The Big Short
Director Adam McKay, the master behind such broad comedy gems as Anchorman and Step Brothers, flexes his slightly more serious muscles for this one, a take on the housing bubble that nearly destroyed the global economy. An ensemble cast featuring Christian Bale, Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling and Brad Pitt make this a funny-yet-scary look at how big banks nearly sent us back to the stone ages. Carell is especially good as Mark Baum, a banker with a conscience who realizes a little too late that things are going bad, and his wealth is going to come at the expense of a many U.S. homeowners. Bale is typically good as Michael Burry, the man who saw the storm coming and made a boatload of money betting against the biggest monsters of modern finance. Pitt has fun as a financial guru who has taken to the hills in anticipation of the oncoming financial apocalypse, while Gosling gives the whole thing a nice Martin Scorsese vibe as a fast-talking banker/narrator. It’s a drama, but it’s often funny (Margot Robbie in a bubble bath … brilliant!). McKay shows that his chops go well beyond directing Will Ferrell with a fireman’s mustache.