The Big Short is a 2015 American biographical comedy-drama film directed by Adam McKay and written by McKay and Charles Randolph, based on the 2010 book The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine by Michael Lewis about the financial crisis of 2007–2008 which was triggered by the United States housing bubble. The film stars Christian Bale, Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, Brad Pitt, Melissa Leo, Hamish Linklater, John Magaro, Rafe Spall, Jeremy Strong, Finn Wittrock and Marisa Tomei.
The film is noted for the unconventional techniques it employs to explain complex financial instruments. Among others, it features cameo appearances by Margot Robbie, Anthony Bourdain, Selena Gomez and Richard Thaler, who break the fourth wall to explain concepts such as subprime mortgages and collateralized debt obligations as a meta-reference. Several other actors directly address the audience, most frequently Gosling, who serves as the narrator.
The film began a limited release in the United States on December 11, 2015, followed by a wide release on December 23 by Paramount Pictures The film was a financial and critical success, grossing $133 million against a $50 million budget, and receiving positive reviews. The film was nominated for five Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Supporting Actor for Bale, Best Film Editing and Best Adapted Screenplay, winning the last.