7 Reasons You'll Absolutely Love "The Wolf of Wall Street"

The StressTest column appears every Thursday on Fool.com. Check back weekly, and follow @TMFStressTest.

Photo credit: Trailer on YouTube.

The Wolf of Wall Street is the movie that everyone's talking about -- on Wall Street and off. I saw the movie, and needed an airline-style puke bag to handle a few of my reactions.

That said, there are plenty of reasons why moviegoers from all walks of life will go absolutely bananas for this movie. I've tried to limit the spoilers in here, but I do give away a few things -- so if you haven't seen the movie, be forewarned.

1. You're a psychopath. 
If you have psychopathic tendencies and are looking for a movie that crowns as king someone who remorselessly trounces over others, then you've found your flick. The Wolf portrays the wild highs of the swindling life without spending so much as a minute considering who the victims are on the other end.

But if you're a psychopath, why would you want any of that ooey-gooey stuff anyway? You're devoid of normal human empathy anyway. 

2. You think Wall Street is inherently evil.
For some, this will be seen as the ultimate Wall Street comeuppance, as financiers are shown sporting their true colors as nothing more than criminals and hucksters. Surely there's nothing more to Wall Street than cocaine and hookers. Surely.

So if that's your view, and you love confirmation bias, then this movie was tailor-made for you.

3. You don't have access to nudie channels at home.
If you've heard anything about this movie, it may be about the excessive amount of nudity. You did not hear wrong. It's excessive. Of course, if family life has you missing the days of curling up on the couch on Saturday night for some late-night Cinemax, then this is the ticket. Just don't bring the in-laws.

4. You're a disillusioned twentysomething.
If you're in your mid-20s to early 30s, lost and possibly jobless, then this movie could turn the tides for you. It shows, plainer than most other movies I've seen, just how awesome white-collar crime is. You get to live the high life as you swindle hordes of suckers out of hard-earned cash and then, when you finally get caught, you do some cakewalk time in a cushy prison and come out the other end ready to make your next fortune giving speeches about how to be... uh, wicked awesome.

If you think any of this would make you uncomfortable, please refer back to No. 1 above.

5. You've always longed to see Leonardo Dicaprio on ludes.
There's a long scene that depicts Dicaprio on a heavy dose of ludes. A very long scene. I mean, it's like, "I just got up and went to the bathroom and got a refill on popcorn and Coke and, oh yeah, grabbed some Junior Mints too and this scene is still going on" long.

So yeah, if you've been dying to see Leo on ludes, this is your dream come true.

6. You've wondered what Goodfellas would be like on Wall Street.
I love Goodfellas. Frankly, I think it's better than The Godfather (gasp! I know). So I was A-OK with seeing Goodfellas again in Wall Street garb. If you're a Goodfellas and Marty Scorsese fan, too, then I bet you'll agree.

7. You want to revel in your smart decision to be a long-term investor.
The protagonist -- if we can call him that -- of this movie is a cold-hearted swindler. But, to be fair, on the other end of his phone calls are people who are greedy enough to buy into his oily pitch.

The Wolf of Wall Street may not accurately depict all of Wall Street. But even "legit" Wall Street brokers don't always have your best interests in mind, penny stocks are almost always a great way to get fleeced, and very often boring old index funds are the best way for mom-and-pop investors to build their wealth.

If you're already practicing prudent, long-term investing, watching The Wolf at work will only make you smile smugly as you admire your own wisdom... er, well it could make someone smile like that, but not you. No, you're above that.

So go ahead, cough up that $12 because there's something in The Wolf of Wall Street to please just about anyone. Unless, I guess, if you're the couple sitting in front of me that got up and left 20 minutes into the film.

Dodge The Wolf and listen to Warren
Warren Buffett has made billions through his investing, and he wants you to be able to invest like him. Through the years, Buffett has offered up investing tips to shareholders of Berkshire Hathaway. Now you can tap into the best of Warren Buffett's wisdom in a new special report from The Motley Fool. Click here now for a free copy of this invaluable report.


Read/Post Comments (11) | Recommend This Article (26)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On January 03, 2014, at 12:27 AM, colleran wrote:

    I must wonder who the idiots were that invested with Decaprio's "firm". I thought we were beyond investing in penny stocks. Maybe this was a flashback. As for the nudity, we need more of that and less violence in our movies.

  • Report this Comment On January 04, 2014, at 1:53 PM, saveyourmoney wrote:

    The reviewer forgot one thing. The f....word is used over 500 times in this piece of Hollywood excrement. Such excess is evidence of (a)script writer fatigue; (b)script writer with challenged vocabulary; (c)script writer who just says, ah--what the hell--deCaprio's in it, they'll pay to see it no matter what. Save your money.

