‘Dumb Money’ Illustrates How Creatively Starved Movies Can Be

Ulises Duenas


I won’t say that Dumb Money (directed by Craig Gillespie) is one of the worst movies I’ve ever seen, but it’s one of the most excruciating. From the obnoxious use of licensed music to the ho-hum script and tone-deaf premise, watching this was like getting teeth pulled for 90 minutes. 


If you were alive a few years ago, you might remember the time when GameStop was in the news and blowing up social media. If you don’t remember, don’t worry, because this movie will go over the whole thing in detail. You might be left wondering why anyone would bother making a film about something that is already well-documented, but if nothing else, this movie is a great indicator of how uncreative some writers have become. Why bother coming up with an interesting story when you can dredge up an expired meme and throw it in the microwave to see if the smell attracts any viewers? Judging by the box-office returns, not many were interested. 



My favorite aspect of the film is that the writers likely knew the premise was weak on its own, so they try to frame the story as an underdog tale of the working class versus Wall Street bigwigs. In reality, we’re talking about a guy who had over $50K to burn in a joke stock, while a bunch of memers on Reddit joined in and pumped it to high numbers in order to show just how stupid the stocks game really is.


This was happening while the real underdogs in America were struggling to find work and freaking out about how they would pay for funeral expenses. I’m sure the crowd that had the spare time to troll Reddit all day were the real soldiers in the trenches. Those who did have the potential to go from rags to riches became guilty of the same greed that hedge funds engaged in, so there really is no one to root for in this story. It was something that came and went just like every other meme.


The main character, played by Paul Dano, is endearing, but he doesn’t have much development throughout the film. This is a story that mainly focuses on what happened instead of who was involved. Again, since these events were not only recent but easy to dig up – since everything was documented on the news, social media posts, and YouTube videos -- the only edge this movie had was to focus on characters -- which it doesn’t really do.



Everyone is obsessed with either checking their stock or ranting about Wall Street while saying “f**k” every other word. Maybe this is the most authentic portrayal of these people, but it sure as hell doesn’t make for a good movie. If I want to see people staring at their phones and scrolling Reddit, I’ll go to a Starbucks. 


If you want to learn the full story about the GameStop short squeeze, I’m sure there are plenty of videos on YouTube that do a better job than this film. From inception to execution, this movie is something that should not have happened, and it offers little value to the viewer. 

Author Bio:

Ulises Duenas is a senior writer at Highbrow Magazine.


For Highbrow Magazine


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