Wall Street (1987) Review

Oliver Stone’s Wall Street provided a pessimistic view of capitalism and Wall Street at the time of its release. It showed the dirty side of the business of stock trading. Bud sacrifices his relationship with his family to make more money, or rather to make others more money. The film translates well today with the dirty tactics used in today’s economy.

WRITING: The script for this film is excellent. Bud is an exceptionally-written character that is complex in his decisions and is properly motivated to change over time. Even the supporting characters translate well to the screen as they are given complexity, no matter how little screen-time they have. 9/10

PERFORMANCES: Oliver Stone does a great job directing the cast of this film. Charlie Sheen, potentially in his prime, delivers a great performance, perfectly portraying Bud and all of his intricacies. The rest of the cast, mainly Martin Sheen and Michael Douglas, do an amazing job of picking up the rest of the film, working off of Charlie Sheen in the best ways possible. 10/10

CINEMATOGRAPHY: The camerawork for this film takes a step above what’s needed. There are some shots where just a little bit is added to elevate it. For example, in one shot in Gordon Gekko’s office, when Michael Douglas stands from his desk, he becomes completely engulfed in shadow when bad news is delivered to him. Lighting is used brilliantly in this film as well as cinematography that adapts to the mood of the scene. 9/10

EDITING: The editing for this film perfectly compliments the camera work to convey the message needed in each scene, even with each line of dialogue. 10/10

VISUAL EFFECTS: The fact that there is a visual effects department for this film, despite there being no noticeable VFX added, shows how well it blends with the film. 10/10

ENJOYMENT: I very much enjoyed this film and the perspective it gave on money and greed. Some characters did come off as cliches which did lose my interest in one or two scenes, but I still thoroughly enjoyed 99% of the film. I’m not planning on rewatching this film anytime soon, though. 9/10

MUSICAL SCORE: The music was very fitting for this film, however it never really stood out to me as anything memorable. There were some great tracks used, but I’m not walking away with much from it. However, the music never stood out as anything poor when complimenting the scenes. 7/10

SOUND: This is another aspect where if nothing stands out, that’s excellent. Nothing felt off at all. 10/10

PRODUCTION DESIGN: The scene design was wonderful in this film, you could definitely understand each character and their status just by looking at their offices or even their clothes, but none of it was outlandish. Bud’s father dressed very modestly, but he didn’t show up to meet Gordon Gekko wearing a jumpsuit. Bud’s office was probably my favorite design because of how chaotic and varied it was. Every aspect had small details that mattered. 9/10

OVERALL: 91/100

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