I’m not saying Jodie Foster‘s Money Monster has “issues”, but you have to give Sony publicity credit for persuading journos and critics that it might. Red flags always go up whenever a studio declines to press-screen a film until 24 to 48 hours before opening, which is what’s happening here. The obvious suggestion or suspicion is that Money Monster‘s soup might be served at room temperature. Or not. Who knows?

It can’t be that bad, can it? Not with a socially urgent theme (high-level financial chicanery), a proven director (Foster), a strong cast (George Clooney, Julia Roberts, Jack O’Connell, Dominic West) and a presumably half-decent script by Jamie Linden, Alan Di Fiore and Jim Kouf.

The political situation thriller (i.e., angry guy takes a Jim Cramer-like financial soothsayer hostage in a TV studio) will press-screen at the Cannes Film Festival on the morning of Thursday, 5.11, with domestic press screenings slated for Wednesday, 5.10. The first U.S. commercial screenings will happen on Thursday night, so U.S. critics will have to bang out reviews immediately, especially if they want to keep pace with Cannes critics, who will post early Thursday afternoon (or roughly breakfast time in New York and 3 or 4 am Los Angeles).

Put it this way: If Money Monster isn’t problematic, it’ll do until the problematic gets here.