Dumb Money | TIFF 2023 Review | Review by: Benjamin Garrett

 The stock market gives the public an opportunity to invest in companies with potential for growth, hoping to see a profitable return on their investment. Of course, that’s just how it’s supposed to be used. Dumb Money shows us how volatile, risky and manipulative trading really is, taking us inside the GameStop short squeeze that changed the market forever. 

Comparisons are bound to be made to other stock market centric films like The Big Short and The Wolf of Wall Street. While this movie isn’t nearly as insightful as those ones, it dumbs the investor jargon down just enough so that general audiences will have a grasp on how it all works. You’ll likely get more out of it if you’ve dabbled in the market yourself, or like many, got caught up in the GameStop whirlwind back in late 2020.  

If you’re already familiar with the story, there isn’t a ton of new information this movie brings to light. It does, however, do a great job at showing us the perspective of several types of investor - from the little guy throwing a few hundred dollars into the game, all the way up to the billionaires who control and manipulate the market. The parallels between various characters are cut together quite well, even if some of the dialogue is clearly embellished for the sake of comparison (I have a hard time believing a 50+ year old billionaire would use the term “shitballs” when being served with a subpoena). 

The impressive ensemble is led by Paul Dano, who plays Keith Gill, AKA RoaringKitty - the Redditor who disrupted the stock market with his GameStop investment strategy. There are a lot of familiar faces here, because this story has multiple layers and moving parts. Not every actor is given their due screen time (Dane Dehaan is criminally underused), but every actor still delivers a solid performance. Seth Rogen is particularly good as an ultra-rich hedge fund manager, anxiously watching his net worth plummet day by day. 

Dumb Money doesn’t give us a ton of new insight surrounding the historical GameStop short squeeze, but this true story is too wild to pass up. The stock market as we know it will never be the same, all because RoaringKitty said “I like the stock”. As for myself, I like the movie. 


Review by: Benjamin Garrett

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