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Money Monster
  • Composed by Dominic Lewis
  • Sony Classical / 2016 / 39m

Directed by Jodie Foster, Money Monster is a thriller starring George Clooney as a television presenter who gives financial tips, one of which is to invest in a company which shortly afterwards sees its share price plummet.  One disgruntled man (Jack O’Connell) who invested his life savings based on the tip goes into the studio and takes Clooney hostage.  It is Foster’s fourth film as director (she has also done a number of episodes of television) and she has picked her third different composer.  Her first two films were scored by Mark Isham, the next by Marcelo Zarvos and this time it is Remote Control-based Dominic Lewis who was given the assignment.  Lewis is a frequent collaborator with Henry Jackman (who is credited – rather prominently – as this score’s producer) and has some additional music credits on scores by Ramin Djawadi and John Powell amongst others, along with some previous solo work.

His score for Money Monster is mostly gritty and electronic, a very modern thriller score with a clever and at times rather complex sound design.  Multiple layers of percussion sit atop one another, with various samples, synths and occasionally piano providing textures.  Given the film’s subject matter it’s not surprising that most of those textures are rather dark, but it’s by no means a depressing soundscape – there’s a nearly-constant sense of forward motion which gives the music a dramatic impetus that lifts it above what it might have been and when it does slow down, it’s for generally very pleasant Cliff Martinez-style dreamy ambience, which are my favourite parts of the score.  Certainly there are some sections which are as black as coal, and this just isn’t a style of music that I particularly enjoy, but it’s well-crafted and dramatically compelling so if you do like the style of music I think you’ll find it impressive.

Rating: ** 1/2 | |

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  1. Lu-Hiep Phan (Reply) on Tuesday 7 June, 2016 at 16:53

    I dig the theme that appear throughout the album. Some of the electronic element can verge on the grating side, but for the most part, really well done.