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Wick's Review

Created Jan 07, 2018 12:41PM PST • Edited Apr 19, 2018 10:05PM PST

  1. Quality
  2. Really Great 4.5

    All the Money in the World slays as a kidnapping thriller and as a biopic of the legendary J. Paul Getty, once the world’s richest man. The thriller jumps off to a startling beginning, takes a series of surprising turns, and remains thrilling right up to the well-known ending. Solid, if expected, especially with master moviemaker Ridley Scott behind the camera. The fascinating biopic, however, is an unexpected bonus.

    There was a time when the name J. Paul Getty was synonymous with unfathomable wealth, starting in the Sixties and proceeding into the shaggy Seventies, when his namesake grandson got kidnapped in Italy.

    Money, money, money, everyone wanted money, everyone except a pure-hearted mother. Unfortunately, she was only a Getty by marriage, so didn’t actually have much money. That’s when things got really ugly.

    Christopher Plummer plays J. Paul Getty as a man on a mission, unapologetic for his miserly misanthropy. This rings true, even if Getty comes across as a virtual caricature of a rich guy, which he apparently was.

    Let’s also note that Plummer, 88, is better as the 81-year-old Getty than Kevin Spacey, 58, could conceivably have been. The disgraced Spacey was famously erased from the picture, with Scott reshooting the necessary scenes with Plummer after principal photography had wrapped. Morality aside, it seems like a good artistic move. Plummer couldn’t be more right for the role, and delivers an Oscar worthy performance.

    Michelle Williams and Mark Wahlberg also headline the cast, and an outstanding cast it is. All the Money in the World is worth a trip to the theater, and more than worth seeking out once it goes on-demand.

  3. Really Great 4.5

    Michelle Williams shows a new, more mature side as the mother of a kidnapped boy, who has the misfortune of being the grandson of the richest man the world. Williams easily conveys a well-bred sophistication, to go with reservoirs of strength and intelligence. She is captivating.

    Christopher Plummer is ideal as J. Paul Getty, as noted in the Summary above. Plummer is simply a master at playing steely, sophisticated men of means.

    Mark Wahlberg gives the movie muscle and a dash of sex appeal as a Getty functionary who is a former CIA operative. Wahlberg has long since developed his acting chops so they equal his bulging guns.

    Strong Supporting Cast

    • Andrew Buchan resonates as a weak man, though it’s not clear the real John Paul Getty Jr. was such a waste case.
    • Charlie Plummer is sweetly appealing as the ill-fated John Paul Getty III, the kidnap victim.
    • Romain Duris is darkly charismatic as a grubby Italian kidnapper. Duris first came to my attention in a more frankly appealing role in Heartbreaker.
    • Timothy Hutton is almost unrecognizable as Getty’s attorney.
  4. Male Stars Really Great 4.5
  5. Female Stars Really Great 4.5
  6. Female Costars Really Great 4.5
  7. Male Costars Really Great 4.5
  8. Great 4.0

    Ridley Scott is a must-see director. Sure, a film like All the Money in the World is in the second or third rank of Scott’s oeuvre, with masterpieces like The Martian, Gladiator and Alien sitting well above it. Still, let’s not let the perfect be the enemy of the good great.

  9. Direction Really Great 4.5
  10. Play Great 4.0
  11. Music Great 4.0
  12. Visuals Really Great 4.5
  13. Content
  14. Risqué 2.2

    For those who don’t remember the world famous kidnapping of John Paul Getty III, look up in Wikipedia what the kidnappers did to him. Then decide if you can stomach the movie.

  15. Sex Innocent 1.0
  16. Violence Brutal 3.1
  17. Rudeness Salty 2.4
  18. Glib 1.3

    The great Scott and writers David Scarpa & John Pearson apparently took more than a little creative license with the story. Inspired by True Events gets declared up front. So, all bets are off. But, what bets they are!

    • Did J. Paul Getty learn Arabic before securing the first oil concession in Saudi Arabia? Yes
    • Did he really invent supertankers? Unknown
    • Did he buy enough masterpieces to fill an art museum? Yes, the Getty in Malibu and L.A.
    • Did he ignore his sons and grandsons? Perhaps

    As to known reality liberties, Mark Wahlberg’s ex-CIA agent looks to be a fictional character, as do some of the kidnappers.

    Finally, everyone is craven in All the Money in the World, the Italian communist Red Brigades included, only they felt entitled to other people’s money.

  19. Circumstantial Glib 2.0
  20. Biological Natural 1.0
  21. Physical Natural 1.0


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