Dumb Money (2023) Movie: Small Retail Investors Versus Wall Street Moneybags

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Dumb Money narrates an outrageous true story that shocked the world. It is a financial story about a small Retail Investors group versus the Wall Street moneybags in the USA.

It is based on the book “The Antisocial Network: The GameStop Short Squeeze and the Ragtag Group of Amateur Traders That Brought Wall Street to Its Knees” by Ben Mezrich.

Synopsis [official summary] of the Dumb Money (2023) movie

Dumb Money is the ultimate David vs. Goliath tale. It is based on the unbelievable true story of everyday people who flipped the script on Wall Street. And they got rich by turning GameStop (yes, the mall videogame store) into the world’s hottest company. In the middle of everything is regular guy Keith Gill (Paul Dano). He starts it all by sinking his life savings into the stock and posting about it.

When Keith Gill’s social posts start blowing up, so does his life and the lives of everyone following him. As a stock tip becomes a movement, everyone gets rich – until the billionaires fight back. And then both sides find their worlds turned upside down.

Spoiler Free Review of the Dumb Money (2023) movie

As its filmmakers claimed – you can’t make this $hit up. In fact, a couple of years ago, we witnessed this amazing financial story unfold itself on the Reddit (& subreddit) platform.

COVID-19 lockdown and un-lockdown periods in 2020s

During the COVID-19 lockdown and un-lockdown periods, we stayed back at home. As our family members insisted on the nascent idea of working from home. Moreover, they did not want us to catch the virus and bring it back home to our loved ones. The universal sufferings of fellow humans hit by a pandemic were sad and tragic. Therefore, at that time, while at home, we spent a fair bit of time on social media.

The world was shrinking as we discovered the blurring of borders. In those tricky times, these GameStop stock incidents played right in front of our eyes – on Reddit. So, we followed that amazing story regularly. By all means, we followed and read Reddit’s r/WallStreetBets too. Therefore, we regularly used to keep track of this amazing financial story. Especially, as it was a case of popular uprising by the netizens of Reddits.

They had captured our imaginations at that time. As a group of small guys unitedly took down the big guys of Wall Street in the stock market. We were geographically too far from the scene of action. Even then, we got emotionally attached to this modern-day proverbial tale of David versus Goliath.

And no doubt, it was an interesting captivating tale for all of us.

So, what is the basic story of this film?

In short, this film narrates almost the step-by-step account of how a divergent and loosely connected group of common netizens used the GameStop stocks to invade Wall Street. So, these internet users (so-called average Joe) on a subreddit group named r/WallStreetBets took down one of the biggest hedge funds on Wall Street. In addition, they also challenged the status quo in the stock market. The place where the money-power dominates in the majority of the cases. This financial revolution attracted the attention of the US govt. too.

I like the stock!

Keith Gill (talking about the GameStop)

The film focuses on an investor named Keith Gill, who kickstarted it all

Led by Keith Gill, this divergent group of common people toppled the established Wall Street people. These commoners were the small retail investors in the stock market. But, together, they challenged the might of financial giants. Such as Gabe Plotkin of hedge fund Melvin Capital, billionaires like Elon Musk, Steve Cohen, Mark Cuban, Robinhood co-CEOs Vlad Tenev and Baiju Bhatt, and Ken Griffin of Citadel Securities. And, then the authorities and establishment intervened.

However, there are other key characters and their context in this film

Now, let us get back to the story of the film. Firstly, we meet the enigmatic Keith “RoaringKitty” Gill (Paul Dano). Then, we meet – nurse Jenny (America Ferrera), college student Harmony Williams (Talia Ryder), salesman Marcos Garcia (Anthony Ramos), etc. They all are the representatives of the informal stock market investors’ groups who invested in GameStop.

