Common Sense Note
Parents need to know that The Big Short is based on the bestselling book by Michael Lewis. It follows the story of several investors (played by Christian Bale, Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, and Brad Pitt) who were among the first to spot warning signs in the real estate market that triggered the global financial meltdown of 2008. By betting against the housing market, they managed to reap huge gains as the economy crumbled, leaving millions out of work and homeless -- which might make some viewers feel pretty conflicted about rooting for them. There's some raucous drinking, plenty of strong language (mainly "f--k" and "s--t"), and glimpses of topless strippers/exotic dancers in this finance-themed dramedy, which is best suited for adults and older teens.
A few scenes that take place in strip clubs feature topless/half-dressed women.
Heated exchanges between people who are losing lots of money. References to personal loss, including via suicide.
Frequent swearing throughout, mainly "f--k," "a--hole," and "s--t."
Mixed messages; the characters profit hugely as the economy crumbles, but their story also shows how It's tough to be the first person to realize something important, because everyone else will be convinced you're mistaken or crazy. It's also hard to stand by your position in the face of consistent opposition; it's all too easy to start to doubt yourself.
Many well-established financial companies are mentioned, including Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Countrywide, Bank of America, JPMorgan, and more, with a special focus on Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers. Mac and Dell computers, BlackBerry and Nokia mobile devices, Bloomberg terminals. Discussion of the high-end restaurant Nobu. Caesar's Palace.
Drugs / Tobacco /
Several scenes are set in bars, restaurants, and nightclubs where people are drinking. Some sequences show people celebrating big financial deals with liquor.