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Inside Job

Year: 2010
Studio: Sony Pictures Classics
Director: Charles Ferguson
Producer: Charles Ferguson/Audrey Marrs
Writer: Charles Ferguson

Depending on what side of the political fence you're on (and if you're on the right you'd probably never see a movie like this anyway), little of Inside Job will really surprise you even if the details are interesting. When we were still in the midst of the global financial crisis there was enough around – from the multimillion dollar bonuses paid to banking executives to the revolving door of staff between industry and government – for any smart observer to complete the picture.

The only two things you can be sure of is that nobody controls the whole system – it steamrolls along with an endless cycle of cause and effect – and that when the bills come due the rich and their lawyers run for the hills protecting themselves while the rest of us pay for it.

As far as that goes, Inside Job is the same story we see every few decades when the unfettered greed of financial markets causes the occasional bout of blowback. As the film says, that's when everyone wrings their hands about how broken the system is – nobody complains when everyone's getting filthy rich.

What does surprise you (although it shouldn't) is the last few scenes where narrator Matt Damon outlines how Barack Obama is reinstituting and cementing the same people and systems that caused the trouble in the first place. Historically, our children will go through this all over again when the fourth wave of Marvel movies are hitting cinemas in 2025.

Inside Job film does a good job of breaking down what happened during the financial carnage wrought by the subprime mortgage collapse in the US, and just as good a job explaining the banking products and instruments that were involved, even if it has to gloss over them somewhat because of their complexity.

It's an interesting contrast to Curtis Hanson's excellent HBO movie Too Big To Fail, which came a year later and depicted the players (like Lehmann Brothers' CEO Richard Fuld, Fed Chairman Henry Paulson) as well meaning people trying to stave off a crisis that was out of their control. Inside Job depicts them instead as wholly complicit in the crisis because of their practices, greed, and political alliances.

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