Wall Street - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Wall Street Reviews

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Super Reviewer
August 28, 2011
An excellent film about greed and the desire to score more and more in the stock market game of power. Michael Douglas puts in a magnificent performance as the voracious, unforgettable shark Gordon Gekko, in a fascinating story that is greatly directed and relies on an elegant dialogue.
Super Reviewer
½ June 13, 2011
I'll be honest, I'm not the biggest Oliver Stone fan. He's some great films (Platoon, Natural Born Killers) but I find that his films basically deal with the same subject. However with Wall Street he makes a very solid, and entertaining film about a Wall Street Broker, Bud Fox (Charlie Sheen) who is eager to make it big on Wall Street. The film examines Fox's relationship with Corporate raider Gordon Gekko (Michael Douglas) and how both men use insider trading information to make large sums of money. Only when his relationship with Gekko sours does Bud Fox destroy Gekko with his competition. Wall Street is an interesting film that takes a good look at corporate greed and how some people will do anything to gain fortunes. Brilliantly acted by Michael Douglass and Charlie Sheen, Wall Street is an effective dramatic thriller that is very suspenseful. Oliver Stone delivers a good film and the cast here are terrific. Wall Street is a well crafted film that is one of Stone's best films. If you're looking for a good, entertaining film that makes insider trading an interesting subject for a film, then Wall Street is that film. The film may not be perfect, but it delivers good entertainment and like I said it's one of Stone's best films aside from Platoon. Oliver Stone has succeeded in making a not so interesting subject entertaining for a film, and for the most part, Wall Street succeeds in deliver solid drama and thrills. A worthy film to watch for sure.
Super Reviewer
April 30, 2011
Eh, I thought it was going to be better. Gordon Gekko isn't as cool as I thought he was going to be.
Super Reviewer
½ September 27, 2010
Seeing this movie, I feel kind of ripped off knowing going in that Gordon Gecko was the villain. I think figuring that out for myself might have been a pleasure unto itself, but I can't get too angry. This movie on the whole is engaging from beginning to end, and despite its running time, I was never bored. I think it IS a little too long though. Apart from that, I can find few complaints. It's a great Paradise Lost-type story of the seduction, corruption and redemption of a young man, all placed within 1988 Wall Street. Ingenious, really, in the way it places the story in a very timely and specific spot, but plays as well now as ever it did. I don't think I've ever seen a villain as slimy, slick, glib, gleeful and playful as Gordon Gekko. I don't think he ever actually calls his protege by his name; it's always "Buddy" or "Sport" or "Pal", making the dissonance between his chumminess and his callousness even more jarring. He's fascinating; motivated by an arbitrary goal to do callous things for his own... amusement? He loves his job, and though he'll tell you that he's all about the Benjamins, I think he's really all about the power. I wonder if he'd do what he does even if he weren't getting paid. Douglas deserved his award, without question. I also loved the juxtaposition between Gekko and Carl Fox, Bud's father. It must be seen to be believed.
Super Reviewer
August 19, 2007
Oliver Stone's antithesis to the 80s money greed culture examines the important things in life as an upwardly mobile stockbroker attempts to help out his hardworking father's business. Some impressive 80s gadgetry on show too - my how have times changed.
Super Reviewer
March 10, 2011
A good idea but I just couldn't follow the story. Way too technical and only understandable for people who understand money and what goes on in Wall Street.
Super Reviewer
½ July 23, 2010
Unbelievably greedy. Every syllable is edged with want, a want for the next big score. The 80's exemplified, Charlie Sheen and Michael Douglas have this creepy mentor and pupil relationship that borders on dependency. Gordon Gekko (Douglas) spins a web so confusing his prey doesn't know what hit him. Double talk, and calculated business dealings are fraught in the language, back and forth between players in a game larger than themselves. Great supporting players include Martin Sheen as the hard working and honest father, Daryl Hannah as the buyable romantic interest, and Hal Holbrooke as the down and out salesman clinging to values that are ancient. Forgiving that awful 80's score, which I cannot abide no matter what the content, it's an amazing plot, with great contentious characters, and the best and the brightest in researched material that is enjoyable and sellable.
Super Reviewer
September 6, 2010
This is a really good movie, it has a great cast, a timely story, and you can really learn something about the corporate world from it. Personally I thought it was pretty boring for much of the movie, but I will still say it is great for all the reasons I listed.
Super Reviewer
½ July 14, 2007
Exciting movie about wall street. Gordon Gekko is filthy rich and Bud Fox is an enterprising stock broker who wants to get onto the fast lane. Good cast.
Super Reviewer
½ January 2, 2011
It's a good movie. But there's way too many fancy words. You have to be 100% concentrated the entire movie. But I couldn't be that. It's a very professional movie. And I respect it. But it's only getting 3 stars.
Super Reviewer
January 6, 2010
I think think this is properly remembered as an 80s classic because it sums up the mindset of the decade. The fascination with money, greed, and materialism is well documented in this. It also happens to be a really fun movie as well. While honor doesn't really play into this story much, that's what makes it so unique. By no means was Bud Fox a remotely good person, but next to Gekko he's a near saint. This has great performances, great direction from Oliver Stone and a story that truly matters. Not only was important at the time, but it still is.
Super Reviewer
½ December 30, 2010
When it comes for films to be made, if they are set in our world, current events often impact the story to such an extent that it makes the film almost seem like it is a bio-pic than a work of fiction. That is what Wall Street is. When this film was made, it was suppose to be a wake up call to everyone about the current state of the Economy and where we are going. But, sadly, the main message and point of this film, as sense been over looked. Look at the state of the economy to understand more of that. Now, lets look at the film itself. In terms of script, this film is beyond fantastic. When written by the son of a man that worked on Wall Street, you can be damn sure that what you hear is how actual people at the real Wall Street work, think, and move about their day. The direction, and how the story moves itself, is wonderfully well paced, works at all times, and in the end, tells it's complete story with no problems. Now, unto the score. The main score for this film is techno-pop oriented, and aside from the main theme, is annoying after a while. But, while you might think it is, you will end growing to love it. Now, for the big one: Acting. When it comes to acting, there is only one person that needs to be spoken of: Michael Douglas. In films, ones like this, there is going to be that one character that will stand out and stand the test of time. Gordon Gekko is that person. From when you see him at the hight of his Wall Street empire, to when everything comes crashing down, you will see a performance unlike any other. Now, the only bad actor in this film is Daryl Hannah who gives a rather lousy performance that, while bearable, is still bad. She could have been better, but alas, she was not. So, overall, this is one of the most intelligent films, but not for people who have no knowledge of how Wall Street works for they will get confused.
Super Reviewer
½ December 23, 2010
An entertaining and well acted film for the most part, but one that gets kind of hard to understand if you don't know much about the stock market and wall street. Plenty of the vocabulary went over my head at times, but I tried my best to come away with something. Michael Douglas is very good in this movie and plays a memorable character in Gordon Gekko. He's menacing and would likely rip you to shreds given the chance. Charlie Sheen is solid and at times charismatic as Bud Fox and his father adds some respectability to the cast. Daryl Hannah is basically throw away in this movie. Nothing memorable or enticing as a female lead given the publicity on the cover. The movie definitely captures the 80's very well and if you want a time capsule for that time period, this is a solid choice. It isn't anything revolutionary or amazing, but it's solidly entertaining 2 hours with some extra spice thanks to Michael Douglas.
Super Reviewer
½ January 23, 2010
"The public's out there throwing darts at a board, sport. I don't throw darts at a board. I bet on sure things."

