Sunday, December 29, 2013

American Hustle review

American Bullshit was the original title for the film. Which is so much better in my opinion.
American Hustle is a movie about cons, tricks, hustles, and lies. The plot itself is about that, and much of the movie has little things that reflect the whole "con" theme. In the beginning of the film, the screen reads the words, 'Some of this actually happened'. It's hard to tell what's real here. The whole movie is one big con. That's what makes it so damn fun. American Hustle is the kind of movie that you want to see again. You want to pick up on all the little things you missed, and also just enjoy it all again. The film is about a con artist named Irving Rosenfeld (Christian Bale) who, through a series of not-so-legal business transactions, gets himself involved in a sting operation led by federal agent Richie DiMaso (Bradley Cooper) involving the mafia and Camden New Jersey Mayor Carmine Polito (Jeremy Renner). Swept up with him are his business colleague/lover, Sydney Prosser (Amy Adams), and his crazy wife Rosalyn (Jennifer Lawrence). This is directed by David O. Russell. I'm not as familiar with his filmography as I should be, but his last movie, Silver Linings Playbook, was one of my favorite films of last year. He's done it again with American Hustle, because this is one of my favorite movies of this year. It's actually pretty amazing that this guy can make a spectacular film one year and pretty much immediately make another hit. This movie is crazy entertaining with some awesome performances and a really good screenplay. The film takes place in the 70's. Although it was the actual time the ABSCAM operation, it's also an ideal setting for the movie. The 70's was an era of fake hair, which there is a lot of in this film, and fake music. This whole movie is about fakery, cons, and other stuff of that nature. The whole 70's setting works perfectly for the film. The whole movie just works so well. If you haven't heard by now, the acting here is terrific. Christian Bale is the obvious standout playing the head con artist, Irving Rosenfeld. He gained a decent amount of weight for the role, but his performance is much more than aesthetic. He portrays his character perfectly. Everything from his Bronx accent to his 'elaborate' comb over. While his character is funny, it could be easily turned into a thin caricature. Bale, despite all his cons and tricks, makes the character seem completely real. It's amazing how damn versatile he is. Going from a psycho killer, to Batman, to this takes some skill. Christian Bale obviously has skill. The female leads here are also great. Amy Adams gives another knock out performance as Rosenfeld's partner with a fake British accent, Sydney Prosser. Amy Adams has continued to prove that she is a more than capable actress. She was awesome in last year's The Master. She's even better here and I hope she wins an Oscar for this role. I can honestly say she is one of my favorite actresses. Jennifer Lawrence already won an Oscar for David O. Russell's last film. I wouldn't be surprised if she won again. It's incredible how she can give a great performance in a small indie film, then star in The Hunger Games and in the new X-Men movie, then star in two smaller, more acclaimed films. You could say she's the female Christian Bale. Anyway, she's fantastic here. most of the time she plays a very likable character. Here she's playing a crazy and generally annoying character. And she does it very,very well. Bradley Cooper is really good too. Which if two years ago you called Bradley Cooper a very good actor I would have laughed in your face. After Silver Linings Playbook, The Place Beyond The Pines, and this, I have a lot of faith in Mr. Cooper. Jeremy Renner has a smaller role as Mayor Carmine Polito and i know he's going to get zero recognition for his role but I thought he did a great job. Renner is a very underrated actor. Although American Hustle has done very well critically, recently I've heard a lot of complaints about how overrated it is and how it will win Best Picture but won't deserve it. It's not The Wolf of Wall Street but I'd be perfectly happy if this won Best Picture. It's certainly making my Best of the Year list and I would certainly see it again. American Hustle is one of the most enjoyable films I've seen all year and it entertained the hell out of me. It combined comedy and serious filmmaking very expertly. It's soundtrack also worked really, really well. I am going to give American Hustle 4.8 out of 5 stars. Happy Viewing you guys. Remember you can always follow me on Twitter @WhitsMovies and like me on Facebook at        


  1. Nice review, Whit. If you're enjoying these latest outings from David O. Russel, then I definitely recommend going back through his filmography, 'cause you'll find a lot to love. The Fighter was great, but my favorite of his would have to be Three Kings, which was brilliant. And he certainly continues his brilliance with this one as well. :)

    Also, I was actually one of those who could definitely see the potential for Cooper even more than two years ago, so while everyone else is surprised by him, I'm just here thinking "what took you so long?" :P

    1. Haha thanks man! I've wanted to check out Three Kings for a while but haven't gotten a chance. If his older films are anything like his newer ones, I'm in.