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  • Oddly, this movie is billed as a comedy but I think it was more of a drama and, coincidentally, since it was a mixed mag, so is the lead actor in here: John Cusack. He is acceptable, but nothing super. Cusack plays an ordinary guy, "Joey Coyle," who accidentally finds a million dollars and then tries to keep it. Supposedly, it's a true story (or at least based on one.) What happens to Joey and his million bucks (which had fallen out of an armored car) is not a story of joy and happiness. That's justice, since the honorable thing would have been to turn the money in, to where it belongs, so there are moral lessons taught in this story. What happens - a mixture of drama, comedy plus action and suspense - was pretty entertaining to watch. I wouldn't call this a "keeper," meaning a movie to buy and add to one's collection, but it's worth a rental, especially if you enjoy watching Cusack perform. I have found him to be a consistent actor. In dramas, I think Cusack can be outstanding ("The Grifters," "Eight Men Out," "Identity," etc.) but in comedies, he stinks ("Bullets Over Broadway," "The Road To Wellville," "Grosse Pointe Blank," etc.) Also, the rest of the cast includes some real characters, many of them out of a mob movie: actors like James Gandofini, Elizabeth Bracco, Debi Mazur, Michael Rapaport, Michael Madsen, Benicio Del Toro, Maury Chaykin and Philip Seymour Hoffman - not exactly the kind of actors you'll see in a light, sweet comedy! Halfway through this film I wondered if the writers knew where they were going with the story. I'm not sure they knew, but at least it entertains.
  • Joey Coyle (John Cusak) is a young man of twenty-six years old and without any perspective in life: unemployed, with basic level of instruction only. Living with his brother's family and his mother. One day, when he is coming back home with his friend Kenny Kozlowski (Michael Rapaport) after not being hired to work in the dock, he finds 1.2 million dollars that felt from an armored car. He decides to keep the money, and this is the beginning of a series of stupidities, in a true story. Being a simple man, Joey has no malicious and does not know how to handle with such amount of illegal money. This movie alternates action, comedy and drama and entertains. The cast is great. My vote is seven.
  • "Money For Nothing" is a watchable little movie, but nothing spectacular. How could it be really, when it's based on a premise that's not particularly interesting in the first place? A guy finds some money and the police is looking for the money. There you go.

    The real reason to watch this is the amazing cast, which wasn't very well known yet in 1993 when this movie was made. Michael Madsen, Benicio Del Toro, Philip Seymour Hoffman and James Gandolfini all in one movie, that's really a treat. The shining light, however, is the leading star himself. This may not be John Cusack's best movie, but it may very well be his best performance.

    "Money For Nothing" suffers a bit from the fact that it can't decide whether it wants to be a drama, a crime story or a comedy. Still, it makes for an enjoyable viewing. Catch it, if it's on TV.
  • In Philadelphia, Joey Coyle (John Cusack) can't even get a day's work at the docks from his brother Billy (James Gandolfini). While Kenny Kozlowski (Michael Rapaport) is driving him home, they find $1.2 million that fell off of an armored truck bound for Trump's casino. Kenny refuses to take any of the money. Joey asks his ex-girlfriend Monica Russo (Debi Mazar) who works in investments to help. He goes to bookie Dino Palladino (Benicio Del Toro) who takes him to Vincente Goldoni (Maury Chaykin) to launder the money. Detective Laurenzi (Michael Madsen) is investigating the case.

    John Cusack is not dumb enough for this to be funny. This character is an idiot. He can't even do basic math under duress. I've never bought Cusack playing an idiot. It would work better if Joey is played by a comedian who does stupid well. Don't get me wrong. I like Cusack and I like this movie ... to some extent. Joey is such an idiot that it would be a great black comedy if the movie is cast right.
  • wes-connors27 April 2013
    Unemployed South Philadelphia dockworker John Cusack (as Joseph "Joey" Coyle) can't even get picked for day work by his own brother James Gandolfini (as William "Billy" Coyle). Still, he gets a tuna sandwich to share with buddy Michael Rapaport (as Kenny Kozlowski). On the road, the men are behind a truck when something falls out onto the street. Thinking it might make a good tool box, Mr. Cusack stops retrieves the container, which turns out to enclose $1.2 million...

