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Stars: George Clooney, Julia Roberts, Jack O'Connell, Caitriona Balfe, Dominic West, Dennis Boutsikaris, Giancarlo Esposito, Christopher Denham
Director: Jodie Foster
More of a showman than a serious stocks-and-shares pundit, Lee Gates (Clooney) introduces his own TV programme, Money Monster, dressed in gold top hat, a dollar sign round his neck, in a dance routine with two girls. The nation hangs on his flamboyant recommendations.
Things, however, are about to get serious for Lee and his long-suffering producer Patty (Roberts), who's about to leave the show. The latest edition, however, will be different, as the studio is invaded by a gunman (O'Connell), who, having lost $60,000 on a company's shares that crashed, straps a bomb on to the terrified host, and demands answers.
Ensuing events should make this a tense thriller, but a lightness of approach and unvarying exchanges on the programme's set means that little suspense is generated until the action moves outside towards the end. The cast, emoting at full volume, come across as actors playing parts rather than real people caught up in a nightmare scenario.
The film also seems to tie up the threads of its plot far too quickly: could these climactic events all take place in just a few minutes?
Roberts and Boutsikaris are the best of a rather indifferent cast, which includes actor Lenny Levito playing the chief cameraman seemingly under his own name: most odd. It's a half-hour short story stretched rather uncomfortably to feature length.
USA 2016. UK Distributor: Sony (Tri-Star). Colour by efilm.
98 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 15.
Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 1, Violence/Horror 1, Drugs 0, Swearing 3.
Review date: 22 May 2016