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Easy Money Reviews

Page 1 of 9
CloudStrife84
CloudStrife84

Super Reviewer

February 18, 2012
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.
Al S

Super Reviewer

November 27, 2012
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.
Harlequin68
Harlequin68

Super Reviewer

August 7, 2012
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.
Daniel P

Super Reviewer

July 22, 2013
Superb performances, an interesting mix of characters and believability are the strengths of this generically plotted but otherwise fascinating crime thriller, kinetically filmed and with a pulsing soundtrack.
November 7, 2013
Easy Money is an engrossing Swedish crime drama involving three interconnecting yet separate narratives that weave together to form one larger all-encompassing story. The film is directed by Daniel Espinosa (Safe House) and is based upon the 2006 novel by Jen Lapidus of the same name. Three men -- JW, Jorge and Mrado -- lead distinctively separate lives and each are unknown to one another; but as their stories move forward it becomes obvious that their lives will soon find themselves intersecting with one another and as their stories build in tension and desperation it is uncertain what fate will have in store for each of them when their stories all finally converge. The three men each find themselves caught up and entangled to various degrees in the criminal underworld of Stockholm. JW is a small-time identity thief studying economics at university but in order to maintain the high standard of living his new girlfriend expects of him, he begins to deal cocaine which connects him to former convict Jorge who just broke out of prison and wants revenge on those who snitched on him putting him behind bars. Jorge is after Mrado's boss -- a Serbian mafia kingpin who is one of the heads of the Stockholm underworld. The most recognizable star is Joel Kinnaman ('The Killing', Lola Versus, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) who plays na´ve JW who ends up being the moral center of the film. Easy Money was highly successful in Europe and it won such acclaim that it attracted the attention of Martin Scorsese who some say took such a liking to the film he is the one who released it stateside (which isn't actually true). Easy Money has two already-filmed sequels that I look forward to seeing in the near future ... this clearly means I recommend Easy Money to those who like this genre of film. It is a smart, slick, stylish, subtitled (shucks -- remember it's Swedish!) and suspenseful piece of work!
August 17, 2014
Entertaining trilogy...
July 2, 2013
A crime film with several sectors all made interesting based on the ethnic diversity of the criminals and cast. Everything is binded by a young man who is not meant to be a part of the world he so desperately desires for economic power and acceptance from the upper class.
November 24, 2013
Another great reason to love a good Scandinavian thriller. Another great $1.68 DVD bin find.
September 14, 2013
In absolutely no way related to the goofy 1983 Rodney Dangerfield flick of the same name, Easy Money is a Swedish export full of gang violence, backstabbing and really quite wonderful acting. A recent release here in Ireland, the movie follows three main characters whose individual stories progressively overlap and eventually explode in a super dramatic climatic zenith towards the end. Gritty and darkly subversive, Easy Money is one of the most intense dramas I've seen in a long time.

JW (Joel Kinnaman) is an economics student at Stockholm University, who drives taxis, pushes drugs and parties with the bourgeois in his free time to fund his education. Jorge (Mattias Padin Varela) opens the film with an inventive yet undeniably plausible prison break, although subsequent events clearly show that he hasn't become a law-abiding citizen. Mrado (Dragomir Mrsic, a real-life reformed bank robber) is also involved in the narcotics trade, though being recently burdened with a daughter he may be investigating more wholesome career paths. This trio of dramas expose the layered aspect of organised crime, while simultaneously reminding us that even hardened criminals are, in fact, human beings.

Easy Money is brought to us by Daniel Espinosa, the director of 2012?s disappointing Safe House. While that film was marred by a clunky script and embarrassingly bad editing, his latest endeavour suffers no such abnormalities. Through a myriad of accents and languages (Swedish, German, Spanish, English, Serbian and Albanian all get an airing) we are treated to memorable characters and powerful dialogue; certain scenes pack such a dramatic punch that they are genuinely jaw-dropping. One moment in particular at an illegal dog pound is beyond harrowing.

Trundling along as it does at breakneck speed, we scarcely have time to savour a beautiful shot or cathartic scene before we're whisked away to one of the other parallel storylines. It's this unflinching sense of pacing that really makes the movie fly by - it's one of those misleading two-hour films that feels like half its actual length. Nefarious dealings are propped up by random bursts of beautiful cinematography - from sunsets to people lying bloodied in nightclub toilets, this movie is certainly a winner in the visuals department.

