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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 38.33%
Average: 3.33%
Pretty Bad: 3.33%
Total Crap: 3.33%

3 reviews, 42 user ratings

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Wall Street
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by Chef ADogg

"Put down the sledgehammer, Ollie. It's gonna be okay!"
4 stars

Believe it or not, Oliver Stone made some really decent movies in the eighties, before all that acid started to take its toll. This is one of them--a slick and funny morality play where greed is good, subtelty is bad, and anyone can be a stockbroker if they have nice hair.

The appeal of this film is hard to describe. It's worth watching, of course, for the brokerage drama--nothing is more fun than watching disheveled men talk quickly and loudly into telephones. Seriously. But there's also something else in there, something that you can't quite put your finger on. There's just something so eighties about the whole thing.

Movies from that period are relentlessly fun, no matter what genre they handily fall into, and Wall Street is no exception. Stone made this puppy when even the most serious of serious films were allowed to be sudsy and melodramatic; that's why it still goes down so easily. It's virtually impossible not to get hooked up in the web of greed and pleasure that Stone constructs because it's shamelessly presented as a Me-Decade utopia.

At the center is Michael Douglas, in his quintessential performance. He plays Gordon Gecko, a multi millionare with an unquenchable thirst for liquid wealth, who becomes the mentor of a hungry young stockbrocker named Bud Fox. If you're laughing at the names, congratulations, you're in on the joke.

These names reflect Ollie's whole approach to the film. Bud Fox, for example. The director coaxes our giggles by having all the characters refer to him as "Bud" or "Buddy"--setting up a casual level of familiarity, dropping our guard. Then, in the third act, Bud pulls through on the second half of his name, and the surprise, though soft, is satisfying because we could sense it coming from the very first frame.

Wall Street is a movie not about money, but the game of acquiring it--so it's fitting that the journey we take is infinitely more interesting than the final destination. The script is nothing to really holler about--some good lines, but overall it's hammier than a pigpen, with it's relentless bashes at our heads. The direction is suitable, and rather nifty in spots (not to mention low key, considering Stone's more recent films). The real juice, though, comes from the performances.

Michael Douglas, of course--the man is a dynamo, and Wall Street showcases him at the top of his game. He gets you riled up and just as hungry for money as our main character, played by Charlie Sheen. Sheen is not much here, but that's more than he usually is. He always reminds me of a really ugly, pathetic rich kid trying to get by on looks he doesn't have. The only other really important performance is given by Terence Stamp, calm, collected, and cool as all hell. It's fun to see him near the beginning, when his character is introduced, but wait for the pure joy you'll feel when he re-enters the fold in the third act.

"Wall Street" is not a subtle film; nor is it brilliant or especially revelatory. It is, however, a good story presented in a competent fashion, with a great performance by Michael Douglas and lots of quotable lines. If that sounds like satisfaction to you, by all means, rent the sucker.

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originally posted: 02/27/00 04:13:42
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User Comments

11/24/17 Ken Michael Douglas' performance is better than the film itself. Very good, though. 4 stars
4/20/10 Nick G I really enjoyed watching the movie. It really opened my eyes when it comes to deceit. 5 stars
5/01/09 Josh Lyman Douglas was excellent. Martin Sheen stole every scene he was in, as usual. 5 stars
3/22/08 Pamela White drama ambition and greed all make a great movie 4 stars
11/19/07 hayway the movie was boroing and i sleept half through the hole shit man im tellin u it suckball 1 stars
10/31/07 yellowrose an ok movie.... da best part is da antagonist 3 stars
8/25/07 belma michael douglas is sooooo good, there's no word to describe it, that's his movie 5 stars
7/12/07 Lilly It's really a good movie but I don't like the fact that I have to watch this again for exam 4 stars
9/27/06 Playette_0918 It's a great movie i had to do a summary on it for economics.(that sucked) 4 stars
8/19/05 ALDO I don't get it. This movie sucks bad. 2 stars
11/19/04 screb douglas good but movie needed an hour trimmed 2 stars
5/30/04 garry taulu great movie, did it for english 5 stars
4/14/04 David Forbes Brilliant, a mater-piece 5 stars
12/09/03 john one of Oliver Stone's good films - intense and truthful 5 stars
5/23/03 mr. Pink Entertaining and Douglas is great in this. 4 stars
1/04/03 Jack Sommersby Imperfect but mammothly entertaining. Douglas is aces! 5 stars
10/14/02 Charles Tatum Douglas puts this film in his vest pocket and carries it 4 stars
8/22/02 Sully this movie just plain ROCKS. Douglas was OUTSTANDING. 5 stars
7/21/02 KMG It's neat to see what was considered "high living" in the 80s 4 stars
6/02/02 Phil M. Aficionado Phony script and unlikely plot devices do not a great movie make. Douglas is excellent. 3 stars
4/16/02 Dave not great but has a good moral message 4 stars
3/26/02 Alan OUTSTANDING FILM, KICKS ASS 5 stars
3/25/02 Jimmy Great Movie !!! 5 stars
2/20/02 Xaver Douglas is great! A fine film. 4 stars
12/29/01 Andrew Carden Wonderful Polictical Drama With A Great Sense Of Humor. 5 stars
12/10/01 Peter_24601 This movie is evidence that Stone actually knows what he's doing. It's amazing! 5 stars
11/20/01 R.W. Welch Strong performance by Douglas carries otherwise rather routine pic. 4 stars
8/10/01 E-Funk Michael Douglas is the grand fuckin' Puba in this one...Killer film! 5 stars
7/27/01 TLsmooth Stone you fuckface. Watch this movie again and make more like this. Fuck Any Given Sunday. 5 stars
7/03/01 Chris Drake Plot too obvious;all acting weak except Douglas.Enjoyed NYC scenery 4 stars
4/30/01 Henk-Jan Vinke Fantastic 5 stars
4/11/01 Tucker Sechrest Good Movie 4 stars
4/01/01 Jesse L Can we stop mistaking heavy handed cliches for plots, and expect more 1 stars
2/16/01 Ray McCoy Best Oliver Stone film next to JFK. Michael Douglas is awesome and deserved his only Oscar 5 stars
11/13/00 Jason im in grade 10 and i watched this movie in class, it was great! 5 stars
10/04/00 malcolm if u like "WS," check out "Glengarry Glen Ross" and "Boiler Room" 4 stars
8/04/00 Bruce Another Oliver Stone great 5 stars
7/19/00 Elvisfan very solid drama & douglas is good for a change 4 stars
2/27/00 JonnyAngel Love that greezy hair Mikey 4 stars
11/14/99 Parrissa Question:What do you mean by your last sentance. Please e-mail me at: 5 stars
7/05/99 Ben Leostein Rating: *** (out of ****) Category: "Good" 4 stars
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  02-Jul-1987 (R)
  DVD: 07-Sep-2010


  02-Feb-1988 (M)

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