    His friend advises turning in the money for a reward, but Cusack wants it all...

    A "Tareyton" smoker, Cusack would rather fight than switch. Realizing the smiling Ben Franklins need to be "laundered," Cusack brings a portion of the cash to former Catholic school classmate-turned-hood Benicio Del Toro (as Dino Palladino) and his gangster boss Maury Chaykin (as Vincente Goldoni). Cusack also finds out how easily money can get ex-girlfriend Debi Mazar (as Monica Russo) aroused. Like Dire Straits said, "Money for nothing" gets you "chicks for free."

    While all of this is going on, detective Michael Madsen (as Laurenzi) is trying to find the missing money...

    This is an entertaining picture by Ramon Menendez and his crew, but the winning situation (poor Philadelphia guy gets a chance to be rich) might have worked better as a drama; possibly, the project started as such and changed direction. The film begins with the dramatic phrase, "Based on a true story." This telegraphs the outcome and removes some of your investment in the lead character, unfortunately; many people (like me) being unfamiliar with the real-life Joseph John Coyle.

    ****** Money for Nothing (9/10/93) Ramon Menendez ~ John Cusack, Debi Mazar, Michael Madsen, Benicio Del Toro
  • merk21429 October 2000
    This movie made about as much money in its theatrical release as Joey Coyle found in the road. And that's a damn shame. (I was 1 of the few people who saw it the weekend it opened and closed) While it's not a great movie, there are so many talented actors in it, and the story is so sadly compelling that all I can do is say watch it.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    The movie is based on true story (book is called Finders Keepers). Having read the book, I was interested in seeing this one. The book's tone was that of a light comedy.

    **Possible Spoiler** Dumb crooks do stupid things which is why they get caught.

    The scenery is South Philly - so you may be reminded a lot of Rocky or Invinciable. I guess it's hard to make a poor dumb guy down on his luck comedic. If the screenwriter had been able to pull it off, it would have been a much better movie. As it is, it's just OK.

    The difference between this and a caper movie is the suspense that leads up to the crime. Here, it's just an accident. And believe me, the wrong guy was at the wrong place at the wrong time. The IMDb rating is accurate - somewhere between a five or six, depending on your mood or how much you like John Cusack.
  • John Cusack plays Joey Coyle, an unemployed man from Philadelphia who decided to try and keep a bundle of money which accidentally fell off an armored million dollars to be exact! The story, albeit true, isn't cinematically original but did have some fresh possibilities. Unfortunately, the handling here is colorless and one-dimensional, and the film is saddled with a flat conclusion. Cusack does all right, but too many of the secondary characters are saintly and rather unbelievable. The movie's chummy tone also proved to be a false front, as the life of the real Joey Coyle came to a sad, tragic end. ** from ****
  • "Money for Nothing" shows us what one man did when he found that sum in the streets of South Philly and learned that "finders-keepers" is not an easy caveat to abide. A not-to-be-taken-seriously light drama full of familiar faces which rolls along with tongue-in-cheek, "Money for Nothing" makes for a fast moving sofa spud watch now on broadcast. (C+)
  • JasonL17 January 2004
    This movie is based on the true story of Joey Coyle who found some money lost by a bank and tried to keep it. It is very realistic and the cast includes lots of familiar names like John Cussak, Philip Seymore Hoffman, Benicio Del Toro and Michael Madson, all giving convincing performance. For me it should be rated about 7.2.
  • I have always been a big John Cusack fan and out of all the movies he's made I think that MONEY FOR NOTHING is his best one. It's smart, funny, intense, and has great performances from John Cusack and Debi Mazar. It may not be the best movie in history, but at least it will keep you entertained for a few hours.
  • Mickey Knox28 November 2000
    What would you do if you'd accidentally find 1.2 million dollars? Take it, although it's illegal and the whole police will be on your trail? Or return it, get a 20.000 dollars reward, but live patiently, with no problems? That's the theme of the movie and the lucky guy that finds the money is John Cusack. Worth to watch, but still too simple plot (it's a theme that could've lead to great situations), predictable ending, poor acting and not tensed at all. Vote: 5 out of 10.
  • AKS-631 May 2000
    "Money for Nothing" is a pretty good film based upon a true story (although I guess everyone already knows that the person the film is based upon, Joey Coyle, committed suicide before this film's release). The talents of John Cusack and Philip Seymour Hoffman in one and the same film is really, really interesting. Both of them are among the best actors today and even though Hoffman has a very small part he is still memorable. But the film doesn't seem to know if it's a comedy or a drama and this is not so good. Sometimes it work, but it doesn't work in this film. It's not a bad film, but it could definitely have been better. (5/10)
  • This is the true story of a guy named Joey Coyle (John Cusack) that finds a bag of a million dollars after it falls off a truck. I rented it because John Cusack and his sis Joan (not in it too) are some of my favorite actors and hadn't heard of Coyle prior. There was a book first too called Finder's Keepers by Mark Bowden. Coyle is a guy in a rut with as far as he sees it, no dreams, or drive to keep him wanting to live. Then he finds that bag of over a million dollars and BAM... has something to live for. Coyle even remembers his old squeeze Monica (played by Debi Mazar) that, he long forgot about due to his struggles. The the guy tries to win her back as now with the money, he has a reason to want her love and to pursue dreams.

