From the Editor

Movie Review Archive

Thank you for checking out my movie review archive. I'm in the process of transitioning to something else, so I will no longer post new reviews to this blog. In the meantime, I will keep these reviews archived; these are from the fall of 2008 to April 2011. Please watch this blog for more info and keep in touch (you can still find me on Facebook and Twitter). Here's to more great movies!

Wes Singleton

North Texas Film Critics Association

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Inside Job - B+

Rated PG-13 for some drug and sex-related material, 105 minutes

"Inside Job" is a compelling, timely expose

You will leave the new documentary "Inside Job" angry, and rightfully so. An expose that details the global financial meltdown of 2008, this tells how how your investments, retirement funds and tax dollars were lossed and spent but it could've been avoided. More entertaining than you might think, documentarian Charles Ferguson ("No End In Sight") manages to make a dry topic engaging, gripping and wholly compelling.

"Inside Job" is the first film to provide a comprehensive analysis of the global financial crisis of 2008, which at a cost over $20 trillion, caused millions of people to lose their jobs and homes in the worst recession since the Great Depression, and nearly resulted in a global financial collapse. Through exhaustive research and extensive interviews with key financial insiders, politicians, journalists, and academics, the film traces the rise of a rogue industry which has corrupted politics, regulation, and academia.

"Inside Job" is a fascinating, thought-provoking and pertinent look at the financial crisis that still affects many as we speak. "Inside Job" covers much of the same ground that Michael Moore did with his 2009 documentary "Capitalism," but with much more exhaustive detail. Ferguson breaks his film into several chapters to analyze what went wrong, how it happened and what has happened since, and you won't like what you see. The fat cats who caused and allowed the crisis to occur still have their fortunes and aren't behind bars, as many feel they should be.

Not only is it interesting to see the many financial insiders Ferguson interviewed, but the many, many who refused to be interviewed for the film (if you were involved, would you?). It implicates the big financial instituitions for allowing the bad loans, ignoring the warnings that came from many experts and then running to the U.S. government for help, which itself is filled with former financial big wigs in cabinet or consulting roles. "Inside Job" is truly frightening (but unsurprising) as it details the corruptive influence of the financial companies within the government and educational institutions, and how a new U.S. Presidential administration didn't change things much.

The crisis continues to have a ripple effect (especially if you've paid attention to what has happened in Ireland and Iceland lately) even today, and some believe it may happen again. "Inside Job" pulls no surprises and is a little redundant and preachy down the stretch (thanks to Matt Damon's narration, used effectively here); ironically the millions affected by the crisis may not get to see the film because they don't have the money to shell out to see it. Still, it's a must see, powerful film that helps break down what happened, not to mention the many confusing terms you hear in the media.

As one Chinese official says in the film, why pay "financial engineers" so much for building a dream when actual engineers are paid little by comparison for actually building bridges and roads. Those financial engineers changed so many lives, but not for the good, and we're still paying for it. See this film and do something about it.