Too Big to Fail

  • Curtis Hanson (2011)
  • US
  • 98 min
Too Big to Fail
Film Review
Reviewed By
3 out of 5

The US financial crisis of 2008 is put under the spotlight in this quality HBO movie from LA Confidential director Curtis Hanson. It charts the battle by US Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson (William Hurt) to save the economy from catastrophe by bailing out investment bank Lehman Brothers. Hanson's examination of the back-room machinations is thoroughly absorbing, especially when the effects are still being felt, and as long as you're willing to invest careful attention in what can be a densely factual affair. Thankfully, Hanson has a first-rate cast to bring the multitude of chief executives, officials and advisers to life, including James Woods as Lehman's fulminating CEO and Paul Giamatti as president of the Federal Reserve. But the standout performance comes from Hurt, whose careworn Paulson is at the centre of the maelstrom that has had such a serious impact on the global economy. It's informative but gripping and scary, too.

Plot Summary

Political drama that goes behind the scenes of the US global financial crisis in 2008, starring William Hurt as US Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson. The dysfunctional relationship between Washington and Wall Street is revealed when Lehman Brothers, the fourth largest investment bank in America, begins to show signs of collapse.

Cast and crew


Henry Paulson
William Hurt
Warren Buffett
Edward Asner
Timothy Geithner
Billy Crudup
Ben Bernanke
Paul Giamatti
Jim Wilkinson
Topher Grace
John Thain
Matthew Modine
Michele Davis
Cynthia Nixon
Chris Flowers
Michael O'Keefe
Jamie Dimon
Bill Pullman
John Mack
Tony Shalhoub
Dick Fuld
James Woods
Joe Gregory
John Heard
Congressman Barney Frank
Dan Hedaya
Wendy Paulson
Kathy Baker
Lloyd Blankfein
Evan Handler
Vikram Pandit
Ajay Mehta
Christine Lagarde
Laila Robins


Curtis Hanson

Other Information