Too Big to Fail - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Too Big to Fail Reviews

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½ June 25, 2016
An endless crescendo that grows into unfulfilling nothingness... Utterly disappointed. Thank got a few good actors were in it.
½ June 25, 2016
Good Movie. Scary that our economy is so fragile
June 9, 2016
Captivating POV on the financial crisis. I want to read the book now.
½ February 23, 2016
Probably romanticizes everything that happened a bit more than I would like, but it was riveting, with a stellar cast.

Grade: B+
February 20, 2016
And therefore Trump. If you don't understand what's been going on the last 20-30 years, this film will help. The ignorance, selfishness, and general tom foolery of both the government and economically elite is at the foundation of our economic ills. And this film does a fairly good job of exposing what was going down previous to the ill-fated morning of Sept 15 2008, as well as shortly after. It reminds one of such films as Margin Call. Of course, such a recent catastrophic event is good cause for studied subject matter.

This is certainly not a film that would be for mass consumption, thus HBO. That being said, it has a solid cast with Hurt, Woods and Giamatti at the helm. One reason why this is an issue is because of the jargon; another is that an understanding of the cause for the crash is pretty much a prerequisite to understand the half of what transpires in various conversations. There's a lot of terms being thrown around like "puts," "leverage," "securities," "toxic debt" and the sort. I'm no investor of great means and experience, an understanding of investments, markets and such, but I have a fair grasps of terms and issues; nevertheless, with the speed at which jargon is being thrown around in the film, it would be easy for a novice to get lost.

So if this is your thing, and you know something about investing and markets, the money system, economics and such, this is a film for you.. Otherwise, most would be pretty lost and not gain much from all that transpires. But the one thing you will get, or at least should, is how our government and financial elite were equally self-serving and complicate in the near cataclysmic disaster of 2008, and because of such, damn near brought the world-wide financial system to a halt and possibly the end of civilization as we know it. Thus Trump. Yes, big stuff indeed.
December 2, 2015
A very compelling and engaging summary of the 2008 financial meltdown and the people that were involved in creating it and/or trying to soften its blow. Excellent cast.
May 19, 2015
Good solid story and dumbed down enough to fully understand.
½ May 12, 2015
I really liked this movie a lot, for those who haven't seen it, it is a movie about the 2008 financial crisis and recession. Now that doesn't sound very interesting on the face of it, but the movie does capture a real intensity and doesn't bog down too much on complicated details, while at the same time not insulting our intelligence by over-simplifying either.

The movie feels almost like a disaster movie as you watch each event pile up to make the train come off the rails. William Hurt does an excellent job as then Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson, you feel the gravitas of the position he wields both as a government official and as a former Wall Street player himself, but you also feel the incredible strain on him as he's at the nexus of all these events.

Billy Crudup and Paul Giamatti deliver a very spot on Tim Geithner and Ben Bernanke respectively. Tony Shaloub, Bill Pullman and James Woods put in excellent performances. Topher Grace's character could have been cast better, he lacks the gravitas to convince me he's Chief of Staff to a cabinet secretary, or a financial expert. Cynthia Nixon's character is supposed to be the entry way for the audience, asking questions we would ask, and looking at this as someone who is not a banker, she does a fair job in the role, but the character is written as too naive for her senior position in my opinion.

The movie is a docu-drama and therefore takes necessary liberties, the White House plays a tiny role in the movie, instead focusing in on Paulson, Bernanke and Geithner as if they were the only ones solving this crisis. Chris Cox is a caricature, I watched many hearings and events that the real Cox participated in and he never came off as the naive, weak-willed, over his head and PR obsessed fool the movie paints him as.

Still, I think this movie works in a way that many similar attempts at dramatizing real life events don't. I enjoyed it and have re-watched it. Its a good reminder that we came a lot closer to the end of our financial way of life than we tend to remember or realize, but it also injects some fun and humor at just the right moments, lest you slit your wrists in despair before the movie ends. Definitely worth a watch.
December 27, 2014
First rate recapture of the panic of 2008. God knows this might be only thing Bush got right. Hank Paulson and Ben Bernacki saved our financial system from collapse. This is a great and very accurate recounting. It is worth viewing.
½ September 7, 2014
Tough to dramatize, thus a bit academic but an excellent primer on the history.
August 22, 2014
View in economic engineering class (Vista en clase de ingenieria economica)
July 1, 2014
If you have any interest in finance, business, or what happened in the recession you have to watch this! if for no other reason then to get a certain take on everything that happened. Not trying to say its completely accurate or fair and there are points where its sort of drawn out but its so dramatic.
½ June 15, 2014
Chaque ĂȘtre humain sur terre devrait voir ce film !!!!
½ June 14, 2014
excellent explanation of wtf happened in 08
May 3, 2014
Excellent recounting of the months during which the US economy nearly collapsed into the Greatest Depression, and almost sucked the world economy down simultaneously. The pace never slows down, and the acting is tense and often deep. Accurately portrays how the major banks control the economy, the government, and our lives, way beyond what anyone wants to admit. The movie is a wake-up call of those very dark days, and elucidates in laymen's terms how we got into such a horrid mess, on the precipice of global meltdown. And the movie ends with the very lucid insight: the banking industry is still "too big to fail", and still running the show, while the rich keep getting richer, and the poor (and middle-income) have dwindling opportunities to eke out a living.
½ January 19, 2014
Was pleasantly surprised with how balanced the movie was. With this topic and economic climate it would have been easy to bazooka Wall Street. Yet the film takes a more nuanced approach, resulting in some interesting insights. And keeping audience engaged. I would say this falls more in drama category than documentary.
January 16, 2014
"Hank" Paulson, o gajo mais neca à face da terra....
November 26, 2013
At times confusing, this nevertheless engrossing docudrama sheds some light on the economic collapse of 2008 & the resultant federal bailout of the banking system.
November 16, 2013
Seems a little bit overly dramatized, but it does portray the story pretty well and gives an idea of the chaos that was occurring preceding the onset of the 2008 financial crisis
Harlequin68
Super Reviewer
October 26, 2013
It is 2008 and the stock price of Lehman Brothers is falling and CEO Richard Fuld(James Woods) is badly in need of cash and a sugar daddy. However, he rejects Warren Buffett's(Ed Asner) offer of $40 a share as an insult to his pride and his manhood. And then instantly regrets having done so because the stock price keeps falling, and a deal with a Korean consortium falls through. Just to add insult to bankruptcy, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson(William Hurt) says there will be no government bailout this time, so Fuld had better work out something with all the other banks.

"Too Big to Fail" is certainly a mixed bag. It gets off to a bad start, as it seems like we've walked into a movie that has already started.(Instead of the archival news footage during the credits, the movie should have instead gone with a Star Wars like scroll: "The empire's finances were beginning to crumble and Karl Marx was laughing in his grave.") And that's not to mention a pedestrian approach to the material and waiting until most of the way through before a discussion of the key issues. However, once it gets going, the movie takes on the form of a suspenseful political thriller at times. And it works having Paulson being the focal point of the movie as Hurt is very good in the role and it helps to have one center of attention with so many characters in play. On the other hand, Paulson, here does seem a little too good to be true, holding firm with sage advice from Ben Bernanke(Paul Giamatti, who almost steals the movie with only a bowl of oatmeal) and Timothy Geithner(Billy Crudup) and assistance from Paulson's Angels(Cynthia Nixon, Topher Grace, Ayad Akhtar & Joey Plotnick).
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