Leagues ahead of any crime thriller Hollywood has produced in recent months, Easy Money is an exciting and powerful drama that packs plenty of dramatic punches. The performances are all great, the story is involving, the art direction is impressive.... This movie rocks. It's no Godfather,but then again, neither is anything else... Except The Godfather.
August 27, 2013
Director Espinosa paints a very interesting picture of a vast and dangerous Stockholm crime world. The slow paced crime thriller could have benefited from a sharper focus but Joel Kinnaman's performance keeps the film interesting from start to finish.
Attic Wolf
August 8, 2013
What is it about the scandinavians that allow them to make such refined thrillers? This portrayal of the swedish underworld draws us in with such believable characters and events that you cannot look away. The Serbians and the I knew of Joel Kinnaman from his role as Detective Holder in AMC's The Killing and the difference in appearance and character is incredible. In The Killing he plays a scruffy cop with prior drug problems but a strong moral compass, in Snabba Cash as JW he is an immaculately presented lower class business student desperate to gain footing in the more privileged upper circles in which he often mixes. JW reminds me of Michel from Breathless and Espinosa's use of jump cuts would make Godard proud. Saying that, JW is slightly more complex, lacking the charm of Michel with it being replaced by imitation and his need to climb the social ranks. Ultimately it seems he is a na´ve young man who begins to feel invincible after falling into the good graces of some criminals, never to suspect that his usefulness could be limited.

What really makes this film is the way that JW's relationships with other characters develop. The film follows two other characters, Jorge (Varela) and Mrado (Mrsic), whose paths are twisted together with JW's until the bitter end. Mrado appears as if he is going to be the villain until his daughter is thrust upon him unexpectedly and his character rapidly mellows with her at the forefront of his mind. Jorge, on the other hand, seems to be acting, at least in part, for his sister and her unborn child. This leaves JW whose motivations are uncertain as it seems his wealthy girlfriend Sophie (Henni) does not care about his background. That said he does seem to care for her and offers her a rare moment of honesty about his sister's disappearance.

All in all this is a sharp, well paced thriller that will make you crave more. The ending can either be seen as a reflection on the events that led JW to this point or something much more sinister. If it is the latter then even the one moment he appears genuine to Sophie has been tainted. I cannot wait to find out and will be getting my hands on the sequel as soon as possible (ah, the benefits of a delayed international release...)
Simon Mernagh
August 6, 2013
In absolutely no way related to the goofy 1983 Rodney Dangerfield flick of the same name, Easy Money is a Swedish export full of gang violence, backstabbing and really quite wonderful acting. A recent release here in Ireland, the movie follows three main characters whose individual stories progressively overlap and eventually explode in a super dramatic climatic zenith towards the end. Gritty and darkly subversive, Easy Money is one of the most intense dramas I've seen in a long time.

JW (Joel Kinnaman) is an economics student at Stockholm University, who drives taxis, pushes drugs and parties with the bourgeois in his free time to fund his education. Jorge (Mattias Padin Varela) opens the film with an inventive yet undeniably plausible prison break, although subsequent events clearly show that he hasn't become a law-abiding citizen. Mrado (Dragomir Mrsic, a real-life reformed bank robber) is also involved in the narcotics trade, though being recently burdened with a daughter he may be investigating more wholesome career paths. This trio of dramas expose the layered aspect of organised crime, while simultaneously reminding us that even hardened criminals are, in fact, human beings.

Easy Money is brought to us by Daniel Espinosa, the director of 2012?s disappointing Safe House. While that film was marred by a clunky script and embarrassingly bad editing, his latest endeavour suffers no such abnormalities. Through a myriad of accents and languages (Swedish, German, Spanish, English, Serbian and Albanian all get an airing) we are treated to memorable characters and powerful dialogue; certain scenes pack such a dramatic punch that they are genuinely jaw-dropping. One moment in particular at an illegal dog pound is beyond harrowing.

Trundling along as it does at breakneck speed, we scarcely have time to savour a beautiful shot or cathartic scene before we're whisked away to one of the other parallel storylines. It's this unflinching sense of pacing that really makes the movie fly by - it's one of those misleading two-hour films that feels like half its actual length. Nefarious dealings are propped up by random bursts of beautiful cinematography - from sunsets to people lying bloodied in nightclub toilets, this movie is certainly a winner in the visuals department.

Leagues ahead of any crime thriller Hollywood has produced in recent months, Easy Money is an exciting and powerful drama that packs plenty of dramatic punches. The performances are all great, the story is involving, the art direction is impressive.... This movie rocks. It's no Godfather,but then again, neither is anything else... Except The Godfather.
ernest e.
July 21, 2013
It shows a very different Swedish cultural fantasy world with no effort to turn it into something American. I don't connect with this fantasy world myself but did really enjoy watching it all as it kept going on. The handheld camera effects and other different techniques used to express a certain interesting picture, are appreciated. This movie is not made for people in a standard western frame of mind incapable of looking at things through a different Scandinavian social view.
July 16, 2013
Excellent movie, though the sequel is even better,
The year on RT is wrong, it's from 2010
May 19, 2013
Love this movie love it! Great casting, great characters, good script, great directing!
Ethan S.
May 11, 2013
I tried to get into it, but I guess a tripod wasn't in the budget. Also, I now know every pore of every actor's face who was in this movie.
bill s.
April 10, 2013
Nice tight thriller that delivers one double cross after another.
March 30, 2013
Great crime-drama of a guy that gets in way over his head.
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