If you put George Clooney, Julia Roberts and Jack O’Connell together, directed by Jodie Foster, you’d be right to be expecting a pretty decent film. And indeed, Money Monster is just that: a pretty decent film. George Clooney is Lee Gates, loudmouth host of ‘Money Monster’, a TV show where he dances and prances around making wild predictions about the markets and advocating his latest stock picks with great arrogance and fanfare. During a live show, viewer Kyle Budwell manages to slip onto the set, quickly turning it into a gun-waving, bomb-vest packing hostage situation.
Jack O’Connell plays Eric, a 19 year old convict, who gets ‘starred up’ – meaning he gets ‘promoted’ from juvenile detention to adult prison – in his case 2 years early due to his extremely violent behaviour.
There is no other backstory – we join when Eric arrives in the new prison and experience first hand how he endures and persists in this prison – the same one his father has already been in for 14 years.
Jack O’Connel is the strong lead in ’71. He plays a British soldier, Gary, expecting to be stationed in Germany, but instead his unit ends up ‘helping’ in Belfast. Early in his deployment he accidentally gets separated from and then abandonded by his unit in a Belfast ghetto, leaving him to find a way to survive amongst ‘the Troubles’.