The premise: It’s the mid-2000s and everything’s peachy with the American housing bubble. Just kidding! The Big Short pieces together the story of a few astute number-crunchers who caught wind of the subprime-mortgage crisis and fought to expose it in the only way they knew how: by making shitloads of money.
The cast: Christian Bale as a death metal-pounding hedge-fund founder who discovers the impending collapse, Steve Carell as a loose-cannon money manager who bets big on the demise of banks, Ryan Gosling as a mortgage trader who tips off Carell and makes billions in the process, and Brad Pitt as a wise-elder trader who guides two budding Wall Streeters toward the windfall.
The director: The very funny Adam McKay (Anchorman, Step Brothers) adapts a serious book by Michael Lewis (Moneyball, Liar's Poker) and keeps it seriously funny. At least we can laugh together as greed-driven idiocy flushes the economy down the toilet.