Maybe I'm being too harsh on Wall Street. I was extremely sleepy when I watched it, and it's hard for me to enjoy a movie when I'm in that kind of mood. But quite frankly, I found this Charlie Sheen/Michael Douglas vehicle to be pretty boring.

Oliver Stone's take on rampant greed in the financial sector is so obviously pointed in one direction from the very beginning, that there's little mystery or tension to the plot. You know how it's all going to play out from the very first moment Bud meets the charismatic and ruthless Gordon Gekko. Maybe this movie had more of an impact when it was released back in the 80's, but seeing it for the first time now, it's nothing more than a mediocre morality tale with no nuance, subtlety, or teeth.
Super Reviewer
December 6, 2010
I ended up watching this because I wanted to see the newest one with out being lost. I thought the plot was really heavy and the movie was a tad long. It was cast really well, a lot of late 80's top bananas. The moral of the story seems to be.. No one makes any money, those who have it, took it.
Super Reviewer
½ April 9, 2007
Decade-defining drama, that not only captures the 80's really well, but also the fundamentally dark sides of greed, capitalism and personal ambition. Charlie Sheen and Michael Douglas are both on top of their game, and I'm not surprised that the latter of them received an Oscar for his performance. Also worthy of mentioning is the well-crafted screenplay. Sharp and witty dialogue, aligned with an interesting turn of events, makes this one of the all-time finest achievements by director Oliver Stone. It's doubtful the recently released sequel matches all that, but after having seen the original in its full length now (I had only seen bits and pieces of it before), I sure am looking forward to checking it out.
Super Reviewer
August 22, 2008
Junior stockbroker is obsessed with forming a partnership with a ruthless Wall Street player, and learns a thing or two in the process. Classic urban drama perfectly captures the zeitgeist of 1980s excess. Director Oliver Stone's intelligent script wisely simplifies stock market lingo in a way anyone can understand and highlights a fascinating relationship between Bud Fox and his business idol, Gordon Gekko . Michael Douglas' portrayal of the corporate raider is so charismatic, something unexpected happens. He becomes a villain you admire as well as despise. It's a masterful performance and one that rightly earned him the Oscar for Best Actor. He's ably supported by star Charlie Sheen, a nave go getter who gets caught up in the dizzying frenzy of buying and selling corporations to make a profit. His scenes with his father, Carl, fittingly played by his real-life father Martin Sheen, are also particularly affecting.
Super Reviewer
½ October 6, 2010
First of all, it's amazing now to see how young, baby-faced and gauche Charlie Sheen looks from this distance in time, particularly when he's trying to hit on Daryl Hannah.

