Hawaii International Film Festival 2018, New York Asian Film Festival 2019
Yoo Ji-tae, Ryu Jun-yeol, Cho Woo-jin
Funny thing about money: there's plenty of it, but there's never enough to go around. At least not to Il-Hyun (Ryoo Jun-Yeol of BELIEVER, also in HIT-AND-RUN SQUAD this year at Fantasia), a low-level stockbroker at one of Seoul's many financial firms, working long hours to satisfy his fund manager bosses. Advancement is slow to come, until a fellow broker gives him a hot tip: A mysterious man known only as “The Ticket” (OLDBOY's Yoo Ji-Tae) will feed him inside information on buys for a juicy commission. Everything goes as planned and Il-Hyun seems on his way to fortune when the Financial Supervisory Service's determined Han Ji-Cheol (Cho Woo-Jin) starts investigating. He's been after The Ticket for years and knows Il-Hyun is the way to get to him, which does not sit well with The Ticket. Now, with fellow stockbrokers turning up dead, Il-Hyun needs a plan to settle up with The Ticket, the law and his conscience before his own ticket is cashed in for good.
Yet another first-rate example of mainstream South Korean filmmaking, Park Noo-ri's debut feature MONEY is a welcome return of the financial thriller, a genre that's never been more relevant (or more frightening) than it is today. Assisted greatly by a terrific cast, MONEY shows that a slick, commercial thriller that also has a lot to say about the corrupt world of finance can be tremendously satisfying, something we haven't seen in a long time. Park is able to take elements that we're familiar with — a dash of WALL STREET here, a pinch of BOILER ROOM there — but makes it her own, navigating a complex world with a smart script and three compelling lead characters. By expertly making this genre feel fresh again, we'll bet good money Park is about to become big money in South Korean cinema. – Matthew Kiernan
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