At that time period, the r/WallStreetBets group was more of an online forum for jokes. So, it was crowded with the stock market meme. However, they also had investment tips to make money, discussions about the losses, and the now-popular diamond hand emojis. But it all changed when some of its group members identified an opportunity in GameStop stock. So, they hitched their wagon to its star pitcher u/DeepF**kingValue. All of them invested heavily in GameStop and made millions on Wall Street. What is more credible, is that they did so by going against the biggest hedge funds on Wall Street.

Holy fucking shit!

Keith Gill (talking about the GameStop)

This film focuses on a few days that led to this financial uprising in the USA, we have shared the timeline of events – both preceding and following in the spoilers alerts below.

Besides, its story, what else, do we like in this film?

So, this movie does not tell the entire story of this amazing financial upheaval in recent times in the US. Maybe, its makers could have used the mini-series option to tell this unbelievable true tale. In spite of narrating the curtailed version of the events, this film is captivating and engrossing to watch. Moreover, we liked the direction of the film by Craig Gillespie.

We liked the ordinary folks played by Paul Dano (Keith Gill), America Ferrera (Jenny), Shailene Woodley (Caroline Gill), Anthony Ramos (Marcos Garcia), Talia Ryder (Harmony Williams), etc. Their characters and individual stories really touched our hearts. Meanwhile, the contrasting lifestyle of the wealthy Wall Street billionaires was insightful too.

Some people may not like the in-your-face poster (shared below) of this movie, but it only showed the rebellious nature of the commoners. As they challenged the well-established system rigged in the favour of the rich. The film’s music is composed by Will Bates and it has popular soundtracks like WAP by Cardi B, 21 by Darko, a song by Megan Thee Stallion, etc. rolled on with the idea of the financial rebellion. Given the context, we liked these.

The conclusion

This film also offered us a peek into a fascinating world of a bunch of real (billionaires) people, their big egos, their greed, dizzying swings, etc. Not to forget, the big corporate drama and the drama in the lives of ordinary American folks. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed our perspective towards the world. Sometimes, the relatively poor guys do get to win in this unequal world dominated by money power.

Give us a similar well-made David versus Goliath movie based on true story, any day and any time. We would love to see more of this kind of film.

Ratings of this 2023 movie about GameStop stocks & Wall Streets

FM’s rating3.75/5
FM’s short commentsKudos to this movie, as it has worked hard to capture those moments when the plebeian nerds with limited income battled with Wall Street billionaires. And then many of these commoners emerged victorious. This particular true story about the GameStop stocks is much more amazing and incredible in real life. No doubt, it is a complicated yet entertaining film.
Rating of the Dumb Money (2023) movie.

Spoiler Alerts – what really happened with GameStop stocks

A brief note about the GameStop short squeeze true tale

So, what is GameStop?

Well, GameStop is a video game retailer in the USA. This company operates stores out of malls and shopping centres. They sell the go-to name in the game and console sales industry in the aughts. It was once a favourite mall stop for America’s youth, teens, and game-oriented adults. However, by the mid-2010s, they began to lose their market share as the shopping mall traffic came down. Besides, there were cultural changes too, as the majority of the gaming industry’s customers began to opt for online purchases.

What was its fate at the end of the 2020s decade?

No doubt, the downward slide of Game Stop was on. However, it was still listed on NASDAQ with GME moniker. By the end of the 2020s decade, GameStop’s business was struggling big time. As a result, its stock prices were sailing in the same boat. While the sharks were out for the kill in the financial market.

Even, the hedge funds and other large, institutional players in the Wall Street stock market had already begun to bet on the retailer’s demise. Consequently, the stock market’s negative perception led to a further dip in its stock price. In fact, its stock price fell below its per-share book value for much of 2019 as the short selling continued to drive its share value downward.

But, then came the COVID-19 pandemic period

Many analysts thought that GameStop’s fate was all but doomed, more so when the COVID-19 pandemic shut down much of the retail economy in early 2020 across the USA. However, it was not to be. Over the next year, however, something amazing and unprecedented events happened. The so-called ‘Dumb Money‘ took over the reins.

