The Radio Times logo

The Big Short

  • Drama
  • 2015
  • Adam McKay
  • 130 mins
  • 15

Summary

Drama based on a true story, starring Christian Bale, Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling and Brad Pitt. United States, 2006: eccentric Wall Street whizzkid Michael Burry realises that the US mortgage market is heading towards a crash and begins to bet against it. This activity attracts the attention of trader Jared Vennett and idealistic hedge-fund expert Mark Baum who begin to suspect that the system could be about to collapse.

Advertisement

Review

A star rating of 4 out of 5.

Swinging masterfully between irreverence and incredulity, The Big Short courageously tells the story of the men who saw the 2008 financial crash coming and decided to bet it all on global economic catastrophe. Based on Michael Lewis's non-fiction bestseller, it sees co-writer/director Adam McKay (Anchorman) make the successful jump from broad comedy to incisive satire. With its energetic editing, fidgety camerawork and cocksure humour, it apes the restless swagger of the world of high finance. McKay and co-writer Charles Randolph find fun ways to explain challenging concepts (The Wolf of Wall Street's Margot Robbie talks us through mortgage bonds) and the charismatic cast are uniformly superb; Christian Bale and Steve Carell's hedge fund managers are a bundle of neuroses while Ryan Gosling steals the show as a ruthless trader. Meanwhile producer Brad Pitt is quietly impressive as an ex-banker pulled back into the game. Deftly drawing out the moral compromises, obstructive complexities and unbelievable injustices of this risky business, the film manages to be entertaining and accessible as well as frighteningly credible.

How to watch

Loading

Streaming

Credits

Cast

rolename
Michael BurryChristian Bale
Mark BaumSteve Carell
Jared VennettRyan Gosling
Ben RickertBrad Pitt
Georgia HaleMelissa Leo
Danny MosesRafe Spall
Jamie ShipleyFinn Wittrock
Cynthia BaumMarisa Tomei
Lawrence FieldsTracy Letts
EvieKaren Gillan
Selena GomezSelena Gomez
Margot RobbieMargot Robbie
Mortgage brokerMax Greenfield
Vinny DanielJeremy Strong
Porter CollinsHamish Linklater
Mr ChauByron Mann

Crew

rolename
DirectorAdam McKay

Details

Theatrical distributor
Paramount
Released on
2016-01-22
Guidance
Swearing, nudity
Available on
DVD and Blu-ray
Formats
Colour
Advertisement

RadioTimes.com is getting better. Fresh new look, redesigned programme hub, richer content…

FIND OUT MORE
Advertisement

Sponsored content