Levinson's delicate portrait of Madoff's downfall was the highlight of a 14-hour flight from Chicago to Abu Dhabi. The far-reaching damage of Madoff's buffoonery is well-documented, but De Niro offers a rather convincing portrayal of a man who seems unable to grasp the ripple effects of his deceit. Not all biopics have to dive into a character's life story.
Overlong, oddly sympathetic portrait of Madoff as his empire dissolves. De Niro delivers his best performance in years or he's surrounded by particularly weak actors. It's hard to decide. The sons are particularly bad-- Lifetime movie bad with zero nuance and several over-emoted rage sequences. The moment where Bernie and his wife attempt suicide by Ambien is kind of lovely, haunting, real. Here, it's the exception.