At that time, the plebian retail investors (mostly tech-savvy youngsters) got an extra bit of disposable income (pandemic stimulus money and unemployment checks) with them in the USA. In addition, because of the lockdown, most of them had ample free time in their hand.

Some people had time and money to invest

Therefore, many of these folks decided to use their time and monetary resources to better use. Furthermore, in a collective attempt to take advantage of the company’s low share price (e.g. GameStop) and high short interest, some of them turned their attention towards the stock market. 

2019: A timeline of the GameStop short squeeze (Part 1)

1st timeline/2019

Imp. DatesWhat was happening in the stock market?
1 June 2019The stock price of GameStop closes at around $7.47 per share.
31 July 2019GameStop’s short interest stands at around 57,226,706 of 90,268,940, meaning that over 63% of the company’s outstanding shares are currently sold short. (Bloomberg reports)
30 August 2019The stock price of GameStop closes at $3.97 per share.
31 December 2019The stock price of GameStop closes at $6.08 per share.
Part one of the Wall Street and the GameStop story – timeline

Reference: – An in-depth timeline of the GameStop short squeeze saga | The Street

2020: A timeline of the GameStop short squeeze (Part 2)

What happened in the COVID-19 pandemic period?

Please note:- The events depicted in this film occurred over a longer period than is alluded to. Keith Gill first said his famous phrase “I like the stock” on Reddit in January or February 2020, just as the COVID-19 pandemic was about to hit.

2nd timeline/2020

Imp. DatesWhat was happening in the stock market?
July 2020Keith Gill (Roaring Kitty) begins releasing YouTube videos, wherein he explains that he has held a position in GME (GameStop Corp) since mid-2019 (around the same time Burry bought into the company). Also, he believes the GME company is undervalued and over-shorted.

Furthermore, Keith Gill makes the same case on Reddit’s subreddit forum – r/WallStreetBets as its user – u/DeepF**kingValue.
31 August 2020The stock price of GameStop closes at $6.68 per share.
30 November 2020The stock price of GameStop closes at $16.56.
8 December 2020GameStop hosts its Q3 earnings call. However, the GME company misses Wall Street revenue estimates due in part to pandemic-related store closures. In addition, it reports an adjusted net loss of $0.53 per share, thereby causing its shares to slide sharply downward in after-hours trading.
Part two of the Wall Streer and GameStop story – timeline

Reference: – An in-depth timeline of the GameStop short squeeze saga | The Street

2021: A timeline of the GameStop short squeeze (Part 3)

What happened in the year 2021?

The events in the film unravelled over the 12 months, with Gill finally testifying (as seen in the film) in February 2021. Gill had actually been trading in small amounts of GameStop stock since 2019, having paid $5 per share back then, but when the price dropped to $3 a share as the pandemic hit, he was temporarily laid off from his full-time job.

He actively took to playing the market with this one company on a hunch and posting on social media about it, citing that with nothing else to do during COVID restrictions. young Americans will resort to playing video games more and more. This logic gained traction and word spread among communities that he may have hit upon something.

As seen in the film, Wall Street brokers paid little attention at first until the figures just grew and grew and then they resorted to suspected ‘dirty’ tactics to quash it.

