All the Money in the World Review
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When Ridley Scott releases a new movie, people generally pay attention. After all, over the last four decades, heís directed movies like Alien and Gladiator and American Gangster. But his latest film, All the Money in the World, earned a different kind of buzz for its last-minute recasting in the midst of scandalóand it earned award season buzz in the process.

All the Money in the World begins with the kidnapping of 16-year-old John Paul Getty III (Charlie Plummer) from Rome in 1973. Though his grandfather is the richest man in the world, industrialist J. Paul Getty (Christopher Plummer), Paulís mother, Gail (Michelle Williams), has separated herself from her ex-husbandís family and their fortune. She doesnít have the $17 million ransom, and Paulís notoriously stingy grandfather refuses to pay a cent. And as Gail begins months of negotiations with the kidnappers, Getty sends former CIA agent Fletcher Chase (Mark Wahlberg) to investigate the case.

  
 
As it says in the Bible, ďFor the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil.Ē And thatís certainly the case here. All the Money in the World is a mind-boggling story that all comes down to money: the kidnappers who want it, the man whoís determined to keep it, and all of the lives caught in the middle.

Of course, the talk of the film is Christopher Plummer, who stepped in to replace Kevin Spacey in the already-completed project less than two months before its scheduled release. Plummerís performance is remarkably layered and constantly shifting, showing Getty as a cold and miserly old man who sacrificed everything for money. Heíll pay millions for paintings and luxurious estates, yet he wonít step up to help his grandchild. At the same time, though, heís not entirely sinister. He has his charms, tooóand he seems to love his grandson in his own misguided way, seeing him as a part of a future Getty family dynasty (as long as it doesnít cost him any of his hard-earned money). And this absolutely fascinating character gives the film its greatest moments.

The rest of the film, meanwhile, is beautifully shot but not necessarily exceptional. The story is intriguing, but it isnít as gripping as it could be. And the scenes without Plummer arenít nearly as fascinating as the ones with him.

The controversy and scandal surrounding All the Money in the World definitely gives it a kind of tabloid-worthy appeal. It isnít the most powerful film of the year, but even if you choose to see it solely because of Plummerís eleventh-hour performance, you wonít be disappointed by this real-life story of greed and family.


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