The attorneys at the center of the scandal this covers, filed suit in federal court claiming they were defamed by the film. Upon viewing, you'll realize that there is no way they did not defame themselves.Above and beyond that, this is a film every single person who is unfamiliar with offshore banking should see. It describes in accurate, albeit humorous terms, how "money" works in some people's hands, vs. how it works in the hands of the normal Joe.The cast is made up of amazing actors who give amazing performances, yet as most of us know, that isn't always the ingredient for a great movie. This one went a step further, and gifted us with FACTS. (Not even its many detractors can argue with any conclusive proof that the laws it unveils to the layman are not on the books and being used daily).Basically, it takes the viewer through the inner machinations of a business run by people who know the law and push the law as far as the law will allow in order to serve their own purposes. People who deal in gauging the value of buying and selling trades and commodities, as easy as they gauge the value of .... and trade in ... other people.Lastly, in going through other reviews here, I can't help but think about how different we all are, and how some people understood and could appreciate such a well presented window into actual business practices and money and how the two affect the average American, and how others seemed to take simple facts, as a personal affront or attack on their political party.Not WANTING to face facts, does not change fact.
I would say that The Laundromat is a no-holds-barred look into the very REAL Panama Papers scandal, but that would be a lie, as it actually does hold back A LOT and does not delve deeply enough into detailing much of the corruption which ensued then, and which still exists today.For those unfamiliar with the "Panama Papers" scandal, in 2016, a whistle-blower released over 11 MILLION documents from the law firm Mossack & Fonseca (just ONE of the law firms involved in this kind of business), which detailed almost every aspect regarding the structure and practices of the shell companies which are used by some of the world's richest people in order to avoid paying taxes. This film, while presenting much of the story, fails to present all of it. One of the things the film did NOT cover, was what happened to journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, who first broke the story.I believe that one of the reasons Soderbergh chose to not cover that part, and other equally disturbing aspects of the scandal, was that he wanted to present a film which would speak in almost lighthearted (if such a thing can even be done on this topic) and simplistic terms that most anyone could understand. As such, the film is presented as mostly comedy, which to me, is both unfortunate and genius. I mean, how best to swallow a bitter, but necessary pill, than to camouflage it with chocolate? While the chocolate in no way makes the pill less effective, it does help it go down easier. In the same manner, what was presented, although not complete, is in no way false. The only falsehoods, come from those who choose to lie to themselves, and to others, by thinking and propagating the thought that presenting these truths is somehow meant to demean them or their political party. These individuals should ask themselves: if your political party needs to be defended from simple truth, facts, data and documentation, how believable, honorable or strong is it to begin with?Lastly, I am not a "shill", I do not work for the film or anyone associated with it; I gain nothing from this or any other review; nor do I really care if anyone believes me. What I do care about is that due to emotional cry-baby attitudes and just plain ignorance, the truth is being silenced more and more, not just on IMDB, but across several platforms. I care that it is truly a tragedy, travesty and sin when ill-informed people CHOOSE to STAY ill-informed. I care about the absurdity of ill-informed people doubling-down and trying to manipulate ratings (such as is the case here) in order to try and sway other such people to also remain ill-informed. WHO in their right minds would choose misinformation for themselves when a vast plethora of information is readily available to us (now more than at any other time in the history of the world). When you think about it, choosing to remain uninformed seems almost unnatural in today's world. The term: "educate yourselves" should not be seen as an insult. This film does that, whether the viewer wants it or not.
Many years ago of course, but as I look back I now realize that this sort of financial treachery has been going on since the Garden of Eden.As a callow youth back in the early 70's on the Island of Jersey in the Channel Islands I landed a job at one of the "conduit banks" that handled remittances from overseas colonies , countries in Africa, The Middle East, India, Pakistan etc.Even then it was shrouded in secrecy and I was too young to realize that the stuff that was going on was mainly designed by Accountants and Lawyers to keep money out of the hands of Governments who wanted it so they could steal it themselves.Local lawyers were given seats on the boards of locally incorporated companies with shares to go along with the appointment but with pre-signed letters of resignation should they get out of line.
In those early 70's it was just an infant industry compared to today , the fire was lit by the fall of the Soviet Union, The European Union and the economic rise of China.So many more crooks materialized with a need to hide their loot.What was millions before, quickly became hundreds of billions as the aforesaid accountants and lawyers looked for loopholes and paperwork to get around taxation laws.It wasn't the politicians who deliberately drew up the laws to allow this exploitation, they usually ain't smart enough, but the lawyers and accountants ARE smart enough and that's why we have this debacle. The problem is that everything is just this side of legal so no one can do much about it.My friend at the time was a senior law draftsman for the Government of Jersey and he told me that they always drew up a law so there was an obscure escape hatch, in case they themselves ever got in a jam.A tweak or two here and there ruins one haven's advantage (and its economy) and opens up another in a different spot.In today's world you can move any amount of money from one jurisdiction to another at the click of a key, without a question being asked.And so this movie examines the spider's web with a touch of humour, a great deal of panache and a fairly good understanding of what goes on when things go south.Meryl Streep is very good in her role and Gary Oldman and Banderas are perfect as the amoral principals in Mossack/Fonseca.There's no such thing as "just desserts" in the world of offshore finance because hardly anyone ever loses. By the time the authorities get around to nailing someone, the money's been moved to another jurisdiction and they have to start all over again.Most people think that you can walk into a bank or law office in one of these places with a court order from the U.S. or Canada (or wherever) and that they will shrink in fear and give you the info you're looking for............. Think again!They just laugh at these orders, because they have no authority in foreign countries and they serve as an early warning system to their clients to move the money, tout de suite, to one of the other jurisdictions I just mentioned.
