Film Review: Over-Produced, Misguided ‘Chasing Madoff’ Buries the Lead

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CHICAGO – What Errol Morris does so well is very, very difficult. He takes unusual interview subjects (“Fast, Cheap, & Out of Control,” “Mr. Death), sometimes even with a political background (“The Fog of War,” “Standard Operating Procedure”) and makes them completely riveting. Clearly inspired by the Morris filmography, Jeff Prosserman’s “Chasing Madoff” attempts that blend of personality and history but falls flat on its face. Rarely has a documentary taken a more interesting story and told it in a more annoying manner.

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 1.5/5.0
Rating: 1.5/5.0

Chronicling the men who smelled something foul in the Bernie Madoff portfolio years before anyone paid attention to what would eventually become one of the stinkiest situations in the economic downfall, “Chasing Madoff” has interesting interview subjects at its core. I’d love to actually be able to sit down and listen to what they did without all the over-dramatization of this movie. I’m not sure if Prosserman simply didn’t trust that he had a compelling-enough story without tricks or if he was consciously going for the Morris weird-but-true aesthetic. Either way, some disastrous pre-production decisions were made and, much like the people who ignored the illegal acts of a very bad man, some significant filmmaking problems were never addressed.

Based on the book “No One Would Listen: A True Financial Thriller” by Harry Markopolos, this is the almost-100%-true story of the man who authored the source material and whose interviews serve as a vast majority of the running time of the documentary. If you have issues with Mr. Markopolos (and I have a few), you’re going to have issues with the film because he’s as front-and-center as Morgan Spurlock in one of his non-fiction works. Apart from whether or not Markopolos works as a film subject, he certainly saw something that others had missed when he tried to blow the whistle on Bernie Madoff a full decade before anyone did a damn thing about it.

“Chasing Madoff” was directed by Jeff Prosserman and released in Chicago on September 2nd, 2011.

StarContinue reading for Brian Tallerico’s full review of “Chasing Madoff”

Chasing Madoff
Chasing Madoff
Photo credit: Cohen Media Group

StarContinue reading for Brian Tallerico’s full review of “Chasing Madoff”

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