Review: Inside Job

Narrated by: Matt Damon

Director: Charles Ferguson

“Why should a financial engineer be paid 100 times more than a real engineer? A real engineer builds bridges, a financial engineer builds dreams. And when those dreams turn out to be nightmares, other people pay for it.”

With the whole world reeling from the effects of the financial crisis, Inside Job takes a look at where it all began and just who was responsible for a meltdown which has set the global economy back for decades to come.

It’s probably safe to say that there isn’t a single person who hasn’t been affected by the global financial crisis of the last two years. Except that’s not true. There are a few who have escaped unscathed. The very people who caused it. Prepare to be enraged.

Charles Ferguson’s documentary was never going to make for happy viewing, but that doesn’t make it in any way unworthy of your time. Inside Job attempts to do what must have seem like a daunting task at first, explain in layman’s terms exactly what all those investment bankers and Wall Street monkeys did to bring us low, and it succeeds. Trust me, I have the business acumen and financial skills of a dry-roasted peanut and I totally understood it. In this case, however, the understanding comes with a genuine sense of hopelessness and anger.

Taking us back to the Eighties, and Reagan’s deregulation of the banks and financial markets, Inside Job traces the path of greed and corruption which ultimately led us to the hole we are now in. Using interviews and exhaustive research, Ferguson walks us through the finer points of Derivatives, CDOs and Subprime Mortgages, making sense of practices that can seem bewildering at first glance. Which is, of course, just the way they like it. What follows is all the more breathtaking for the fact that it is all real. It is all true. This isn’t an Oliver Stone movie. There are no colourful scoundrels, no Gordon Gekkos to entertain us with their misdeeds. Just a long procession of weasely, unctuous, greedy men and women who made a fortune by riding a system designed to allow them to do just that, cheating millions in the process. And getting away with it.

Bad guys this way

It is the clarity of Inside Job’s presentation that elevates it above Michael Moore’s Capitalism: A Love Story, which tackled similar themes back in 2009. That it offers little in the way of comfort is unavoidable when there is little to be had. There is the meagre pleasure of watching the few culprits who agreed to be interviewed squirm under Ferguson’s interrogation, but that’s all. The occasional jump cut during interviews makes you wonder what was left out, but any thoughts of biased editing are rendered moot when the case is so clear and the evidence so substantial.

Inside Job is not going to pass for brain-dead, Saturday night entertainment, and the chances are it will pass many people by. Too bad. I would recommend this to anyone who cares about why their lives have gotten just a little bit harder lately.

Rating – 5 Stars



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  1. rtm

    Oh the subject matter is intriguing and VERY timely. I can’t stand Moore but if this is better than any of his docs, I’ I’ll be sure to check this one out.

    1. Richard Post author

      I don’t mind Moore, and always catch his movies. But Inside Job lacked the more showy aspects of Moore’s stuff and stuck to the facts, which suited the subject matter perfectly.

      Hope you enjoy it, Ruth. Let me know when you’ve seen it. :-)

  2. Custard

    I have this all spooled up for a watch this week.

    I am not generally a fan of Documntaries. I like to escape through film. Away from the troubles of the world.

    But I really want to watch this now. We are really struggling at the moment financially, as lot of people are, I want to see the people I need to shake my stick at.

    Thanks for the review. It has moved up the pile now.


    1. Richard Post author

      I completely understand the desire to use movie to escape, but I do enjoy documentaries, especially ones that have me foaming at the mouth by the end. Must be the masochist in me.

      I hope you enjoy it, C. Thanks for stopping by. :-)

  3. Anna

    I’m gonna check this out as soon as I get my hands on it, sounds really interesting and informative. Also it’s a hot topic and I liked the Oscar speech.

  4. Margaret Reyes Dempsey

    I saw this a few days ago. I really enjoyed it. Having watched it the same week as Michael Moore’s Capitalism and The Corporation, I have to say that Inside Job was definitely the best of the three. I’d rank Moore’s the lowest of this group and also the lowest of his other films. There just wasn’t enough meat in it.

    Thanks for the recommendation, Peanut Head. ;-)

    1. Richard Post author

      You’re welcome. 1 out of 3 ain’t bad. :-| Glad you enjoyed it. I agree it was the best of the three.


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