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MOVIE REVIEW

All the Money in the World also known as “Todo el dinero del mundo,” “Todo o Dinheiro do Mundo,” “Visi pasaulio pinigai,” “A világ összes pénze,” “Alles Geld der Welt,” “Kogu maailma raha,” “Tout l'argent du monde,” “Tutti i soldi del mondo,” “Ves denar sveta,” “Wszystkie pieniądze świata,” “Όλα τα λεφτά του κόσμου,” «Все деньги мира,» «Всички пари на света»

MPAA Rating: R-Rating (MPAA) for language, some violence, disturbing images and brief drug content.

Reviewed by: Francisco Gomez Jr.
CONTRIBUTOR

Very Offensive
Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Adults
Genre:
History Crime Thriller
Length:
2 hr. 12 min.
Year of Release:
2017
USA Release:
December 25, 2017 (wide—2,074 theaters)
DVD: April 10, 2018
Copyright, TriStar Pictures, a division of Columbia TriStar Motion Picture Group, owned by Sony Pictures Entertainment click photos to ENLARGE Copyright, TriStar Pictures, a division of Columbia TriStar Motion Picture Group, owned by Sony Pictures Entertainment Copyright, TriStar Pictures, a division of Columbia TriStar Motion Picture Group, owned by Sony Pictures Entertainment Copyright, TriStar Pictures, a division of Columbia TriStar Motion Picture Group, owned by Sony Pictures Entertainment
Relevant Issues
Copyright, TriStar Pictures, a division of Columbia TriStar Motion Picture Group, owned by Sony Pictures Entertainment

What is SIN AND WICKEDNESS? Is it just “bad people” that are sinners, or are YOU a sinner? Answer

What is the FALL OF MAN? Answer

Do Not Enter

Copyright, TriStar Pictures, a division of Columbia TriStar Motion Picture Group, owned by Sony Pictures Entertainment

What is LUST? Answer

Greed / Love of money

Copyright, TriStar Pictures, a division of Columbia TriStar Motion Picture Group, owned by Sony Pictures Entertainment

SEXUAL LUST—Why does God strongly warn us about it? Answer

REINCARNATION—Does the Bible allow for this possibility? Answer

Copyright, TriStar Pictures, a division of Columbia TriStar Motion Picture Group, owned by Sony Pictures Entertainment

What is Christian LOVE? Answer

What is MERCY? Answer

About hope

About despair, fear and hope

Copyright, TriStar Pictures, a division of Columbia TriStar Motion Picture Group, owned by Sony Pictures Entertainment
Copyright, TriStar Pictures, a division of Columbia TriStar Motion Picture Group, owned by Sony Pictures Entertainment Copyright, TriStar Pictures, a division of Columbia TriStar Motion Picture Group, owned by Sony Pictures Entertainment
Featuring: Mark WahlbergFletcher Chase
Michelle WilliamsGail Harris
Charlie Plummer … John Paul Getty III
Christopher PlummerJ. Paul Getty
Timothy Hutton
Teresa Mahoney … John Paul Getty II Carer
Stacy Martin … Secretary
See all »
Director: Ridley Scott—“The Martian” (2015), “Thelma and Louise” (1991), “Gladiator” (2000)
Producer: Chris Clark
Quentin Curtis
See all »
Distributor: TriStar Pictures
TriStar Pictures, a division of Columbia TriStar Motion Picture Group, owned by Sony Pictures Entertainment

“J. Paul Getty had a fortune. Everyone else paid the price.”

Ridley Scott directs “All the Money in the World” based on the true events surrounding the kidnapping of J.P. “Paul” Getty III. The film features Michelle Williams (as Gail Harris), Christopher Plummer (J. Paul Getty), Mark Wahlberg (Fletcher Chase), Romain Duris (Cinquanta), and Charlie Plummer (John “Paul” Getty III).

In 1973, Paul finds himself kidnapped. He is the grandson son of Getty, who has “all the money in the world,” yet Getty is not willing to offer any money. He instead sends Fletcher Chase to help daughter-in-law Gail Harris find his grandson. They try to negotiate a lower price from a starting point of seventeen-million-dollars. Amidst the terror, Paul finds an unlikely friend in kidnapper Cinquanta. Cinquanta eventually relates to Paul’s emotional destitution, and begins to aid him when possible. Now we have ourselves a case study on greed, family, and moral character that mirrors the production process.

Ridley Scott’s films are often really big hits, or really big misses. However, “All the Money in the World” feels somewhere in the middle. An impressive feat considering the film has undergone extensive reshoots with Plummer playing Getty. Kevin Spacey originally played Getty, but was accused of sexual assault.

The actors were complete professionals, and did the job superbly. Plummer’s acting is phenomenal. Michelle Williams’ character evokes deep empathy, while maintaining composure. David Scarpa’s script serves as a sail to this dialog heavy ship. Scott maintains his collaboration with cinematographer Dariusz Wolski who continues to produce beautiful shots.

