007 mortgage and banking crisis through the actions of a few men who, working separately, managed to foresee the crash, bet against the mortgage business, and make a bundle in the process. These outcasts and trouble-makers are happy to make a buck at the banks’ expense, but they realize the absurdity of the system they’re working in, and some are troubled by the knowledge that the inevitable crash will have a negative impact on people far beyond Wall Street.
We’re the people far away from Wall Street, and the film does its best to make complex financial transactions comprehensible to lay people. The tone of the movie sparks a strange combination of amusement and outrage, and by the end, we’re shocked and troubled by the absurdity too.
If you’re not interested in the banking industry, you’ll probably still like this movie. If you are interested in what Wall Street gets up to, you should definitely check out this movie (and then read the book.)