    A lot of people would find a bag of money on the side of the road and take it to the police. Coyle gives reasons not to and they are easy to relate to ones. Funny joke in this too about why Franklin smiles on the bill and the people on bills do not.

    The moral dilemma in this one and questions that arise are good and well thought. And it has all these names you'll know (Michael Madson, James Gandolfini, Phillip S. Hoffman, and Del Toro), but they were no name actors at the time. Watch it if you get the chance. Also, do not look up Joey Coyle until after watching it. It might in addition pay off for you to watch the ending credits and pay close attention to both the songs at the beginning and the end of the movie. Each have specific meaning to the character and increased my interest as a viewer.
  • Highly underrated movie deserves a better look, telling the real facts happened in Philadelphia in 1981 when a young guy called Joey Coyle found 1.2 million dollar that fell off of armored car in desert road, all end up in jail, perhaps the best performance made by John Cusack and supported by a great casting as James Gandolfini, Debi Mazar, Michael Madsen, Benicio Del Toro, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Michael Rapaport among others, the movie shows all little mistakes committed by Joey which taking him to be arrested, in Fact the real Joey has found dead supposedly committed suicide just before the movie release!!


    First watch: 1998 / How many: 3 / Source: Cable TV-DVD / Rating: 7
  • This true story revolves around unemployed dock worker Joey Coyle (played by John Cusack) who implausibly yet miraculously happens to find 1.2 million dollars in unmarked bills on a roadside which has fallen off the back of a security truck. He is then faced with the choice of returning the money or keeping it for himself. The plot recounts his foiled attempts to hide, spend and launder the money through the local mob... and to win back his ambitious and beautiful ex-girlfriend.

    Even John Cusack's excellent acting ability can't save this movie. If I'm understanding correctly, this story is "based on" a true event. Man finds 2 bags of one-hundred dollar bills that have fallen from an armored truck, (total of 1.2 million dollars) and decides to keep the money. Whereupon he sets about throwing money around, even after a TV newscaster reports that police are looking for anyone who is spending a lot of hundred-dollar-bills. In one scene, he passes out money to strangers on the street. This mental midget tells practically everyone he knows about his good luck, deals with criminals in an effort to "launder" the money, and naturally, criminals being what they are, they cheat him by taking $600,000 in greenbacks and trying to give bags of nickels in return. Given this character's goal of keeping all the money and living a sumptuous life, there seemed to be nothing too ignorant for him to do in the process of defeating his own purpose.

