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Movie Review: Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps

September 24, 2010

Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps – A 20th Century Fox Release

Release Date: September 24th

Rated PG for mature theme, language may offend

Running time: 132 minutes


Oliver Stone (dir.)


Allan Loeb (writer)

Stephen Schiff (writer)


Craig Armstrong (music)


Michael Douglas as Gordon Gekko

Shia LaBeouf as Jake Moore

Josh Brolin as Bretton James

Carey Mulligan as Winnie Gekko

Eli Wallach as Jules Steinhardt

Susan Sarandon as Jake’s Mother

Frank Langella as Louis Zabel


©20th Century Fox. All Rights Reserved

Michael Douglas and Shia LaBeouf in Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps


Our reviews below:


Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps Review By John C.

***1/4 (out of 4)

Is greed good?  Well apparently we just got a sequel.  This modern-day Wall Street is a good movie that won’t appeal to everybody, but those lining up for a sequel 23 years out are sure to enjoy the return of Gordon Gekko (Michael Douglas).


Money Never Sleeps starts just as the stock market is about to crash.  The story follows Jake Moore (Shia LaBeouf) a young business man with an interest in renewable energy.  He works for Lewis Zabel (Frank Langella), and is engaged to Gekko’s estranged daughter Winnie (Carey Mulligan).  When tragedy strikes, Moore finds a new mentor in his future father-in-law.  Gordon Gekko is out of jail and on tour to promote his new book, and together they plan to take down the crooked Bretton James (Josh Brolin).


This telling is highly stylized, with superimposed images, split screens and fast paced cuts between scenes.  In one of the most satisfying artistic flourishes, city skylines are used as graphs showing the ups and downs of our economy.  There will likely be debate over this, but I found the stylish touches to work well here, giving the film a certain visual appeal.  The intelligent script is aided by excellent acting from the talented cast, including another standout performance by Michael Douglas.


Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps is another piece of slick, thought-provoking entertainment from Oliver Stone and a very good example of a sequel done right.  Although it admittedly runs a little too long at 132 minutes, those looking for a fascinating and heavily political look at our financial times will enjoy the return of Gordon Gekko.


Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps Review By Erin V.

***1/2 (out of 4)

After 23 years, Michael Douglas is back in the role that he won an Oscar for – as Gordon Gekko of Wall Street.  At the start of the film, he is released from jail.  Flash-forward several years later; his estranged daughter Winnie (Carey Mulligan) is engaged to be married to an up-and-coming Wall Streeter Jacob (Shia LaBeouf), and the stock market is just about to crash.


When Jacob meets up with him after a seminar (without Winnie’s knowledge), Gekko sees an opportunity to work with him and try to get his daughter to talk to him again.  The problem is, old habits die-hard and he starts to use Jacob – who has his own motivations – to help get him back into the financial world.


All of the acting is strong here as is the script.  I liked the visual style of this film which I found was cool and fit the whole Wall Street vibe.  Although it may feel too long for some at 127 minutes – and I totally get that – I enjoyed it, wasn’t bored, and found it to be a very relevent film for today’s society.


Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps Review By Nicole

***1/2 (out of 4)

Michael Douglas is back as Gordon Gekko, the greedy business trader from the first film.  This sequel begins in 2001, when Gekko is released from prison.  Seven years later, the recession hits.  Gekko claims to have predicted the financial crisis, in his new book ‘Is Greed Good?’  What Gekko didn’t predict, is that a young man named Jacob Moore (Shia LaBeouf) would propose to his estranged daughter, Winnie (Carey Mulligan).  Moore’s life is turned upside down when his mentor, Lewis Zabel takes his own life after being destroyed by hedge fund manager Bretton James (Josh Brolin).  The two now must work together to bring down James.


Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps could have been boring.  Instead, here is a film that is emotionally engaging.  This is largely due to the amazing work by the cast, as well as the film’s unique visual style.  Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps is a clever and timely film that you should definitely see.


Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps Review By Maureen

***1/2 (out of 4)

Twenty-three years after Michael Douglas won an Oscar for his portrayal of financial trader Gordon Gekko in Wall Street he’s back again in the timely sequel, Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps.


The story picks up in 2001 with Gordon Gekko being released from prison.  No one is there to meet him so he leaves with his few possessions including a giant mobile phone.  The story flashes forward seven years to 2008 with Gekko doing a promotional circuit for his new book, ‘Is Greed Good?’ which he started writing in prison.  Gordon Gekko’s financial motivational talks warn that greed has gotten greedier, speculation is the mother of all evil and leverage is a disease.  He all but predicts the collapse of the any banks and investment firms, the bursting of the bubble, that is about to happen.


Meanwhile, Gekko’s estranged daughter Winnie (Carey Mulligan) along with her fiance Jacob Moore (Shia LaBeouf) follows reports of Gordon Gekko’s  new career through TV and internet.  Winnie still wants nothing to do with her father, but Jacob who works for investment firm KZI (Keller Zabel Investments) is interested in what Gekko has to say.  When a tragedy happens at KZI and Jacob finds himself unemployed, the young man seeks out his future father-in-law.  Winnie warns Jacob that her father can’t be trusted but Jacob has to find out for himself.


Normally, I find all things Wall Street boring.  Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps held my interest from start to finish.  The acting is excellent all around and the storyline has some interesting twists and turns.  The graphics and visuals showing financial information throughout the movie are really well done and add to the sense of the fast pace in the financial world.


Anyone who saw the 1987 film Wall Street will want to see this sequel.  Even if you aren’t familiar with the original Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps stands out on its own as an excellent movie.  Michael Douglas has done it again as Gordon Gekko.


Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps Review By Tony

***1/2 (out of 4)

Jake Moore (Shia LaBeouf) is a successful trader for a Wall Street investment bank who happens to be engaged to the estranged daughter Winnie (Carey Mulligan) of Gordon Gekko (Michael Douglas), now living in comfortable semi-retirement since his release from prison. Jake is an expert in renewable energy investments while Winnie runs a muckraking blog. Right after Jake is given a generous bonus from his mentor Louis Zabel (Frank Langella), Zabel and his bank become the first casualties in the meltdown of 2008. Jake is out of a job, and his bonus will only go so far when he needs to bail out his mother (Susan Sarandon), who had given up a nursing career for the now crashing real estate market. Jake makes a courtesy call to Gordon Gekko, who realizes life is too short to hold a grudge with his daughter who is all the family he has left. They agree that Jake will try to help reconcile them  and Gordon will do what he can to help Jake bring down the rival Bretton James (Josh Brolin) who allegedly caused Zabel’s bank to fail, and put to good use the trust fund of some $100M that Gekko has kept for Winnie in a Swiss bank account.


Though running at some 2 1/2 hours, not long for director Oliver Stone, Wall Street moves along at a good pace due to fine acting, skillful editing and believable reenactments of current events. We share in the intrigue and lifestyle seen from boardrooms and trading floors to Fifth Avenue jewellers and Savile Row bespoke tailor shops. Watch for Eli Wallach, now in his 90s, as an old time bank executive who speaks volumes with simple gestures and whistles.


Consensus: Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps is a stylish, intelligently written film with excellent acting from the talented cast, including another standout performance from Michael Douglas. ***1/2 (Out of 4)

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