Derrick Dunn

Derrick Dunn

Dumb Money is a fun rags to riches

Director Craig Gillespie returns to the true story genre for his eighth film, Dumb Money, from MGM Pictures. The film’s screenplay, based on Ben Mezrich’s 2021 book The Antisocial Network, chronicles the GameStop short squeeze of January 2021 and hails from Lauren Schuker Blum and Rebecca Angelo.

The film showcases a star-studded cast, such as Paul Dano, Pete Davidson, Vincent D’Onofrio, America Ferrera, Nick Offerman, Anthony Ramos, Sebastian Stan, Shailene Woodley, and Seth Rogen. Dumb Money introduces us to Keith Gill (played by Dano) and his wife, Caroline (played by Woodley).

Keith works as a financial analyst in Brockton, Massachusetts, but he is not wealthy. During his free time, he regularly visits the subreddit r/WallStreetBets and shares his thoughts about the stock market through live streams on YouTube under Roaring Kitty. Unfortunately, Keith faces criticism from his brother Kevin (played by Davidson), who belittles his YouTube content as nerdy and worthless. Despite his efforts, Keith struggles to support his family.

We also meet two of Keith’s followers, struggling nurse Jennifer Campbell (Ferrera) and GameStop store clerk Marcos (Ramos). On the other side of the country, wealthy Steve Cohen (D’Onofrio), Kenneth C. Griffin (Nick Offerman), and Gabe Plotkin (Seth Rogen) are underestimating the value of Gamestop stock. The characters share a collective F Bomb when the stock hits an all-time high.

The film then takes us back to see how we got to this moment. In the simplest of terms, Dumb Money is a financial comical David vs. Goliath tale. We all remember the true story of everyday people who flipped the script on Wall Street and got rich by turning GameStop into a hot commodity.

One of the film’s strengths is that it focuses on a stock tip becoming a movement and everyone getting rich. Using the angle of composite characters such as the ones played by Ferrara and Ramos adds a humanized layer to the story, and almost one can relate to their choices. Similarly, Paul Dano’s Keith Gill is an everyman you want to root for. The script paints his character as an unbrashed individual who just liked a stock. Pete Davidson and Shailene Woodley also offer solid supporting work.

As for Vincent D’Onofrio, Seth Rogen, and Nick Offerman, as the billionaires fighting back find their worlds turned upside down, all three offer solid support with the script wisely choosing to turn their characters into overzealous tyrants. I must credit Sebastian Stan’s A1 performance as Vlad Tenev, as it’s another solid villain turn.

Never overstaying its welcome, Dumb Money cashes out as an entertaining depiction of real-life stock hijinks that profoundly impacted the industry.

Final Grade: B

Dumb Money is in theaters now.

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Dumb Money is a fun rags to riches