Reddit's GameStop Saga Becomes Netflix's Funniest True Story in Dumb Money

Reddit's GameStop Saga Becomes Netflix's Funniest True Story in Dumb Money
Image credit: Columbia Pictures

The Wolf of Wall Street? How about the Wolf of r/WallStreetBets?


  • In 2021, Redditors managed to profit handsomely while saving GameStop from bankruptcy by buying back all of its short shares, thereby increasing the value of them.
  • In September 2023, a dramatization of these events, the comedy film Dumb Money, was released.
  • After the movie was added to Netflix in January 2024, Dumb Money became an instant hit.

Before the Covid-19 pandemic, GameStop was just another local retailer selling video games and consoles and managed by a shy neighbor or former classmate. Except that the same surly employee behind the counter might now be a millionaire, having cleverly beaten his employer in the stock market. After all, in January 2021, one of the most ridiculous cases in the history of modern capitalism took place, yet it had the whole Wall Street on its toes — ordinary Reddit users came out on top, while hedge funds lost hundreds of millions of dollars in a matter of days.

We're talking about the so-called GameStop-gate, based on the events of which the biographical comedy Dumb Money was released in September 2023, starring many of the defining comedians of modern Hollywood, Paul Dano, Pete Davidson, Seth Rogen and Nick Offerman, among other equally high-profile movie stars. The film was recently added to Netflix's vast library and is now one of the funniest biopics available on the streaming service.

Hilarious Film About Redditors' Risky Venture

Dumb Money is a biographical comedy-drama directed by Craig Gillespie (Lars and the Real Girl, Cruella), based on Ben Mezrih's book The Antisocial Network, which itself tells the story of a crazy move by redditors who managed to turn the entire stock market upside down and ride off into the sunset, making millions.

By 2020, many investors believed that GameStop was headed for bankruptcy in the near future. As a result, hedge funds began shorting their stock, believing that it would be more profitable to sell now rather than wait for the price to plummet. This was noticed by r/WallStreetBets users, led by financial analyst and part-time YouTuber Keith Gill (played by Paul Dano), who, despite all the doubts, encouraged his fellow users to buy all the shorts.

As a result, as soon as the shares became scarce, their price began to rise rapidly, and the firm that sold them, Melvin Capital Management (whose manager was played by Seth Rogen), suffered a loss of 53% of the company's total value.

The Internet went frenzy over the unprecedented and definitely ridiculous case of investor myopia that allowed amateur financiers to get rich quick. Redditors laughed it off, even when Robinhood, the service through which the whole scheme was executed, tried to restrict the purchase of GameStop stock, which led to a congressional trial and allowed Keith Gill to walk away with $50 million.

Dumb Money Became a Sensation on Netflix

According to What's on Netflix, Dumb Money became one of the most-watched movies in the United States after its release on the streaming service on January 21. The movie was one of the favorites of American users of the service during the week of January 22-28, breaking into the Top 10 feature films and holding the number two spot on that list for several days. That's pretty impressive, considering that Dumb Money went virtually unnoticed during its theatrical run, which began on September 15, 2023, failing to recoup its $30 million budget and grossing only $20.7 million at the worldwide box office.

Even then, however, the majority of critics and audiences remained positive about the film. On Rotten Tomatoes, critics gave the film an 84% score and audiences an 85% score, a rare instance of both sides agreeing. Critics and audiences alike noted that while Dumb Money sometimes overdramatizes rather ridiculous events and doesn't reveal all the details of GameStop-Gate, the script is quite witty, funny, and fast-paced. Perhaps the only complaint was that the movie contains an unnecessary amount of profanity, so be careful before watching it with the whole family — Dumb Money is rated R!