Dumb Money parents guide

Dumb Money Parent Guide

This would be a better film if the screenwriters had focused on the more interesting parts of the story.

Overall C-

Theaters: Based on the true story of how everyday people flipped the script on Wall Street by turning GameStop stocks into a must buy investment.

Release date September 22, 2023

Violence A
Sexual Content C
Profanity D
Substance Use D

Why is Dumb Money rated R? The MPAA rated Dumb Money R for pervasive language, sexual material, and drug use

Run Time: 104 minutes

Parent Movie Review

While Keith Gill (Paul Dano) has picked up a bit of an online following for his posts about his stock portfolio, he makes his living as a small-time investment manager. Everything changes when Keith stumbles into the stock that’s going to make him famous: Gamestock. The struggling brick-and-mortar video game outlet is being shorted by large hedge funds, but Keith thinks that the stock has more value than the market would otherwise indicate, and picks up as much of their stock as his life savings will get him – about $53,000 worth. When he starts posting about his analysis of GME (the stock call symbol for Gamestop) on Reddit, thousands of casual investors buy shares for themselves. As the stock price shoots up, Keith starts getting more attention, both on the internet and in real life. The hedge fund managers who shorted GME are suddenly aware that the longer this chaotic pool of amateur investors holds GME stock, and the higher that stock price goes, the more they’re going to lose– and the potential losses are in the billions of dollars.

I think there’s an undefined but tangible window in which real life stories need to age before they can be adapted into films. Make it too early, and people remember it too clearly to ignore all the little changes you make. Given that the GameStop short squeeze happened about two years ago, we’re still firmly in the underripe territory. It’s an interesting story and one worth telling, but maybe not now – and maybe not like this.

Timing issues aside, the movie struggles to focus on what’s interesting about the story. Lots of time is spent on secondary characters (who never meet each other or the protagonist, and who have negligible individual impact on events) and montages of Reddit memes, which are worth mentioning but don’t merit the amount of screentime they get. I want this story to be about the actual scams, the dirty details of how hedge funds and trading companies and the SEC are trying to tilt the tables against retail investors to benefit Wall Street. You know, like The Big Short did.

While the premise of the film presupposes minimal violence, it certainly compensates in profanity with well over 100 f-bombs sprinkled gleefully throughout the film. There’s also a fair amount of social drinking going on and occasional use of marijuana and tobacco products. Frankly, I’m surprised there isn’t more substance abuse. The stakes are high, the game is rigged, and the participants clearly want a way to escape from a stressful reality. As for you, entering this version of reality is your choice…

Directed by Craig Gillespie. Starring Paul Dano, Pete Davidson, America Ferrera. Running time: 104 minutes. Theatrical release September 22, 2023. Updated

Watch the trailer for Dumb Money

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Dumb Money
Rating & Content Info

Why is Dumb Money rated R? Dumb Money is rated R by the MPAA for pervasive language, sexual material, and drug use

Violence: None.
Sexual Content: There are repeated instances of crude sexual language and behaviour, although no sex or nudity are seen. A character puts a hand in another character’s underwear as part of a drinking game.
Profanity: There are at least 135 sexual expletives, 49 scatological curses, and frequent use of mild curses and terms of deity in the script.
Alcohol / Drug Use: Adult characters are occasionally seen drinking and smoking both tobacco and marijuana.

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Dumb Money Parents' Guide

What is a “short”? A “short squeeze”? How is the investment market balanced against private individuals to benefit large firms? What is the SEC supposed to do?

For more information, you can try these links:

NerdWallet: Shorting a Stock: What to Know About Short Selling

Wikipedia: GameStop short squeeze

CBC: How a ragtag group of online investors changed the way people invest their money


Home Video

Related home video titles:

The Big Short told a similar story, just much more informatively and entertainingly. Other true stories of corporate misbehavior include The Social Network, The Wolf of Wall Street, and Dark Waters.