Parents' Guide to

Abacus: Small Enough to Jail

By Brian Costello, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 12+

Informative but dry docu on the trial of a small bank.

Movie NR 2017 90 minutes
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While the subject matter is interesting and timely, there are times when it feels like there isn't enough to the story to make this a feature-length documentary. Even with the subtext of "the little guy" facing the full weight of the law while the real crooks from the biggest banks get off scot-free because they're "too big to fail," there's a dryness to Abacus: Small Enough to Jail.

Nonetheless, it's interesting to see a bank in a documentary being portrayed as "the good guy" in a story; bank founder Thomas Hung is frequently compared to George Bailey from It's a Wonderful Life --Thomas and his wife Hwei Lin are even shown tearing up while watching a beloved favorite movie of theirs. At a time when larger banks seem to be constantly coming up with new ways to nickel-and-dime away the money of their less affluent customers through fee after fee, Hung reminds the viewer that there are some bankers out there who want to help create better lives for their customers. This makes their trial all the more disturbing, but not quite enough to sustain it for its 88 minutes.

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