This is the Shakespearean, true tale of how an unassuming Washington insider pulled levers behind the scenes to become arguably the most powerful man in the world as George W. Bush’s vice president. That’s Christian Bale behind the Oscar-winning Dick Cheney makeup (the film had seven more nominations). Adam McKay walks the cusp of horror here. He juggles, not always successfully, such heavy subjects as power, greed, dark ambition and corruption, while periodically injecting sometimes-lame gags. Maybe this worked better in his The Big Short. One could wish he had gone a bit deeper. Still, not to be missed. (132 min)