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Inside Job 

The how and why of the recent global financial crisis cogently and compellingly explained

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The financial mess -- from Icelandic banks and foreclosed homes in Vegas to credit crunches and mega-bucks corporate bailouts -- is hardly the stuff of entertainment. But despite its occasional skimming of complicated economics, Charles Ferguson's new doc film is a compelling, two-hour financial horror show. As he did with his earlier how-we-got-into-this-mess film about Iraq, No End in Sight, Ferguson marshals a huge amount of information into a cogent timeline. Ferguson, by refocusing viewers on the crisis, has three points to illustrate here: what led to the crisis; how it unfolded and which warnings went missed; and how, having dodged a bullet, not much of what went wrong has been reformed. Inside Job tells its story primarily through talking heads, but Ferguson has a gift for piecing together a compelling indictment.  Much of the material will be familiar to those who have been following this story, but the problem is so complex that every recitation helps. For fresh meat, Ferguson opens up a new closet of ugly that is among the film's better payoffs – the all-too-cozy alliance between government, the financial industry and academic economists, many of whom provided the imprimatur for a decade of increasingly risky capitalism. And unlike the slick-suited gods of Wall Street and career politicians, these academic superstars don't hold up well to Ferguson's cross-examinations. Post-crisis, it's cold comfort, but satisfying all the same to see some folks who benefitted from the mess squirm under the hot lights. Starts Fri., Nov. 5. Manor

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