The term “I don’t understand” is spoken numerous times throughout the film. That’s not counting audience members. Come equipped with a sophisticated understanding of the banking collapse of the mid-2000s and you’ll be hanging on every word. For those who invest in cinema and wouldn’t know a housing bubble from a tub filled with Mr. Bubble, director and co-writer Adam McKay (The Other Guys) does little to ease the denseness. Sure, there’s the addition of celebrity cameos (Margot Robbie, Selena Gomez) to help walk us through some of the more complicated technical jargon, but they come off less funny and insightful than patronizing. Cinematographer Barry Ackroyd plays hacky sack with his camera in hopes of bringing documentary levels of urgency to every frame. I left in need of an aspirin. And for all that it “borrows” from Scorsese, they might just as well have called it The Whelp of Wall St. Good cast — Steve Carrell, Ryan Gosling, Brad Pitt, Christian Bale — all acting under bad hairpieces. (2015) — Scott Marks
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