Money Monster

Movie review by
Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media
Money Monster Movie Poster Image
Entertaining, mature thriller has language, violence, sex.
  • R
  • 2016
  • 98 minutes

Parents say

age 14+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 15+
Based on 4 reviews

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We think this movie stands out for:

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Encourages honesty in admitting wrong. Also encourages empathy and helping the downtrodden, especially if you've never really considered them before. Encourages sympathy for angry, frustrated people who've suffered hard times. Rewards the brave and the helpful while punishing the greedy and cowardly.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The main character, a TV host, learns to set aside his cynical, selfish attitude to help another person. Other characters show bravery and decency.


Guns and shooting. Characters are shot; some are wounded, some killed. Some blood shown. Threat of explosives. Someone is hit in the head. Images of a violent miner's strike in South Africa. Image of a woman in an old movie wielding an ax, plus other semi-violent images from old movies.


A secondary character tests an "erection cream." He has standing-up sex with a woman; both are covered with clothing, but it's still graphic.


Uses of "f--k," "s--t," "a--hole," "c--ksucker," "p---y," "son of a bitch," "ass," "bastard," "balls," and "goddamn," plus "Jesus Christ" (as an exclamation).

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Brief images of minor characters snorting cocaine and smoking pot.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Money Monster is a hostage story crossed with a "media circus" story. It has some violent scenes: There are guns and shooting, characters are wounded and killed, and blood is seen. There are other brief violent images, too, plus the threat of explosives. Language is strong but not constant, with uses of "f--k," "s--t," "c--k," "bitch," and more. A secondary character tries out an "erection cream" and has sex with a woman backstage; they're covered by clothes, but the scene is still pretty graphic. Minor characters snort cocaine and smoke pot briefly. Though it's not a movie that's likely to stick with you, it does showcase bravery, empathy, and honesty.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byNone N. October 12, 2016

Good story, bad language

Sex scene is way too explicit! The language is constant and throughout. F this, F that, F me, F you...not for those under 16.
Adult Written byPepe A. August 12, 2016
Kid, 9 years old May 12, 2016

Clever and entertaining hostage drama is pretty violent and interesting but mature.

This violent and intense hostage drama takes place in 2016 New York City, where a man named Lee Gates and his crew shoot his finance show "Money Monster.... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byJaetpack May 13, 2016

Great movie, just watch out for your kids

This movie was really a great one. I was blown away by how great Kyle (the main bad guy) was played by a new actor to the scene, Jack O'Connell. Everythin... Continue reading

What's the story?

Cynical, smarmy Lee Gates (George Clooney) is the host of a short-attention-span personal finance TV show in MONEY MONSTER; he's more or less alienated everyone he works with, including his long-suffering director, Patty Fenn (Julia Roberts). One Friday, after the show begins as usual, a young man, Kyle (Jack O'Connell), wanders onto the set. He pulls out a gun and forces Lee to don a vest laced with explosives. It seems that Kyle lost $60,000 on a bad stock that had been endorsed by Lee; the stock faltered because of a "computer glitch" that seems fishy. Kyle simply wants to know what happened. After a while, Kyle's story begins to get to Lee, and Lee decides he wants to help. Can they find the person responsible and get him to confess?

Is it any good?

Though this familiar material has been done before, both better and worse, Jodie Foster directs with a satisfying combination of admirable skill and old-fashioned Hollywood entertainment. This is her fourth feature directorial effort, and, after working on House of Cards and Orange Is the New Black, she seems more technically proficient. Some sequences set in the TV studio of Money Monster contain many images and audio feeds, and Foster juggles them cleanly and effectively.

She tells her story with a few surprises, teeing up fairly typical scenes (a plea to the viewing audience, the kidnapper's girlfriend showing up, etc.) but then having them turn unexpected corners. On the other hand, neither Clooney nor Roberts is particularly challenged here; both are asked to simply be their charming, movie star best. And though the movie is about financial fraud, the ending is more fantasy than reality (it's no The Big Short). But, as an entertainment, it's right on the money.

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Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love thrilers

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