“Banks have conditioned us to trust them.” That key line opens the new trailer for The Big Short, the late addition to the awards-season fray from director Adam McKay. Seconds later, the voice-over tells us, “When the banks committed the greatest fraud in U.S. history, four outsiders risked it all to take them down.” The characters might be “outsiders,” but the lead actors certainly aren’t: Christian Bale, Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling and Brad Pitt — all Oscar winners or nominees — star in the true story of how their characters’ bold investment leads them into the dark underbelly of modern banking, where they must question everyone and everything.

The cast also includes Melissa Leo — an Oscar winner alongside Bale for The Fighter — Hamish Linklater, John Magaro, Rafe Spall, Jeremy Strong, Finn Whitrock and Oscar winner Marisa Tomei. Charles Randolph And McKay wrote the screenplay based on the book by Moneyball author Michael Lewis. The Regency movie, which closed the AFI Fest, opens December 11 in limited release via Paramount Pictures and goes with two days before Christmas amid what’s shaping up to be an intensely competitive year-end movie market.