Money Monster

Hooray, it’s summer movie season again! Marvel got us going last week, as always, but now get ready for what may be the best movie of the season and it opens today, May 13, “Money Monster” directed by Jodie Foster.

Lee Gates (George Clooney) hosts a cable TV financial show called, “Money Monster.” Generally he has a fun time dancing around the studio, making jokes and giving stock tips of the day. However, on this particular day, things are less than fun as a gunman takes him hostage live on the air demanding to know what happened to his money he was encouraged to invest.

George Clooney and Julia Roberts (she plays Lee’s director) may have top billing on “Money Monster,” but the real star here is Jodie Foster. This is by far the best worked she has done as a director. She has woven together one of the best dramatic, edge of your seat thrillers to come down the pike in a long time. Obviously, she is an actor’s director first, and all the performances are great. However, this is someone who truly understands story structure and knows the importance of building up the suspense that will ultimately result in a great payout.

Jodie Foster also gets the little things right in “Money Monster.” Before the action starts, she captures what it must really be like to put together a cable financial show. She understands the importance of music as it plays a key element in this movie. She also know how to use a tool like misdirection, where you think the movie is going one way, but she takes us in another. Writers Jamie Linden, Alan DiFiore and Jim Kouf gave her a great blueprint.

A movie like “Money Monster” certainly has relevance in today’s world. How many of us feel how the “System is rigged” or that “It’s all fixed”? The sign of any good movie is to fill it with characters audiences can identify with and you’ll get that here.

One of the most impressive factors about “Money Monster” is that it doesn’t feel like a summer movie. This is a movie you’d expect to be released in October or maybe even later. The fact is that it is a perfect movie for the summer time because it is not one of those mindless popcorn flicks or just another sequel. It’s an original story that will draw audiences into it and it definitely deserved the standing ovation it recently got at the Cannes Film Festival. It is rated R for language throughout, some sexuality and brief violence.