Parents' Guide to

The Big Short

By S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Finance dramedy turns complex ideas into gripping cinema.

Movie R 2015 130 minutes
The Big Short Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 15+

Based on 7 parent reviews

age 18+

Very important film for all adults

This is such an important film. It's an entertaining but also serious look at how the housing crisis and global economic meltdown happened. It's actually quite educational. It's a warning to all of us to not let it happen again. The educational value alone makes this film worth watching. Christian Bale's character work does not disappoint. Steve Carrell is also a very interesting character in his dramatic role, more for the commitment to character and character arc transitions that he offers. This film is definitely for adults. It has A LOT of bad language -- A LOT, but it is all character/setting driven (if that's any consolation). There are a couple of fleeting, short snippets of nudity -- not much. I have clicked that this film has a "great message" because it is a cautionary tale -- based on true events; and the caution and education about the 2007-2010 era (which still affects us all, unless you're in the top 1% of money on this planet) is a healthy reminder that greed and ignorance have no good results. This is a good conversation to have among adults about the "system" and the decisions that we make within this "system" can have bad or good consequences for us. I have not clicked "great role models" because virtually everyone in the film is caught up in the perversity of Wall Street. The only good thing about that is that you see just how perverse it is -- you're educated on what happened (and still is happening) in the markets to bring down the economy.
age 13+

I don’t get bothered by consumerism but if you do and it really ticks you off, I would recommend not seeing this movie if you get bothered by it don’t get bothered by consumerism, I just put too much consumerism so if you do then to know that sort of thing before you watch it, there’s a lot of educational value in this as it follows 3 men who profited from the real estate market collapse and they were the first to predict it and how the big banks at this time tried to cover it up and acted fraudulent and it takes a closer in-depth look into this and great messages about that there’s always opportunities for those willing to look for them, although kids probably won’t be interested in it I was but I am not like most kids, as for sex there’s a 2 scenes that take place in strip clubs that feature topless half naked women but no graphic on screen sex it did have a lot of swearing more than expected when I watched it mostly f**k, s**t, a*****e with 74 Uses of F**k, 50 Uses of S**t, 7 Uses of A*s

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (7 ):
Kids say (17 ):

The Big Short is a flashy, quick-witted, and, yes, entertaining film about the housing and banking collapse. But it might just be a little too entertaining, a little too funny for a film that's so sobering. You laugh at all the asides -- and they are funny, though perhaps not all of them were necessary -- and then feel terrible for laughing. (Though we really did enjoy the celebrity-cameo-filled footnotes that explained the dizzying banking and investment maneuvers and products that basically undid the economy.)

Then again, nervous laughter may just be an appropriate response to a movie about how a small group of outsiders identified a weakness in a system high on arrogance and avarice -- a system that, unfortunately, had such weight that, when it toppled, it took so many innocent and not-so-innocent souls with it. Ultimately, The Big Short is whip smart, supported by a script that manages to educate while it amuses. And then there's the powerhouse cast, led by a brilliant Bale as a doctor-turned-hedge-fund-manager who has an ease with numbers and an unease with people.

Movie Details

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