- Alternate Character Interpretation: The author himself notes that there's basically two ways you can view the protagonists: either they're a group of outcasts using intelligence and integrity to make money at the expense of a thoroughly corrupt system, or a bunch of holier-than-thou hypocrites gambling on human misery, little better than the bankers themselves.
- Award Snub: While it won the 2016 Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay, Bale lost the Best Supporting Actor, McKay lost Best Director, and the movie lost Best Picture. It did have stiff competition between Fury Road, The Revenant, and the eventual winner Spotlight for Picture, so...
- Carrell was nominated for best comedic performance by the Golden Globes, but that didn't cross over to an Oscar nomination for Best Actor.
- Best Known for the Fanservice: Ah, yes, The Big Short, that movie about Margot Robbie sipping champagne in a bubble bath. And finances, or something.
- Broken Base:
- Not surprisingly, the movie has gotten a lot of division from viewers along political/ideological lines, from ardent supporters who praise it for exposing the Morally Bankrupt Bankers whose greed led to the financial collapse in 2008, and the naysayers who dismiss it as a one-sided propaganda piece pushing a nakedly anti-capitalist agenda.
- Also, the Fourth Wall breaking scenes where they use celebrities to explain some of the more complex economy terms and elements to the audience. Some people consider they help to set the tone of the film and see them as an entertaining way to educate the audience, while others consider they treat them like they were idiots who are incapable of following the story without using attention-grabbing gimmicks. And some people still have a hard time grasping the complexities even after the explanations.
- Crosses the Line Twice: FrontPoint team visiting a recently-built urban development in Florida. It's an almost haunting scene where they see the reality of the real estate bubble firsthand was they discover it's basically a Ghost Town. Then it crosses to funny when Danny and Porter find an alligator living in the pool of one of the abandoned properties and have to walk away in a hurry.
- Funny Moments:
- The film has several, but Margot Robbie's explanation of sub-prime mortgages, as delivered while lying in a bubble bath sipping champagne, is a strong contender.Margot Robbie: Basically, Lewis Rainieri's mortgage bonds were amazingly profitable for the big banks. But then they ran out of mortgages to put in them. After all, there are only so many homes and so many people with good enough jobs to buy them...right? So the banks started filling these bonds with riskier and riskier mortgages [she is handed a drink] — thank you, Benter — that way, they can keep that profit machine churning right? By the way, these risky mortgages are called: Sub-prime. So...whenever you hear sub-prime...think: Shit. Our friend Michael Burry found out, that these mortgages bonds that were supposedly 65 percent AAA, were actually just, basically full of shit. So now he's going to short the bonds, which means...bet against. Got it?...Good! [Death Glare] Now, fuck off.
- Similarly, casting Deadpan Snarker Anthony Bourdain As Himself to explain what a C.D.O. is by comparing it to Mystery Meat that a restaurant made out of soon-to-expire food is both brilliant and hilarious.
- The phone call between Jared and Mark near the end of the film is a good one
- The Flashback scene where a Rabbi calls for Mark Baum's mother when he figures out just why the 10-year-old does so well in his studies at the yeshiva.
- The film has several, but Margot Robbie's explanation of sub-prime mortgages, as delivered while lying in a bubble bath sipping champagne, is a strong contender.
- Informed Wrongness: While we're supposed to view the Baum's group just as amoral as the banks when the S&P officer calls him a hypocrite, it comes off as forced and looks more like a bad attempt at Black and Gray Morality since a) what S&P group is largely still illegal and borderline fraudulent, while what Baum is doing is actually very legal, if capitalistic; and b) Baum is betting against the banks, who are hardly innocent in this case, while S&P and the banks are largely screwing up a whole country and people that are largely ignorant of what's going on because they've been lied to about being able to refinance their debt (which they couldn't).
- One-Scene Wonder: Robbie, Bourdain, Thaler, and Gomez would certainly qualify, as would Melissa Leo as a S&P executive, and Marisa Tomei (in a couple of scenes) as Baum's wife. Also, Karen Gillan.
- Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped: A lot.Ben Rickert: Do you realize what you've done? You've bet against the American economy. And if you win, hardworking people will suffer, so try not to celebrate.
- Squick: For the people who are uninformed and some others who are informed, when Burry put a tissue in his eye socket in front of his newest employee is this. Sure, he is cleaning his glass eye but the dude is still new and thus unfamiliar with him.
YMMV / The Big Short