Shia Lebeouf and Michael Douglas perform very well in this movie. Douglas pulls out his tough executive and business leader character as we've seen in some of his previous works like Wall Street (in which he plays Gordon Gekko prior to his conviction) and A Perfect Murder.
Their performances are easy to watch. The actress, Carey Mulligan, however pulled me out of the story. At least three times, as she acted, I became aware of well, not bad acting, but strange acting. Reuniting hearts with her father on the steps outside a benefit, she begins to cry. Her lips wrinkly and push off to the side in a way that only a very small child, confused, would - maybe - contort them. It is a strange expression. The other disrupting scenes are also caused by odd reactions expounded by atypical facial contortions.
There are two scenes that I would call "thought control" or disinformation. In one, we see the leaders of the major banks and investment firms sitting at a long table in the Federal Reserve. They explain that the bailouts are necessary or "life as we know it" will end.
I know you will believe me when I say that, three months from now, simpletons and other irresponsible types will be telling others at parties that the bank bailouts were justified and Obama saved the world by doing so. Really, they know only what they were told to think.
Second is near the very end. In a voice over, as the camera reviews several scenes, Shia's voice tells us that there will be a second "bubble" in the market caused by leveraging bad debt at extremely high ratios. Afterword, a "New Day" will emerge.
Basically, this is the New World Order they are talking about.