Financier Steven Mnuchin is Donald Trump’s nominee for Secretary of the Treasury, but in addition to his decades of experience in the world of big business, he shares an unusual trait with our tiny-fisted President-elect: he has an IMDB page.
Although he has been involved in financing films since 2004, the last three years have seen Mnuchin jump directly into the Hollywood fray, with 35 executive producer credits to his name. And what credits they are! Visit his page and you will see—I promise you—at least one film you love and one film you HATE. Confusingly, you may see a few of your very favorite movies of 2014-2016 right next to some of the most widely disliked box office hits of the past 36 months.
I won’t list them all here: my fear is that if you stare at the full list for too long, you will go insane. Instead, here are 10 of the best/worst films of executive producer Steven Mnuchin’s three-year Hollywood Odyssey, ranked in a secret order which I will never reveal.
Will Smith writes letters to “Love,” “Time” and “Death” and then “they” show up to talk to him. Okay, so is this the kind of movie Mnuchin typically EP’s? Shamelessly sentimental, heart-on-its-sleeve type stuff? Don’t even try to pin Mnuchin down. We’re just getting started.
Tom Cruise in a sci-fi action movie version of Groundhog Day! Shares a redemption theme with Collateral Beauty but little else.
Will Ferrell goes to prison, asks Kevin Hart for help. I haven’t seen this. I assume there is a redemption theme, but other than that, I think it would be hard to find a person who likes all three of these films listed so far.
A crowd pleasing animated hit about how “Master Builders” shouldn’t have to follow the rules of “Lord Business.” (Read into that what you will.) Will Ferrell’s cameo qualifies him for the “Double Mnuchin” Club, having appeared in exactly two Mnuchins.
Paul Thomas Anderson’s adaptation of a Pynchon novel shares a weirdness factor with Collateral Beauty and a prestige cast but little else. This is the Mnuchin that is most likely to be LOVED by individuals who actively dislike every other Mnuchin film, while simultaneously being loathed by those who enjoy multiple other Mnuchins.
I’m counting these as one film. Batman and Will Smith both join the “Double Mnuchin” club. As a financier, Mnuchin was involved in the X-Men franchise in the ’00s but as a credited producer seems to have fully made the leap to DC, proving that you cannot pin down Steven Mnuchin!
I’m also counting both of Mnuchin’s Best Picture Nominees as one film. Both feature shooting and chaos, but otherwise are different. Bradley Cooper appears in one of them, and DC’s Bane is in the other. Mnuchin would be denied the trophy both times.
Key & Peele’s action movie about a cat! Is this the only Mnuchin film to prominently feature a cat? I have no way of knowing. Is there a cat in Mnuchin’s Storks? Possibly. I haven’t seen it. This prompts a fun game: if you haven’t seen every film on this list, find out if any of your friends have. If so, then that person is your “Mnuchinfriend.” Most people have zero Mnuchinfriends, so make a big deal of it, and encourage them to watch all 35 films and tweet their favorite/least favorite to @stevenmnuchin1 with the hashtag, #IWatchMnuchinFilms.
Political plane crash film directed by RNC 2012 improv comedian Clint Eastwood, who attempts to find a villain that isn’t a bird in the emergency landing of US Airways Flight 1549 and settles on the government employees who wrote the safety rules to prevent it from happening again. The only Hanks/Mnuchin collaboration to-date.
The redemption theme presumably returns here, but I’d also say this is a deeply personal film for Mnuchin, whose own Hollywood ups & downs resemble the career of fictional superstar Vincent Chase.
Honorable Mention: Rules Don’t Apply – Warren Beatty’s financially unsuccessful comeback film deserves a mention because it features Mnuchin’s single credit as an actor, credited as “Steve Mnuchin” in the role of “Merrill Lynch Executive.” Mnuchin spent 17 years working at Goldman Sachs to prepare for the role, a level of dedication that not even Daniel Day-Lewis himself has come close to achieving.
Connor Ratliff is a New York-based actor and improvisor; you can find him most weekends at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre.