MONEY MONSTER [R] B-
Going into “Money Monster,” I anticipated a smart and savvy thriller reminiscent of Spike Lee’s “Inside Man,” a brilliant caper with a surprising twist rooted in real world concerns and history that somehow never seemed like a cheapening of those issues. Jodie Foster, as both a performer and director, exudes prestige and a willingness to challenge (and confound) expectations, and here, matched up with the likes of George Clooney, Julia Roberts, Dominic West and Giancarlo Esposito; I assumed “Money Monster” would be white-knuckle affair. The real surprise is just how pedestrian the movie feels, playing familiar notes. When doomed Everyman (Jack O’Connell) takes an outrageous cable financial TV host (Clooney) hostage after a stock market glitch leads to questions of conspiracy, we know the glib host will embark on a journey of truth and redemption, but I wanted Foster to make “Monster” a bit more culturally and politically relevant, when instead she seems content to simply drag us along for a high-speed joyride.