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Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps

Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps

By Patrick Samuel • February 2nd, 2011
Static Mass Rating: 3/5
20th Century Fox

Release date: January 31st 2011
Certificate (UK): 12A
Running time: 134 minutes

Director: Oliver Stone

Cast: Michael Douglas, Shia Labeouf, Josh Brolin, Carey Mulligan, Susan Sarandon, Frank Langella

Oliver Stone made one of the most iconic movies of the 1980’s with Wall Street (1987), a story about greed, inside trading and the era of excess which made the Gordon Gekkos and Material Girls of this world who they are. It also introduced movie-goes to the infamous line “Greed, for the lack of a better word, is good”

Now over 20 years later, using the financial crisis of 2008 and the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers as a backdrop and inspiration, Stone returns to tell a new story and in the process, brings back an old villain we loved hating.

Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps

Set in 2008, Gekko has spent 13 years in prison and is trying to catch up with a world that’s moved on without him. Meanwhile, Jake Moore (Shia LaBeouf) has just received a hefty $1million bonus from his boss Lewis Zabel (Frank Langella) at his firm Keller Zabel Investments. Later Jake attends one of Gekko’s talks where he’s promoting his book, ‘Is Greed Good?’ and announces to Gekko, whom he’s never met before, that he’s going to marry his daughter. This gets his attention because Gekko and Winnie (Carey Mulligan) haven’t spoken in years.

When stocks plummet the next day, it sends everyone into a panic but the banks refuse a bailout, allowing the firm to go bust. Jake is convinced there’s more to this than meets the eye and Gekko offers his help if he agrees to arrange a meeting with his daughter. As Jake tries to get father and daughter to reunite, he has no idea what Gekko’s ulterior motives are until it’s too late.

With Michael Douglas returning as Gekko and Oliver Stone as director, the main ingredients for an unmissable morality tale were already there. Fellow Academy Award® winner Susan Sarandon stars as Jake’s mother who can’t stop buying and selling real estate and Charlie Sheen appears in a brief cameo. But despite that, Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps fails to go deeper in its look at the financial crisis and how our escalated greed since the 1980’s lead us there, choosing instead to focus more on family drama and pitting Labeouf as the star of a movie that’s too big for him to fill.

Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps

There are some missed opportunities here, especially when it comes to the roles of women in the movie. I would have liked to have seen Gekko’s daughter as a stronger character, maybe even turning out to be worse than her father in the end. I also find it baffling that she hates her father so much yet she falls in love with Jake, a Wall Street trader. Another undeveloped character is Audrey (Vanessa Ferlito), one of the traders who works with Jake, there’s so much potential there despite her being on screen for a few minutes.

That being said, there are some excellent special features on the Blu-ray. A Conversation with Oliver Stone is a 15 minute 49 second chat with Michael Douglas, Shia Labeouf, Josh Brolin and Carey Mulligan. They ask the director questions about how the first movie came about, what inspired the characters and jokingly discuss the possibilities for Wall Street 3!


  • Digital Copy
  • Commentary By Director Oliver Stone
  • A Conversation with Oliver Stone (15.49)
  • Money, Money, Money: The Rise and Fall of Wall Street (50.29)
  • Deleted and Extended Scenes (29.31)
  • Fox Movie Channel Presents:

– Michael Douglas (5.34)
– Shia Labeouf (4.21)
– Carey Mulligan (5.04)
– Josh Brolin (5.52)
– Frank Langella (5.20)

  • Trailers (3.58)

Money, Money, Money: The Rise and Fall of Wall Street is a 50 minute 29 second piece which brings together everything you could possibly want to know about Wall Street; the movie, the characters, the place, the history and the money. It’s split up in sections and each part is very in depth.

There are 29 minutes and 31 seconds worth of Deleted and Extending Scenes which you can play with our without commentaries. They range from Zabel preparing for his last day, Jake at the nightclub saying hello to various girls and Bretton’s fundraiser where the hideously rich gather to watch a child prodigy play the piano.

Fox Movie Channel Presents short segments with the main cast. The most insightful I found was with Michael Douglas. He talks about preparing for the character and how he found the best way to play Gekko.

Even though I feel the story in Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps could have been improved a lot, I was impressed with the variety of special features Fox have put on the disc.

Patrick Samuel

Patrick Samuel

The founder of Static Mass Emporium and one of its Editors in Chief is an emerging artist with a philosophy degree, working primarily with pastels and graphite pencils, but he also enjoys experimenting with water colours, acrylics, glass and oil paints.

Being on the autistic spectrum with Asperger’s Syndrome, he is stimulated by bold, contrasting colours, intricate details, multiple textures, and varying shades of light and dark. Patrick's work extends to sound and video, and when not drawing or painting, he can be found working on projects he shares online with his followers.

Patrick returned to drawing and painting after a prolonged break in December 2016 as part of his daily art therapy, and is now making the transition to being a full-time artist. As a spokesperson for autism awareness, he also gives talks and presentations on the benefits of creative therapy.

Static Mass is where he lives his passion for film and writing about it. A fan of film classics, documentaries and science fiction, Patrick prefers films with an impeccable way of storytelling that reflect on the human condition.

Patrick Samuel ¦ Asperger Artist

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