Saturday, December 14, 2013

  • Opens Friday, December 13, 2013 (NY / LA; Expands December 20, 2013)
  • 2 hr 9 min
  • R | for pervasive language, some sexual content and brief violence

American Hustle by Director David O. Russell is a fun frantic paced film that can't be taken too serious despite the harsh realities it delivers about corruption.  The larger than life characters with an ensemble cast that can and has headline many films before is another award worthy movie among an already stacked year of contenders.

American Hustle is about a con man named Irving (Christian Bale) and his girl Sydney (Amy Adams) dragged into a corruption sting by FBI Agent DiMaso (Bradley Cooper).  Prior to that, the couple were drawn to each other out of a need for something better in their life.  When Sydney meets Irving, he is already involved in art forgeries and bank loan scams.  With Sydney they take it up a notch which of course draws the attention of the FBI.  FBI Agent DiMaso is a bit raw and unstable in trying to continue to nab the big fishes with no thought to the consequences of his pawns.  The reluctant Irving has to plan his biggest con yet to escape DiMaso, the mob, and help his new found friend, Mayor Carmine (Jeremy Renner) from the pinch.

From the beautiful costumes to the over the top characters, there's plenty to enjoy in this film.  The acting is phenomenal given the pedigree of its cast.  Christian Bale would have to be my favorite from the cast from the very beginning with his morning hair fix to his reactions to every crazy thing Bradley Cooper's character throws him into.  Jennifer Lawrence while hilarious in her role seems to not fit the character that well.  Yes, her character as Irving's wife will have you rolling on the floor with her naive sense of values.  But her youthful look works against her in this role that you would imagine an older attractive actress would play.

The pacing of the film is quite erratic moving back and forth between the present and the past until we are caught up in the present.  And even then we go back and forth with lulls between rushed scenes.  The soundtrack for the film is excellent in setting the mood of the film which will have you on your feet toward the end.  There's some clever twists which caught me by surprise, with a much happier ending than I would have expected from this type of film.

Overall, I enjoyed the film and would recommend it to everyone.  The film has already garnered numerous film award nominations and rightfully so.  What other movie can you see Hawkeye go to jail for corruption, Batman make off with Lois Lane, Rocket Raccoon get his comeuppance and Mystique end up with the mob?

Rating: 4.0 Stars out of 5.0 Stars



  • Christian Bale as Irving Rosenfeld
  • Bradley Cooper as Richie DiMaso
  • Amy Adams as Sydney Prosser
  • Jeremy Renner as Carmine Polito
  • Jennifer Lawrence as Rosalyn Rosenfeld
  • Robert De Niro as Victor Tellegio
  • Louis C.K. as Stoddard Thorsen
  • Michael Peña as Paco Hernandez
  • Jack Huston as Pete Musane
  • Elisabeth Röhm as Dolly Polito
  • Erica McDermott as Addie Abrams
  • Melissa McMeekin as Sabrina
  • Colleen Camp as Brenda
  • Armen Garo as Dick Helsing
  • Zacharia Supka as Young Irving

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