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The Wizard of Lies (2017)

The Wizard of Lies (2017)

Robert De NiroMichelle PfeifferAlessandro NivolaNathan Darrow
Barry Levinson


The Wizard of Lies (2017) is a English movie. Barry Levinson has directed this movie. Robert De Niro,Michelle Pfeiffer,Alessandro Nivola,Nathan Darrow are the starring of this movie. It was released in 2017. The Wizard of Lies (2017) is considered one of the best Biography,Crime,Drama movie in India and around the world.

The fall of Bernie Madoff, whose Ponzi scheme robbed $65 billion from unsuspecting victims; the largest fraud in U.S. history.

The Wizard of Lies (2017) Reviews

  • Surprisingly fascinating... even when you the story well!


    I was somewhat surprised by this biopic, since I'm well-acquainted with the modern Ponzi scheme story and the $65 Billion ripoff committed at the private investment firm. But even for those familiar with the general story, the documentary film provides a fascinating portrait of the Madoff family and the key characters. Overall it reminds me of an epic Greek tragedy. The principal crime committed by Bernie Madoff is clearcut. Officially, Madoff run a phenomenal hedge fund, but in reality it was just one big hoax and pyramid investment scheme. All ROIs were fictitious and existing investors were paid by the money provided by subsequent investors. Aside from defrauding rich individuals of European royalty, Madoff took advantage of the fact that he as a jewish investor had excellent contacts to other wealthy American jews, which allowed him to swindle countless of the latter of all their retirement savings. All in all, in the end it led to countless tragedies and suicides on both continents. The financial thriller behind it has been well-told by previous accounts, particularly 'No One Would Listen' by Harry Markopolos (i.e. the financial analyst struggled to expose the fraud for many years). It's also true that the ramifications would have been much more limited if the SEC would have done their job properly. However, what this biopic does is following Bernie Madoff and the effects of the exposure on his own family, i.e. particularly his wife Ruth and his two adult sons. It seems as his family was completely unaware of the fraud and the movie does a good job in explaining how his sons never got the information from their dominating father. Later, when it all blew up the fraud also wreaked havoc on the lives of his wife and sons. In the end, it was all for nothing. The family members would lived longer and happier lives without massive fraud committed by the Bernard. While the portrait of him is by no means completely unsympathetic, he remains seemingly oblivious even to this day to the devastation he caused in so many lives, including to those nearest to him. The main roles played by Robert de Niro and Michelle Pfeiffer are brilliant, but also the less-known actors playing his two sons.

  • Not what you think (probably)


    After reading a couple of negative reviews about this movie, I get the impression that the people who found it insufficient or boring completely lost the point. Levinson didn't try to pull a "Fincher" with this one. In other words, "Wizard of Lies" is not a documentary, touching on each and every aspect of this infamous case in every detail. This is more of a psychogram (i.e. character portrayal) of the members of the Madoff family. With that in mind, the movie touches wonderfully on the dynamics of an ultimately patriarchal family; the "castration" of the sons, the absolute dependence of every member of the family on the father, and on what happens when this father goes down in a big, BIG way. If you are interested in learning about the greatest financial fraud in the history of the USA (some say of all time), then visit the Wikipedia page or watch a documentary. This movie will not cover your needs. If you want to watch a beautifully directed, acted and edited psychological drama, then "The Wizard of Lies" is right up your alley.

  • Portrait of a Sociopath


    Richard Dreyfuss claims first portrayal of this monster, but he made Bernard out to be somewhat approachable, as he talked through the fourth wall and joked about the art of selling a scam. He was good but too likable. DeNiro is one of our great acting treasures and his take is nothing nice at all. In fact, it is impossible to like this man. He is evil here, and while one can have some sympathy for Ruth and her sons, the entire tragedy, almost out of Shakespeare, is well done. It bounces around a bit to the past and present, but easy to follow and under the direction of Barry Levinson, moves smartly. But don't watch this if you want a positive evening - hard film indeed. Shot of whiskey portrayal of a monster.

  • Whatever you do, don't steal from the very rich...


    ... is the lesson I took away from the Bernie Madoff story, even before I saw this film. Think about this - Bernie Madoff is serving 150 years, and his earliest release date is 2039. Charles Manson has been getting regular parole hearings since the 1990s. Who is more dangerous? A better question is who is more dangerous to the plutocracy. The whole story is basically done in flashback after Madoff is incarcerated and is being interviewed by a reporter. This film takes the approach of assuming that the wife and sons knew nothing until Bernie told them right before he was arrested. If there is anything the Bernie Madoff story would teach you, it is "Don't steal from the very rich". The movie emphasized all of the little people who lost everything to the Ponzi scheme, but there were enough people with enough money left over - as in hundreds of millions - that they could hire attorneys and even claw back money from people who withdrew all of their money before Bernie went bust, even though they knew nothing of the scheme. Compare that to what happened to the banksters who swindled the entire nation - which was absolutely nothing, or Enron, where the Bush administration had to practically be shamed into prosecuting the executives who swindled investors. To date about 70% of the money Bernie Madoff swindled has been recovered, with "small" investors - those that invested less than a million - being made completely whole. Anyways, back to "The Wizard", which doesn't mention any of this. DeNiro was terrific as a guy who decided to keep his swindling secret to himself - and one smarmy associate played by Hank Azaria. Michelle Pfeiffer as Ruth Madoff almost stole the show from DeNiro as a woman who can't deal with being ostracized and hated for something she had nothing to do with. She wonders aloud how she got to be almost 70 and never learned to do anything for herself. De Niro's Madoff is shown as being able to compartmentalize how he is stealing from investors, many of whom are family and friends, encouraging those at the end to put in huge amounts of money to keep the scheme afloat in the wake of the 2008 crash, which is ultimately what did him in, and somehow sees taking what is left of his ill gotten gains and distributing it to his family and "a few loyal employees" before he turns himself in as "noblesse oblige" not just more theft, which it was. Hints to Madoff's personality are in the little scenes. He is very stoic about being the world's biggest and most brazen thief caught to date, but he does get animated about a dirty dish and the way lobster is served at a society dinner he is hosting. There is one particularly odd scene for Turner Classic Movie fans. At one point, while Bernie is under house arrest, Bernie and his wife decide to commit suicide in "a nice way" using Ambien and a bunch of other pharmaceuticals they have around the house. It doesn't work - they wake up the next morning. But as they lay in bed expecting to die, who pops up on the TV screen they are watching but the recently deceased Robert Osborne and TCM with him introducing Judy Garland singing "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas". What an odd touch. I didn't even think anybody at HBO even knew that TCM existed.

  • Prepare yourself


    Some reviews argue that it should have been a mini series but I argue the opposite, this is perfection! To add would only dilute it. Yes, your left pleading for more but that's not because it's left unsatisfactory. No, it's because during the entire film, you're absolutely riveted and captivated! People, this is Barry Levinsons film, headed by De Niro and Michelle Pheifer! Levinson is a genius at his craft as are the formers. This film is bleak and at times depressing but I promise you never for a second not so engaged in it! De Niro becomes Madoff physically even the way he walks. The cast is incredible. Finally De Niro immersed himself into a character that can portray his craft. This is one vehicle, the cast-directing-editing, that sums up to make a masterpiece! This is by far the most captivating, engaging, riveting movie I've seen this year by far! Do yourself a favor and watch this immediately!


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