Easy Money (2012)
Lower-class business student JW (Joel Kinnaman) falls in love with a sexy heiress while living a double life mingling with Stockholm's wealthy elite. To keep up the fašade of his lifestyle, he's lured into a world of crime. Jorge is a petty fugitive on the run from both the police and Serbian mafia. He hopes that brokering a massive cocaine deal will allow him to escape for good. Mafia enforcer Mrado is on the hunt for Jorge, but his efforts are complicated when he's unexpectedly saddled with caring for his young daughter. As JW's journey ventures deeper into the dark world of organized crime, the fate of all three men becomes entangled and ends with a dramatic struggle for life and death. -- (C) Weinstein … More
- R (for strong violence, pervasive language, drug content and some sexuality)
- Drama , Action & Adventure , Art House & International , Mystery & Suspense
- Directed By:
- Daniel Espinosa
- Written By:
- Jens Lapidus , Maria Karlsson , Hassan Loo Sattarvandi , Fredrik Wikstr÷m
- In Theaters:
- Jul 11, 2012 Limited
- On DVD:
- Mar 26, 2013
- Box Office:
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Critic Reviews for Easy Money
It's gripping stuff - even if the original title 'Snabba Cash' is way cooler than the English one.
The story is overcooked and the gritty aesthetic (handheld cameras, desaturated color) borders on cliche.
One of the most involving of the many first-rate thrillers that have come recently from Scandinavia.
What really distinguishes it from any number of drug-escapade stories is the unusual and welcome sense of Dostoyevskian moral gravity of the narrative.
Although this Swedish vehicle is thoughtfully engineered and has some vivid streaks of color, it could use a jump start to escape the vanilla ice.
[A] smart, affecting, slow burn of a movie, a spectacular example of Nordic noir...
A heavily-armed, solid thriller directed with style by Espinosa, who takes us supermarket shopping at the eye level of a child.
With pounding synthesised music on the soundtrack, Easy Money moves like a razor-edged Frisbee that could cut off a player's hand or sever his jugular if he doesn't see what's coming.
A fine, thought- provoking feature, with several terrific performances at its heart.
A Scandinavian-Italian-Serbian-Chilean robbery romp in which a polyglot gang goes for a bank bust, only to learn - well, all the usual things (thieves fall out, cops crash the climactic action), but in a fizzy, multicultural way.
[The problem] is Easy Money's straggly plot, a story stretched thinly between two many characters, without the dynamism or momentum to keep itself charging onwards.
It has taken a few years for this Swedish crime thriller to break out internationally. In fact, two sequels have already been made.
Espinosa raises the emotional ante by placing this trio of misfits in a human context.
Espinosa directs with nervous energy, combining blistering action with believable, sympathetic characters; this is assured, emotionally engaging stuff.
The truly revealing aspect of this story is the picture it paints of Stockholm, made up of many colours and creeds, where everyone is carrying baggage from home.
There's plenty here to show why director Daniel Espinosa caught Hollywood's eye, even if this pre-Safe House crime drama holds few surprises.
The premise is hardly original and suffers from a story that, by its third act, feels padded out; nonetheless, this is a slick, tense and brutal portrait of a man out of his depth.
A padded but entertaining Scandinavian thriller made memorable thanks to its timely economic context.
A fine thriller that relies entirely on the characters' motivations ... to drive the plot instead of the opposite.
Audience Reviews for Easy Money
Superbly exciting crime thriller, based on the best-selling novel with the same name, by Swedish author and attorney Jens Lapidus. It's an engrossing story, where we follow the lives of three men - all from different cultures, but whose illegal activities bring them together at various points throughout the film. Mainly, however, it concerns the fascinating double life of Johan "JW" Westlund; an economics student who lives a luxurious life in the social spheres of the upper class elite, and pays for it by doing crime on the side.
