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Stockbrokers go wild in 'Wolf of Wall Street'

 Director Martin Scorsese attends the 'The Wolf Of Wall Street' premiere at Ziegfeld Theater on December 17, 2013 in New York City.

Stock market manipulation and gross excess by Wall Street is a familiar storyline for all of us affected by the financial crisis and recession.

But just five years after the economy hit bottom in 2008, moviegoers are about to be reminded of that. But are they ready?

Martin Scorsese's "The Wolf of Wall Street," opens Christmas Day and is based on the autobiography of stock-broker-gone-wild Jordan Belfort (played by Leonardo DiCaprio). The movie takes a surreal look at the money, drugs, and excess of Belfort's illegal enterprise.

Wesley Morris, film critic at Grantland, says Scorsese's film uses the film's "laugh-out-loud" comedy to ridicule the extravagance of Belfort's lifestyle.

"Scorsese as a New Yorker sort of feels like there's something disgusting and infuriating about a lot of the roots of the crisis being rooted in the place that he's from," Morris says.

The three-hour film takes audiences into Belfort's impetuous world where helicopters land on yachts, partiers binge on everything you can imagine, and drugs flow freely: A world financed by penny stock market manipulation and investor fraud.

"The movie itself makes that world into such a circus that there's no way in the world one could hope to emulate it. Only a psychopath will leave the film and want to."

About the author

Kai Ryssdal is the host and senior editor of Marketplace, public radio’s program on business and the economy.

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