Starring George Clooney, Julia Roberts
Directed by Jodie Foster

Take your bigmouth TV economic show-off, add a quick thinking director of that bigmouth TV economic show-off, and multiply it by a very angry, armed small time investor, and you get this movie.

Excitement comes along in the form of nasty banter (F bombs aplenty, folks), intense moments between characters, situations that snap along at a pace that require the audience to watch and listen all at the same time – and don’t forget some of the humor (often snide, biting and/or stinging).

Clooney portrays the mouthy host of the advice show with a practiced eye – and it is clear Mr. C has observed such characters on TV, which allow him to craft his character with plenty of the personality we hate to love from such folks. He is dashing, he is quick – and yet plays it cool when the armed investor enters the scene.

Roberts gives her character a great deal of quick thinking skill – professionalism as a TV director, and some fine wit, which is a sign of some very good writing. Despite the emergency of a madman in her studio, she holds together her control room crew, her stage crew, and in so many ways, the whole situation. Solid job, Julia.

Jack O’Connell plays the down on his luck schmuck who has lost money in the stock market – and he blames the Clooney character for that loss … and in will no uncertain terms, and with any amount of anger, will extract his pound (or 8 million pounds) of flesh.

There’s more than the drama here. Clooney has given us films about the game show cover-up (QUIZ SHOW) and another fine piece on Edward R. Murrow (GOOD NIGHT AND GOOD LUCK) … and now this one that combines the loud brashness of a TV money advice show, an armed angry man, and a wall street deal that has gone so inexplicably sour – well, no spoilers here….

And as I was watching, I heard echoes of past films that addressed similar situations…. NETWORK, DOG DAY AFTERNOON, CHINA SYNDROME, and even THE TRUMAN SHOW can be felt as influences. Roll bit and pieces into the fine writing for this one, and there you go – another fine Clooney-produced number with a solid cast and good writing.