**** out of ****
If there is an ambitious film that overcomes the heavy weight it carries, it comes from a very unexpected source: Adam McKay – director of Anchorman and Talladega Nights - has directed a solid film about the financial meltdown of 2008 and it’s one of the most original films I’ve seen this year.
Focusing on people who saw the rotten landscape of unchecked bad mortgages and fraudulent activity that would eventually lead to a mass crisis, the movie shows how foresight and no ability to prevent disaster still opens a shameful window for profitable opportunity.
McKay trades in the standard-issue polished American comedy movie aesthetic for handheld realism –yet he doesn’t trade in his humor for anything. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen a film have so much fun breaking the fourth wall.
Christian Bale, Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, many other accomplished actors, fresh newcomers and brilliantly utilized celebrity cameos (McKay’s Funny or Die staple) provide this film with energetic humor and sobering tragedy. I’m glad I didn’t hold out longer on this one. It’s among the best of 2015.