Joel Kinnaman, who is best known outside the borders of Sweden for his role in The Killing, does an excellent job with the character, making him believable and incredibly interesting, as he gets sucked deeper and deeper into the criminal underworld of Stockholm and its suburbs. Honestly, I wasn't too impressed with Kinnaman when I saw him in The Darkest Hour and Safe House"(the latter of which is also directed by Swedish-Chilean film-maker Daniel Espinosa), but here he is in his right element and brings a lot of nuance and subtlety to his performance.
Another thing I really loved about this movie, is that it doesn't just show the ugly side of our characters' exploits. They abuse, trade in drugs and engage in corrupt and shady affairs, yet the movie never forgets about their humanity. In example, some of the film's most riveting and heart-gripping moments comes when Mrado, a brutal Serbian torpedo played by Dragomir Mrsic, tries to balance his violent life with taking care of his young daughter. It added something to the story that felt very authentic and original.
Technically, it's really well-made to boot. Theis Schmidt's outstanding editing, in unison with David Espinosa's firm and superlative directing, gave it a very professional touch, with a pacing that operates at the perfect speed. I have nothing to complain about there whatsoever.
Not many outside Sweden have probably heard of this film, but if you enjoyed the The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, or any of the other Stieg Larsson films, you should definitely not miss this. I thought this was even better in some ways, which should be saying something about just how qualitative it is.
All in all, a surprisingly great neo noir piece, with powerful performances and a highly suspenseful storyline. I expected mediocracy, but was instead presented with a top notch action thriller, that kept me glued to my seat throughout.
A new crime classic. A masterpiece. A raw, stylish, exciting and explosive crime-thriller. Director, Daniel Espinosa crafts a fine, skillful and mesmerizing blend of characters, action, suspense and plot. It ranks with the works of Martin Scorsese. It comes from comes from great material that rivals with Stieg Larson. A riveting and tremendously exciting thrill-ride. An adrenaline-charged and heart-pounding movie that just shines and is a complete knockout. It grabs you and dose not let go until the very earth-shattering conclusion. It's bold, gripping, surprisingly moving and breathtaking. An intensely compelling and very powerful film. It's more than sizzle, it's red-hot entertainment that's fast, furious and laced with double-crosses and consequences. An intriguing and very involving first-rate thriller. A trio of brilliant performances from their three electric needs. Joel Kinnaman is sensational, he shows he's a promising and compelling leading man with charm, subtly and a fierce rage that's carefully hidden and shown only in the right moments. Mattias Padin is excellent. Dragomir Mrsic is electrifying, showing to be fearful and surprising vulnerability.More
In "Easy Money," JW(Joel Kinnaman) is studying economics at university while driving a cab. One night at a party, he takes a liking to Sophie(Lisa Henni) but is told by his rich friends that she is so very much out of his league. In any case, it is probably a good thing that they do not know about his writing term papers for his fellow students, along with working for Abdulkarim(Mahmut Suvakci), a local crime boss. One such job for him involves tailing Jorge(Matias Varela) who recently escaped from jail, which brings him to the attention of Radovan(Dejan Cukic), Abdulkarim's rival. JW even goes above the call of duty, by rescuing Jorge from a savage beating from Mrado(Dragomir Mrsic).
I always admire a film with ambition like "Easy Money" to tell a multi-faceted story from as many different angles as possible to show the emotional cost of crime. While many of the surface details may seem familiar, the difference here is this being Sweden which may appear to outsiders to be as close to a classless society as possible in this world. But dig deeper and that's not the case at all with JW, from a small town in the north, being as much an outsider as the immigrants. However exaggerated it might be, there is a clear physical delineation between the fair haired Swedish characters and the darker complexioned Spanish, Serbian and Arab characters. That's not the only troubling aspect of the movie as it could have been much more tightly edited with an ending that seems sudden, even with a handy dandy epilogue. And it crosses into sentimental territory too often, especially with the Mrado and Lovisa(Lea Stojanov) Show which occasionally feels like it could have come from an entirely different movie.
Easy Money Quotes
- You look like you're from the rich part of town, but you live like a drug addict.
- Then you should feel right at home.
- Life can be hard. But you're a tough little cookie. Strong, like your dad.
- Who's in charge of the checkroom.
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