  • Report this Comment On January 04, 2014, at 6:31 PM, hank321 wrote:

    Hollywood never gets Wall Street films right. They never have. This most recent Wolf film is made to entertain (and make money, too, btw), and people in the audience like to feel they are superior to the folks who make more money than they do. The film confirms their shallow, self-serving biases. That is human nature.

    There are good financiers and bad ones. There are good teachers and bad ones. There are good journalists and bad ones. What else is new?

  • Report this Comment On January 04, 2014, at 10:26 PM, hisaacs wrote:

    What a pleasure to read Matt's review. After reading so many reviews by "critics" raving about the movie I thought maybe they had not seen the same "stinker" that I had.....or am I just old-fashioned. Outright porn, excessive foul language,

    masturbation, nudity, public urination, and so-o-o long.

  • Report this Comment On January 05, 2014, at 9:02 AM, cmalek wrote:

    Methinks the author protests too much. Perhaps the movie hits too close to home?

    Besides the nudity and language, how is "Wolf" different from "Wall Street" with Michael Douglas and Charlie Sheen?

  • Report this Comment On January 05, 2014, at 1:40 PM, truthserumanyone wrote:

    'Wolf Wall Street' entertains - yet speaks to the truth. Until you know of real people who lived this type of life, your comments are speculative. I've heard the stories... work all day on ludes and get stoned; go out to the girly bars with clients at night, do coke; get car service back home by 5 or 6 AM, shower and head back to NYC . This is real!

    Many of these guys back in the day, were out of control power brokers. And the F word, just as common as the word 'the'. Rude,crude, sleezy, bombastic...but TRUE.

  • Report this Comment On January 06, 2014, at 1:14 AM, Taff wrote:

    You could read this review and be forgiven for thinking the movie is fiction. It may be a gross exaggeration but Jordan Belfort, played by DiCaprio, and his company Stratton Oakmont were real enough. His salesmen used to call me frequently during the 90s trying to sell me stocks. Fortunately, I resisted the temptation..

    The movie may have been an exaggeration but if so it was an exaggeration of the truth. Give Hollywood a break, their job is to entertain and the movie is entertaining.

    Perhaps people like Belfort give Wall Street a bad name but then so do CBOs and CDSs and other instruments that even their issuers do not fully understand. Frankly I do not believe that history demonstrates that Wall Street has the interests of individual investors as its top priority or even a middling priority. I have not seen many orange jumpsuits or demands for personal accountability since the 2008 sub-prime mortgage crisis and market meltdown. So yes I do not have a high opinion .of Wall Street and did not need this movie to sell me on that!

  • Report this Comment On January 06, 2014, at 11:24 AM, mainelegal wrote:

    I thought it was preposterous until a (female) guest host on CNBC described calls from her girlfriends describing strippers regularly on the trading floors, (and where strippers wander booze and drugs must also lurk,) bossman predators stalking the young talent they were supposed to be supervising and other stories.

    Seems it might be closer to the mark than I thought.

  • Report this Comment On January 06, 2014, at 10:55 PM, RevMarkOlson wrote:

    Anyone thinking of attending this film and feeding the beast might do well to read this blog by the daughter of Tom Prousalis first.

    http://blogs.laweekly.com/informer/2013/12/wolf_of_wall_stre...

  • Report this Comment On January 10, 2014, at 3:37 PM, bellpa wrote:

    What a coincidence. I just got home from this seeing this movie, or at least some of it. Like the couple Matt refers to my friend and I left early.

    The long scene where the brokers were discussting (Yeah, I meant to misspell) the things they could and could not do with or to dwarfs hired for a throwing contest was the final assault to our sensibilities and that is where we walked out.

    I am sure there is an element of truth to the wall street culture of using others for one's own gain, but by this point in the movie I was feeling very used by Hollywood in their pathetic attempt to portray another group as even more debauched than they themselves are.

    The only saving grace was the fact that the theater refunded me for my waste on time in the form of a voucher ticket for a more entertaining choice.

  • Report this Comment On January 12, 2014, at 9:52 AM, Nvr2old52 wrote:

    Totally agree with RevMarkOlson above. Also read http://www.laweekly.com/informer/archives/2013/12/16/how-the...

    I had originally planed to see this movie but after realizing it was a true story & reading how many people he fleeced I couldn't do it. Congratulations to DiCaprio, Scorsese & the rest for capitalizing on the fraudulent and reprehensible actions of this scumbag (Belfort). Makes me want to puke.

Add your comment.

DocumentId: 2781835, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 4/21/2014 1:14:53 AM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...


Advertisement