    Overall rating: 6 out of 10.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    "Money for Nothing" is not uninteresting as a combination of drama and comedy, in this story based upon a real life incident. John Cusack is good as Joey Coyle, a Philadelphia longshoreman unable to get work. With no real prospects in life, he's ecstatic when fate seems to drop a miracle into his lap. $1.2 million in cash drops out of an unsecured armored car, and when Joey comes across the money, his instinct is to keep it. "Finders keepers", as they say. But Joey is not the type to just let the dough sit around. No, he starts throwing it around, even taking some of it to mob money launderers. Meanwhile, an efficient detective named Laurenzi (Michael Madsen) goes about tracking down the thief.

    The set-up here should be compelling for a great many people. It'd be awfully tempting for a person to want to keep any money they found. Even if they returned it, the thought of keeping it just might cross their mind for a moment or two. So we can relate to Joey...for a while. At some point, he stops being all that sympathetic, or at least he starts getting overly stupid, which isn't all that surprising. Joey still feels that the universe is out to screw him when the deal with the mob is not to his liking. His friends and associates seem to want to be loyal, especially when he's at the bar and is buying everybody drinks, but his family (including a young James Gandolfini, playing Joey's brother) would prefer that he do the right thing.

    Directed by Ramon Menendez ("Stand and Deliver"), this isn't a particularly great film, but it is reasonably entertaining. It is played partly for laughs (and was marketed as a comedy), but the overall effect is rather sad (especially when you learn of the real Joey Coyle's outcome). What really makes this one worth watching is wonderful Philly location work, and the efforts of a truly fantastic supporting cast: Madsen, Debi Mazar (who looks great), Benicio Del Toro, Michael Rapaport, Maury Chaykin, Fionnula Flanagan, Lenny Venito, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and Frankie Faison. Cusack is consistently amusing in the lead.

    Somewhat uneven (mostly because it wasn't all that funny to this viewer), but it's enjoyable to watch.

    Seven out of 10.
  • I enjoyed the movie (in parts) for what it is and what it delivers: a guy finds a million bucks and almost gets away with it. The movie doesn't take itself too seriously, but that doesn't mean it's without its faults. At times it makes sense, other times it doesn't. Essentially, the movie isn't anything more than the basic storyline. I don't recall seeing a villain here. The movie does go somewhere, but I think it really would have if the movie had one, especially in a movie about lost (or found, however you choose to look at it) money. Without a villain, and/or a sidekick, "Money for Nothing" barely takes off. And how in the world does this cop (played by Michael Madsen) know where Joey Coyle is if he dyed is hair blonde, and said on the phone he was already on the plane? That's beyond me. See this if you're not expecting too much.

    **1/2 out of ****
  • chomak24 August 2003
    This film, based on the true story of Joey Coyle, has my favorite John Cusack performance. Cusack plays Joey, a dock worker whose life is suddenly changed by finding a couple of bags on the road. Coyle's excitement about his fate exceeds his wisdom and intelligence in dealing with it. It is not an easy role to play. Cusack's performance combines naivete, warmth, greed, fear, rage, and countless subtle shades of other emotions. Although Coyle's brainpower may not be "100%," Cusack's portrayal is consistently 100% human. The supporting actors are all excellent too. This is a tightly edited film with good dialogue and many very funny scenes that never descend to the level of mindless slapstick. It's amazing to me that no one I mention it to has ever heard of it. Highly recommended.
  • Decent, but forgettable. The story is interesting enough, but the script has its share of flaws. John Cusack is OK, but more impressive is Debi Mazar and James Gandolfini. The (in my opinion) overrated Benicio Del Toro does an especially poor job here. Worth renting, especially if you are a fan of any of the actors involved.

  • John plays Joey, a young man with a Polish surname. His brother is played by James Gandolfini, Italian surname, 6 years later the star of The Sopranos - a fine character actor. Mother with a Polish surname is famous Irish actress Fionula Flanagan. Various other actors play parts that do not fit with their surnames. Lacking are strong African American actors, maybe OK in l993, but not now in 1999. There are too many characters in this nice, sad, comic, little movie.