“The Big Short” didn’t open in the Quad Cities as early as it opened in Chicago, so I saw it there some time ago, and I can tell you that I need a crash course in the stock market. The breaking of the fourth wall with explanations helped some, but I am no financial guru and even discussions of derivatives from the Crash of 2008 were confusing for the likes of me (and English major).

Now, we have a movie with an All Star cast that includes Christian Bale, Ryan Gosling, Steve Carell, Marisa Tomei, Finn Wittrock and directed and written by Adam McKay, who is better known for lightweight comedies that do not require much thinking or intelligence.

This movie requires both. I found it to be a crash course in the financial crisis that nearly ruined the United States and world economy.

My favorite movie, so far, is “Spotlight,” but this film is definitely up there on the list of The Best of the Year. It was fun listening to NPR interview Adam McKay about the film. He talked about the advisers on the film and admitted that “Sell it all” is probably not the way a true broker would have voiced that particular command. Nevertheless, it was used in the film for the moment when Steve Carell finally agrees with his employees that the time for selling the “shorts” that bet against the variable mortgages was NOW.

I’ve not (yet) seen “Star Wars,” which I’m sure I’ll enjoy. I missed “Bridge of Spies” (Tom Hanks), but I did see “Spotlight,” which is the best I’ve seen, so far.  I saw “Brooklyn,” but it’s never a good sign when you begin making a grocery list while the movie runs. It’s beautifully photographed and Saiorse Ronan will probably receive a nomination, but I found that the film dragged considerably.

I could have seen “Carol” in Chicago during the Film Festival, but I was scheduled to be on a panel at the Highland Park Library, and it only showed that night, so I missed that one, which should garner Oscar nods for its leads, at least.

I remember being impressed with Jason Bateman’s performance in the thriller “The Gift” and I enjoyed the sweet nostalgia of “Creed,” if not the hip-hop rap score that accompanied Michael B. Jordan’s star turn as the fighter being coached by Sylvester Stallone in the Burgess Meredith role.

There are other movies on my Must See list. I’ve been fortunate enough to see Michael Moore’s new documentary in Chicago in October and “Hitchcock/Truffaut” documentary then, also. Both were very good.

More about movies in the future, my Big Time hobby and love. Just don’t say you weren’t warned that “The Big Short” will require some serious concentration and the male lead in “Brooklyn” is a bit short for its female lead. Maybe the director of “Brooklyn” should have told Saiorse to lose the heels in the scene in Central Park where she is to put her head on her boyfriend’s shoulder, because, with heels on and their obvious height disparities, it was a really awkward scene.