Think of a cat trying to catch a dot of light on the living room wall and you'll have a good understanding.A couple of things to remember about these jewels in the Caribbean or the Med or the English Channel;1) that the locals don't reap much of the benefits (apart from the few who are part of the game).I myself was paid peanuts for handling vast amounts of money, while the
Fantastic dark comedy about how the super rich hide their money and ruin the world for the rest of us. Just watch it. Anyone down voting this is a political operative or sheep 🤷♀️
The ending of this movie sums it all up about the vicious cycle of the world of greed. People with money pay politicians to make laws to protect their money. Then in turn, the politicians become wealthy and use the same laws that they have on the books to protect their money. The wealthy elite then give money to maintain the status quo. They continue this process, occasionally showing the public a little punishment to a few, but nothing is reformed. There is no protection to the middle class who bear the burden of living.People who don't like this movie, they are either people who support the current system or they don't like the actors or director. It's plain and simple. I can see giving this movie a 7/10 for a variety of technical issues, but not for the content. The movie is real, and truthful, even though they present in a comical format.I thought it was well done and I thought that they did a fantastic job of hiding cameos from other actors, while also presenting what happened in real life. Yes, The Panama Papers are real and yes, every thing you saw is happening right now, around the world.Greed. Greed. And then more Greed.
It will destroy humanity.
Greed for lack of a better word, is not good.
A little bit of virtue signaling here, but if these folks don't speak the truth, who will?I found the film better than I'd imagined. It has a refreshing style for sure and maybe watched by a lot of folks who need the truth put forth to be in this entertaining format. The title of the movie was not an attractive lure, though for me, and I almost passed watching it.So who will not want you to watch this film? The twenty-first-century versions of those who have ruled all the human peasant and slave populations of the world since Homo Sapiens evolved. The same people who are employed by those at the top. They want to keep you under their feet. The "worker bees" that write the nasty reviews.
This was film making at its best. It was light, entertaining, a provocative story telling a difficult truth about our times. The cavalier attitude of the narrators beautifully mimics the mindset of the wealthy, not just of today, but of all times.
They say at the beginning that it is a fairy tale, but I would say it's a modern moral tale, in the vain of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales. You have multiple story lines, of various tones and you get resolution
Don't expect a dark gritty film. This is a satire. It reflects upon the present condition of the human race and as we are in the middle of all this, most don't recognize what's happening to us. The film may not be dark, but it does shed light on dark places that the majority of us don't want to think about. The greed and corruption this movie displays is world-wide and ignored by most, some do it out of avarice, others because they feel hopeless.
The magnificent ending is a reminder that these problems belong to all of us, and only we can make things right.
A nice little movie in the tradition of Adam McKay's Vice and The Big Short. This mixed with the unique style of Steven Soderbergh results in a quirky and entertaining movie about a rather boring topic.
Its informative, funny, a bit sad at times and always extremely well acted.
The most outstanding performance came from Meryl Streep who really surprises ( I am not saying too much here) and really links her unique humour with many deep moments. A really great performance, but who would have expected differently? Gary Oldman was also great. One of his funniest performances ever, never thought he had it in, Obviously Oldman had a lot of fun playing this role and it showed. Same goes to Antonio Banderas who also shines as Oldman's partner.
Them breaking the fourth wall was sometimes a bit irritating but you got used to it very quickly. Another noteworthy performance was by Nonso Anzonie who was fantastic. Wished there had been more of Sharon Stone , I really enjoyed her cameo and character. Also Jeffrey Wright, almost unrecognizable, had some really memorable moments.
The screenplay was really very well written and I really liked Steven Soderbergh's direction on this. He really managed to make such a dry topic entertaining. The only thing I really did not like too much was the very ending of it. Other than that it is a very good film and one of this years Netflix best.
A film that's far more complex than it lets on for most of its running. In fact, I was tempted to tune out, but I'm so glad I saw it through.As much dark humor as there is throughout the film, it's message is ultimately rather depressing, as there seems little hope, sad to say. But still, a cracking good film, and something that anyone with a brain needs to see.
This movie is about a very boring subject. This also happens to be a rather complicated subject. What this film does with the subject however makes the movie entertaining from the first to last minute.
Democracy being expressed through theatre, drawing the public's attention to a serious issue that effects us all.Thanks goes out to the actors that brought their acting talent with performances worthy of award, as well as, lending their celebrity status to draw attention to this issue.