While the ship manages to sail, perhaps it does not sail fast enough. While the film explores many interesting themes, it lacks an overarching moral. In typical Ridley Scott fashion, he allows the audience to discuss and draw conclusions. Usually his technique works, but in this film I was left wondering what exactly the intentions behind the film were. It lacks a particular sense of identity. This may be intentional—a hollowness of meaning to the film that parallels Getty’s sorrow. Getty struggles to identify who he is. Apart from a person of riches. Apart from someone who others seek to extort. He cannot separate his sense of self from money.

“An oil field, or a human life. It’s all the same.”

Chase explains that negotiating for a human life or an oil field is the same. Getty makes it clear that he much prefers “things” to people, because they are “pure” in intentions. Things “are exactly what they seem to be.” He devalues human life because of the extortion he has experienced. He feels alone. Getty claims to “love” his grandson, yet his actions very rarely demonstrate it. Scripture teaches us that…

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. —1 Corinthians 13:4-6

Getty directly contradicts the attributes of love through his actions. He is a proud, dishonoring, boastful, self-seeking, grudge of a man. In the place of true love, is an insatiable lust for “things.” He has alienated himself. His isolation is a consequence of his incapacity to truly love. What is the outcome of that choice? Exactly the outcome scripture warns us about: grief and sorrow.

For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. —1 Timothy 6:10

For a follower of Christ, what is LOVE—a feeling, an emotion, or an action? Answer

What is LUST? Answer

Placing our identity in money will leave us like Getty, rich in “things” but poor in abundant life. Greed may act as a thief for Christians, robbing us of our purpose in Christ. Making possessions the king in our society can distract non believers from searching for the true King. We often seek the “good life” in items, but Christ is the only one capable of giving us a truly good life—and a home with Him eternal paradise.

“The thief comes only in order to steal, kill and destroy; I have come so that they may have life, life in its fullest measure.” —John 10:10

Your eternal soul

Are you good enough to get to Heaven? Answer

How good is good enough? Answer

Paradise or Pain? Why is the world the way it is?
Why is the world the way it is? If God is all-knowing, all-powerful, and loving, would He really create a world like this? (filled with oppression, suffering, death and cruelty) Answer
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Discover God’s promise for all people—told beautifully and clearly from the beginning. Discover The HOPE! Watch it on Christian Answers—full-length motion picture.
Is Jesus Christ the answer to your questions?
Discover the good news that Jesus Christ offers

You can follow Christ today, and experience life at its fullest measure. He offers eternal salvation for all who repent and surrender to Christ as their Lord. Surrendering to fleshly desires, like lust for money, will lead to sorrow. Surrender to Christ leads to abundant life.

Content of Concern

Sensuality/Sexual Content/Nudity: Paul briefly talks to prostitutes before they remark that he is “too young.” Getty believes he is reincarnated, and that in his past life he had “made love to [his] concubines” at the Roman Coliseum. In a dimly lit scene, Paul walks into the room to find a half-naked woman walking past with bare breasts. He goes on to find his father in bed with another woman. A nude statue overlooks one scene, and another nude statue with a fig leaf covering the groin area makes a brief appearance. Gail briefly kisses her husband. Her husband briefly puts his hand under Gail’s shirt hugging her from behind.

Alcohol/Drug Use: Almost all characters drink alcohol at one point throughout the film. Characters smoke often. Paul’s father is intoxicated with drugs and the substances can be seen on the bedside table. Drugs are found in Paul’s room.

Violence: *Minor Spoilers* In a struggle, several men subdue Paul with a substance. Once subdued, they cut off his ear with explicit depiction of the operation. Lots of gore and blood spurts from the wound. A newspaper receives a photograph of Paul’s mutilated face and the ear, and both are explicitly depicted. Cinquanta helps heal Paul, his injured ear is in full view. In another scene, many of the captors are shot and killed on-screen. Police throw a concussion grenade. A captor is found alive, but he is mortally wounded and bleeding profusely. *End of Spoilers* A woman is asked to identify a dead, severely burned body that has been found—details are shown on screen. Police carry guns. A woman hits a man with a phone. There is a non-graphic scooter accident.

Language: “f**k” (15), “sh*t” (6), “b*tch” (3), “h*ll (3), “oh my G*d,” “b*stard,” “b*lls,” “scr*wed,” “p*ss.” Vandals paint Chase’s car with a pentagram.

Other: Paul is heard peeing off-screen. A captor pulls down his pants and squats (nothing explicit is shown).

Summary and Recommendation

Ridley Scott firmly directs “All the Money in the World” with most actors bringing their best. The script works for the most part, but some may find the film lacks pacing. Wolski handles the camera with care like a true seasoned film veteran. Some interesting points are explored with an unclear intention. However, the film is graphic in more ways than one. The R-rating states the obvious, this film is for mature adults. Not only for mature adults, but if you choose to watch, for mature Christians. I cannot urge you to watch this film. There are more entertaining and constructive films out there. As always, use spiritual discernment and discretion.

