Review: Wall Street thriller ‘Equity’ banks on women

‘Breaking Bad’s’ Anna Gunn stars in this sturdy financial drama about a security company’s forthcoming IPO

Adam Graham
The Detroit News

“I like money.”

That’s what “Breaking Bad’s” Anna Gunn explains in “Equity,” a shrewd tale about women on Wall Street and the glass ceiling, corruption and back-stabbings they face from their male co-workers and one another.

Gunn plays Naomi Bishop, a banker working on an IPO for a San Francisco internet security firm who’s still smarting from when her last deal went belly up. Alysia Reiner plays Samantha Ryan, who works at the Department of Justice and is investigating an associate of Bishop. Sarah Megan Thomas plays Erin Manning, a VP underneath Bishop looking to make a name for herself.

In essence, they all like money and don’t feel the need to apologize for it. Nor should they. We’re so used to seeing movies made by and starring men in these roles that it’s quietly revolutionary to see a movie about women in the workplace, owning their lives and decisions and not having to play nice.

Gunn is as tough-talking and no-nonsense as she was on “Breaking Bad”; her dismantling of a co-worker over the number of chocolate chips in a cookie he delivers her is the movie’s most delectable moment.

Director Meera Menon, working from a screenplay by Amy Fox (who came up with the story with Reiner and Thomas), plays things low-key and delivers a sturdy, character-driven financial thriller.

There are particulars over a firm’s evaluation and IPO that feel a bit insider-y, but “Equity” does its best to boil down its story to its base elements, which are easy to pick up.

It’s about honesty, loyalty and getting ahead. And it’s about liking money, and everything that comes with it.


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Rated R for language throughout

Running time: 100 minutes