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Movie Review

There will always be someone who is smarter than you. And that’s bad for business.

That’s why Eva Torres recruits the brightest minds for her fast-paced, high-frequency trading deals. Time is money. Down to the millisecond. And right now, Eva’s formulas are the quickest in the world—grabbing information in a scant 16 milliseconds and garnering the big bucks for her company.

Vincent Zaleski believes that he and his cousin, Anton, can beat that number. By one millisecond. All they’ll need to do is build a thousand-mile fiber-optic tunnel from the Kansas Electronic Exchange to Wall Street.

Easy. Well, theoretically.

First, he and Anton must leave Eva’s cult-like business (an affront she doesn’t take lightly) and forge their own path. Second, the duo will need multiple construction teams as they attempt the impossible. Third, they will need complete secrecy on all sides.

But nothing is sacred, or secret, in the world of money. Soon, Vincent and Anton find themselves racing against their own clock to finish before Eva finds out and decimates their lives—right down to the last penny.

Positive Elements

Anton is a loving father who wants to protect and help his family (even though some of his choices could also put his wife and daughter in danger). Similarly, Vincent initially has a good heart (though his motives gradually become distorted and corroded by greed and bitterness).

After a man is diagnosed with cancer, he realizes that the most important things in life are not material. He begins to focus more on his family, repaying debts and living life at a slower pace.

Members of an Amish community speak about the importance of human connection in a fast-paced, technological world. Vincent and Anton begin to see this truth as the film progresses. The two men also learn that life is about our important relationships and what we do with our time.

Some larger philosophical questions come into play as well, such as the meaning of life, the importance of community and the need to pursue justice (not just money).

Spiritual Content

Vincent tells a two people that he’s suffered from nightmares for months in which a “shadow man” is standing over him. He says he doesn’t know whether the ominous presence is there to warn him or to kill him.

The Amish tell someonew who wants to purchase their property that they live their lives “in the service of God.” They're not interested in money, but in preserving and caring for God’s land.

A man likens a physical location to Dante’s Inferno.

Sexual Content

Someone asks if a business is a “legitimate” establishment before receiving a massage (during which we see him shirtless). Another man is seen sans shirt in a hot tub and elsewhere. A woman wears cleavage-baring tops.

Violent Content

Eva Torres ensures that those who “betray” her will pay for their transgressions. She makes multiple threats against Vincent and Anton, telling Anton specifically that she will make his life “hell.” Vincent likewise threatens Eva.

Vincent attends his father’s funeral. Later, Vincent describes his father as a harsh man who used him as an outlet for his own anger.

A man dying of cancer collapses. We see his urine mixed with blood. He's eventually rushed to the hospital. We hear that a man was slapped in the face after an argument. After a business program is hacked, employees smash their keyboards in furious anger. Someone says he wants to burn Wall Street “to the ground.” A man fleeing the FBI on foot gets tackled.

Crude or Profane Language

God’s name is misused once, and Jesus’ name is abused twice. The f-word is used more 50 times, and we hear about 20 s-words. Other profanities include multiple uses of “a--hole,” “a--,” “b--ching” and “h---.”

People are occasionally called “stupid” and “dumb.” A man refers to bodily waste as “p-ss” and “s---.” Someone repeatedly says “screw you” to a friend. We hear a few harsh Spanish profanities.

Drug and Alcohol Content

Men and women drink wine and liquor. Vincent smokes cigarettes.

Other Negative Elements

Due to high levels of stress, Vincent yells often at those who ruin his plans (and ocassionally threatens them as well). Similarly, Eva abusively degrades her workers who, in turn, do the same to one another.

Both Vincent and Eva are highly suspicious of anyone who could be a potential threat to their machinations. Eva sends men to spy on Vincent and his team. She eventually frames a man unjustly, resulting in his arrest for stock market fraud.

An elderly man makes a racist statement. A woman treats her employees as “disposable assets.” A pessimistic woman states her belief in Murphy’s Law.

Conclusion

The Hummingbird Project isn’t your typical thriller. In fact, it’s not really a thriller at all as much as an intense drama that interweaves multiple story lines about various characters' choices and values—and the consequences some of them eventually face.

Set in the context of high-frequency stock trading, this story revolves around its characters' brilliant minds and insatiable desire for more contrasted with their hollow souls and moral bankruptcy. Along the way, this coarse morality tale encourages viewers to recognize the futility of lives driven totally by materialism as they consider what is most important in the world.

As R-rated films go, this one is relatively tame. At least, visually speaking, that is. Unfortunately, a barrage of harsh profanity bombards our ears over and over again, making the moral about materialism at the heart of this story less accessible than it could have been.

Pro-social Content

Objectionable Content

Summary Advisory

Plot Summary

Christian Beliefs

Other Belief Systems

Authority Roles

Profanity/Violence

Kissing/Sex/Homosexuality

Discussion Topics

Additional Comments/Notes

Episode Reviews

Credits

Rating

Readability Age Range

Author

Cast

Jesse Eisenberg as Vincent Zaleski; Alexander Skarsgård as Anton Zaleski; Salma Hayek as Eva Torres; Michael Mando as Mark Vega; Johan Heldenbergh as Amish Elder; Sarah Goldberg as Mascha; Frank Schorpion as Bryan Taylor; Kwasi Songui as Ray Engineer; Ayisha Issa as Ophelia Troller; Anna Maguire as Quant Jenny; Ryan Ali as Quant Elias

Director

Kim Nguyen ( )

Distributor

The Orchard

Network

Performance

Record Label

Platform

Publisher

In Theaters

March 22, 2019

On Video

June 25, 2019

Year Published

Awards

Reviewer

Kristin Smith

Content Caution

Kids
Teens
Adults
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