  • Violence: Very Heavy
  • Profane language: Mild
  • Vulgar/Crude language: Very Heavy
  • Nudity: Heavy
  • Sex: Heavy
Editor’s Historical Note: J. Paul Getty III, whose ear was cut off by his captors, later died in 2011 at the age of 54. According to The New York Times, “Some time after Mr. Getty’s release, his mother suggested that he call his grandfather to thank him for paying the ransom, which he did. The eldest Mr. Getty declined to come to the phone. …The aftermath of the ordeal left Mr. Getty as a reckless personality; the year after his release he married a German photographer [who was 5 months pregnant]… They lived for a time in New York, where they consorted with the art crowd of Andy Warhol. Mr. Getty became a drug user and a heavy drinker. …Mr. Getty’s marriage ended in divorce. Mr. Getty had been wheelchair-bound since 1981, when a drug overdose caused him to have a stroke that left him severely paralyzed [quadriplegic], unable to speak and partly blind [and in poor health from then on]. …his mother…cared for him after his stroke…” —Bruce Webber, J. “Paul Getty III, 54 dies…,” The New York Times (February 7, 2011)

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.


Viewer CommentsSend your comments
Neutral
Neutral—This is not an action-packed movie, rather 2+ hours showing the hollow worldly byproduct of greed, avarice and substance abuse. I took my wife and a friend, and while it was a slow movie, we all valued the life lesson it portrayed. I don't recommend it for kids at all, but as a Christian, it was a great movie showing how enough is never enough for a non-believer, how drugs and alcohol are thoroughly destructive, and a dark side of humanity from the victim to the suspects. This is a very intense movie, and a very well made one. We left the theater wondering how anyone could place “money” and “things” above loved ones. The Patriarchs greed had an impact on several generations resulting in drug addiction and death that plagued the worlds’ wealthiest family.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Very Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Dennis, age 64 (USA)

PLEASE share your observations and insights to be posted here.

Secular Movie Critics
…cohesive – and entrancing …a delectable battle of wills between a man who wants, as they say, all the money in the world, and a woman who deliberately rejects it. …Foremost on the mind of the film’s incredible ensemble is the idea that the worth we place on things—and people—is only as much as we’re willing to pay for them. …[A-]
Clint Worthington, Consequence of Sound
…one of the better films of 2017… well-paced, great-looking and nimble take on one of the most famous kidnapping cases of the 20th century… Christopher Plummer captivates…
Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun-Time
…It’s as realized a thriller as you are likely to find, not only in the precision of its performances, but in its evocative use of location (Rome, London), its period detail (especially Williams’ clothing) and the tension of the younger Getty’s months-long captivity. …
Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle
…Twilight years? Ridley Scott will hear none of it — he has just made the paciest, most dynamic film ever made by an 80-year-old director. And as for Christopher Plummer, he delivers the best screen performance ever given by an actor who, a month before the film’s debut, hadn’t even been cast yet. …
Todd McCarthy, The Hollywood Reporter
…revs up beautifully, first as a thriller. But while the kidnapping is the movie's main event, it is only part of a story that is, by turns, a sordid, desperate and anguished tragedy about money. …Christopher Plummer's performance is dominating, magnetic and monstrous. …
Manohla Dargis, The New York Times
…Plummer is easily the best thing about a film that is technically accomplished, yet a bit too mechanical in the way it sets up and executes the high-stakes kidnapping at its center. …
Peter Debruge, Variety
…A surface viewing of the film makes it feel like this is one of Scott’s lesser magnum opuses but on closer inspection this is a story that’s all but contemporaneous given its through-line of amoral acquisitiveness. …
Marc Savlov, The Austin Chronicle
…an elaborate demonstration of the idea that the very rich are not like you and me—and also that the oil magnate J. Paul Getty was barking mad… Christopher Plummer is getting headlines for “All the Money in the World,” but it’s Michelle Williams who deserves them…
David Edelstein, Vulture
…“All the Money in the World” ought to have aimed more ambitiously for the complete tragedy of the Gettys, or stuck more resolutely to Gail’s perspective. Instead, it bounces erratically between its main players and loses steam every time Williams leaves the screen. …
Jake Coyle, Associated Press
…A better title might have been “All the Movies in the World.” We get a thriller, of sorts, and a crime movie, of sorts (Romain Duris, as a kidnapper, gives the most appealing performance). It’s also a morality tale crossed with family melodrama. …[2½/4]
Mark Feeney, The Boston Globe
…For a film that revolves around a high-stakes kidnapping, it is suspiciously bereft of dramatic tension. For a story that purports to strip away the flash of wealth and examine the greed that lurks underneath the world of privilege, its script is entirely surface-skimming. For a project that aims to hook mature and discerning adult moviegoers that other studios have left behind, “All the Money in the World” is, frankly, so very stupid. …
Barry Hertz, The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
…“All the Money in the World” has its strong points, but it’s debatable whether they add up to being worth the price of a ticket. …
Brian Lowry, CNN
…The film is by and large a conspicuously manufactured thriller that moves between manipulative psych-outs. …slick screenplay offers little insight into its characters. The film feels more like a spiritless photo essay of the lifestyles of the one percent, a zoological view of a unique species of humanoid—the transcendently rich and their adjacents. …[1/4]
Henry Stewart, Slant