Slideshow 'Rules Don't Apply': Mnuchin's Hollywood days

  • February 17 2017, 3:18pm EST
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'Rules Don't Apply': Mnuchin's Hollywood days

Steven Mnuchin was selected for Treasury Secretary because of his experience at Goldman Sachs, where he was a partner for 17 years, and his work leading OneWest Bank, which bought the assets of failed IndyMac and was eventually itself purchased by CIT Group. But Mnuchin is also known in Hollywood as a "money man," a financier able to secure funding for movies, earning himself an executive producer credit in the process. Following are selected films from his many credits.

Our Brand Is Crisis

If Mnuchin had any hint he was going to enter politics, he probably wouldn't have bankrolled this film about a burnt-out political consultant (Sandra Bullock) who travels to South American to help resuscitate a candidate's flailing campaign. Mnuchin may have even felt like he was living out the film last year when he bankrolled Donald Trump's campaign. Like the movie, an unpredictable candidate is given no chance of winning — but manages to prevail anyway. And you have to admit, that title does seem to fit the current administration pretty well. This movie didn't score well with audiences, earning a low 35% on Rotten Tomatoes, but it's not exactly bad, either. Bullock is watchable, even if the film's finale seems tonally off from the rest of the film.

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Rules Don't Apply

No, this movie is not about the Trump presidency, even though this Warren Beatty film about an aspiring actress does involve an eccentric billionaire. It wasn't even produced by Mnuchin. But it does feature Mnuchin in his only acting role to date, playing an executive at Merrill Lynch. The name of his character? Steve Mnuchin. This makes Mnuchin likely the only Treasury secretary in history to play himself in a movie before ever taking the job. (But he'd have to duel Alexander Hamilton at dawn to become the most famous head of Treasury.)

Mad Max Fury Road

Let's be honest. A Mad Max sequel/reboot in which the titular character is effectively sidelined in favor of a practically bald Charlize Theron doesn't sound like it would be a hit. Indeed, the plot really only consists of Theron and Tom Hardy (playing Max) driving down—and then back—along Fury Road. But Theron's acting chops, the mind-blowingly good stunts and the film's surprisingly feminist message helped make this movie a hit critically and commercially. It earned an incredible 97% on Rotten Tomatoes and went on to earn $379 million worldwide at the box office, according to Box Office Mojo.


On the other side of the scale was the third collaboration between Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore, a romantic comedy that was a bomb with audiences and critics. It earned a dismal 14% on Rotten Tomatoes, which says it lurched between slapstick and schmaltz but was mostly just dull. The movie made just $46 million in the U.S., barely enough to cover its $40 million budget, but the surprisingly robust international box office of $81 million helped ensure Sandler's movie career would continue to limp along.

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The Lego Movie

Everything is awesome! On paper a movie centered around toy bricks shouldn't stand a chance. But a funny script with a heartwarming message, combined with terrific voice acting from Chris Pratt, Elizabeth Banks, and Will Arnett as Lego Batman served up a movie that was perfect for the entire family. It scored 96% on Rotten Tomatoes and earned $469 million worldwide.

Suicide Squad and Batman V. Superman

How do you mess up not one but two movies starring some of the most famous characters in comic book history? Apparently you don't spend any money on coherent scripts. Batman V. Superman may have raked in the bucks for Mnuchin and other investors — earning $873 million worldwide—but the movie was a mess. The plotline made little sense (and involved some of the most unrealistic hearings on Capitol Hill ever filmed), Superman was reduced to being a brooding anti-hero, and a key point in the film involved the fact that both Superman and Batman had mothers with the same name. Still, that movie looked like an artistic triumph next to Suicide Squad, which put some of Batman's fiercest foes together into a film where the best thing about it was the soundtrack.

The Lego Batman Movie

Now, this is how you do a Batman movie! Arnett's Lego Batman may be arrogant, brash and a poor role model for his young ward, Robin, but he's hilarious to watch. The movie features incredible battles, sharp-tongued humor and The Daleks from Doctor Who, but it still manages to pack in a life-affirming message about family. It's currently out in theaters, so the financial haul isn't settled yet, but it's already led the box office for two weeks in a row and scored a 91% on Rotten Tomatoes, showing just how much audiences liked it.