3rd Timeline/2021

Imp. DatesWhat was happening in the stock market?
11 January 2021The stock price of GameStop closes on the first day of January trading at $17.25.
11 January, 2021Ryan Cohen, the activist investor who owns over 10% of GME (GameStop Corp) stock, joins the company’s board of directors along with Alan Attal and Jim Grube, two e-commerce specialists who also used to work for Chewy.
13 January 2021The stock price of GameStop jumped to an intraday high of $38.65 on the news of Cohen & Co’s appointments to the company’s board.
19 January 2021Citron Research, a prominent GME (GameStop Corp) short seller, tweets that GameStop’s retail investors are “suckers at this poker game” and that the stock will fall “back to $20 fast.”
20 January 2021Citron Research cancels a planned report on short interest in GameStop amid supposed harassment from GME (GameStop Corp) bulls.
22 January 2021GME’s short interest stands at around 140%, meaning 40% more shares had been sold short than actually existed on the open market. This occurred because shorted shares were re-lent and shorted again. The GME Shares go up by over 50% to close at $65.01.
25 January 2021Citadel invests $2.75 billion in hedge fund Melvin Capital, which is heavily short on GameStop. More than 175 million GME shares are traded, and the stock closes at $76.79.
26 January 2021Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, tweets “Gamestonk!!” and shares a link to r/WallStreetBets, the Reddit message board on which bullish retail investors discuss and promote GME. The stock of the GME surges, closing at $147.98.
27 January 2021Equity and options trading volume in the U.S. reached its highest-ever single-day level (24.5 billion shares and 57.1 million contracts traded, respectively. GME sees its highest close of the squeeze at $347.51 after reaching an intraday high of around $380.

Melvin Capital and Citron cover most of their short positions at staggering losses.
28 January 2021GME reaches a pre-market high of over $500.

Robinhood, a fee-free trading app popular among GME’s army of retail investors (along with several other popular brokerages) halts buying of GameStop stock but continues to allow sell orders), angering investors and prompting suspicions of market manipulation.

GME closes at around $193.60.

The U.S. Financial Services and Senate Banking Committees plan a hearing for February 18 to discuss the GME phenomenon.
Part three of the Wall Streer and GameStop story – timeline

Reference: – An in-depth timeline of the GameStop short squeeze saga | The Street

2021: A timeline of the GameStop short squeeze (Part 4)

4th Timeline/2021 (final)

Imp. DatesWhat was happening in the stock market?
2 February 2021Janet Yellen, U.S. Treasury Secretary, requests a meeting of regulators to discuss the volatility created by the recent wave of retail trading. GME closes at $90.
4 February 2021Robinhood lifts remaining trading restrictions on GME and related stocks. GME closes at $53.50.
18 February 2021A hearing titled “Game Stopped? Who Wins and Loses When Short Sellers, Social Media, and Retail Investors Collide” is held by the U.S. House.
Part four of the Wall Streer and GameStop story – timeline

Reference: – An in-depth timeline of the GameStop short squeeze saga | The Street

Posters of the Dumb Money (2023) movie

  • Dumb Money (2023) Movie Poster
  • Dumb Money (2023) Movie Poster 2

Key details of this 2023 movie about GameStop stocks & Wall Streets

GenreBiography, Comedy, Drama
Original languageEnglish (USA)
Age-restrictionsA (18+)
ReleasedSeptember to November, 2023
Runtime1 hour 45 minutes
WritersLauren Schuker Blum, Rebecca Angelo & Ben Mezrich.
DirectorCraig Gillespie
CastPaul Dano (Keith Gill), America Ferrera (Jenny), Shailene Woodley (Caroline Gill), Anthony Ramos (Marcos Garcia), Vincent D’Onofrio (Steve Cohen), Pete Davidson (Kevin Gill), Nick Offerman (Ken Griffin), Seth Rogen (Gabe Plotkin), Talia Ryder (Harmony Williams), Sebastian Stan (Vlad Tenev), Rushi Kota (Baiju Bhatt), Olivia Thirlby (Yaara Plotkin), etc.
AwardCritics Choice Awards Celebration of Cinema & Television – 2023 Winner Groundbreaker Award – America Ferrera {Shared with Barbie movie}
DistributorsSony Pictures Entertainment & Columbia Pictures.
TaglinesDear Wall Street…
About – Dumb Money (2023) Movie.

Trailer of this 2023 movie about GameStop stocks & Wall Streets

Trailer – Dumb Money (2023) Movie – Sony Pictures India | YouTube.

Featured Image and Poster of the Dumb Money (2023) Movie | Sony Pictures India.

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