In today's dumbed down movie world, Gordon Gekko could have been scripted and played exactly the same except for one thing: you'd never see the scene when he suddenly stops to admire the ocean at dawn. Fortunately Michael Douglas clearly added his own dimensions to the character whom, if left to Stone, would have been a cardboard money-grabber. As far as Stone is concerned Gekko wants money for its own sake, but Michael Douglas manages to evince a man who revels in the power and influence that money gets him. Stone's dialogue actually undercuts this perception on occasion, as when Bud Fox yells at Gekko, "How many yachts can you sail!?", and when Gekko, enticing Fox by outlining how rich he could be, says, "Rich enough to have your own jet" - as if owning a jet wasn't the minimum accoutrement you'd expect from the least successful company director or minor pop star. Other infelicities in the script include the moment when Stone wanted to signal that Bud Fox has reached the peak of success and found it empty: following the montage of the condo purchase and decoration, the perfect meal for two, culminating in making love to Daryl Hannah, Stone has Fox standing on his balcony, and apropos of nothing at all, he just says, "Who am I?" It has to be said that Sheen wasn't really up to the task of delivering this atrocious line.

I've rarely seen a film in which the female lead was so comprehensively abandoned by the director. Stone clearly wanted to focus all his attention on Sheen and crucially on Douglas, leaving Hannah floundering and unable to clearly express just how much into Bud Fox her character is at any one time. At the final break-up you almost hear Stone's sigh of relief at being able to get rid of the irrelevant female (probably forced on him by the studio) and concentrate on the man's world of stockbroking.

I seem to be finding a lot of flaws in what is basically a most compelling and watchable film. Despite the complex jargon-riddled technicalities of the subject matter, the movie's plot grabs hold of the viewer from the first scene and never lets go. Of course Douglas dominates most of the movie, until Fox sr. (Sheen sr.) throws the spanner in the works of his son's airline deal. Thank heavens Charlie Sheen took the unbelievably courageous decision to have his own father (instead of Jack Lemmon) play his character's father because the two of them perform an absolute barnstormer of a scene in which every word, inflexion and facial expression is repleat with absolute truth; and it's all the more poignant considering Charlie Sheen's own personal difficulties which faced him in later years, and the well-publicised ups and downs of his relationship with Martin as a result. Had those troubled times preceded this movie, it's hard to imagine the performances could have been any different - that's how good they are.

Fantastic character support comes from Hal Holbrook, the always reliable Saul Rubinek and John C. McGinley (who does not seem to have changed at all in the intervening years!), a young James Spader and the magisterial Terence Stamp who understands the unutterable menace with which it is possible to lace the single word "Mate".
Super Reviewer
September 19, 2010
Wall Street creates the perfect atmosphere in the stocks area, and comes to a conclusion beautifully, with a cast that would make any movie soar. A solid performance from Charlie Sheen and a remarkable performance from Michael Douglas. This film shows off it's true numbers and all guns are firing hot for this roller coaster thriller. Fantastic from starts to finish. For those who have no clue about the stock market, you may want to clue in before checking this out. For me, I personally did not find it hard to follow and it had the perfect story to tell. The end is left wide open, and now I cannot wait to see the final conclusion. MONEY NEVER SLEEPS!
Super Reviewer
September 2, 2010
Did not remember being impressed watching it on original release... so I watch again because I want to see Wall Street 2: Money Never Dies. Being reminded now I am eve less excited to see the next one - all fluff!
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