James Milstead’s review published on Letterboxd:
MONEY MONSTER (15)
D: Jodie Foster
Tristar/Smoke House/IM Global/The Allegiance Theater (Lara Alameddine, George Clooney, Daniel Dubiecki & Grant Heslov)
W: Alan DiFiore, Jim Kouf & Jamie Linden
DP: Matthew Libatique
Ed: Matt Chesse
Mus: Dominic Lewis
George Clooney (Lee Gates), Julia Roberts (Patty Fenn), Jack O'Connell (Kyle Budwell), Dominic West (Walt Camby), Catriona Balfe (Diane Lester), Giancarlo Esposito (Capt. Marcus Powell)
A good idea isn't quite executed to its full potential in this real-time thriller set in the world of finance.
George Clooney does his usual Cary Grant act as Lee Gates, the host of daily financial television show Money Monster, where he advises his audience on matters of commerce and stock trading. The episode is interrupted by gunman, Kyle Budwell, who holds the host hostage over financial advice which left him bankrupt and desperate for answers.
The theme is similar to 2002's Phone Booth, and while it does have some originality, the characters are all very one-note and director Jodie Foster makes some very strange direction choices (such as breaking the 180-degree rule in some scenes) and the film does leave one or two loose ends.
Personally, my overruling thought was that it made an incredibly boring television show far more interesting. Perhaps the principal idea could have been utilised in a better way, especially with the dawn of so many Reality TV programmes taking over stations.