Flash Movie Review: American Hustle

One would think with my love of movies I would see a favorite film more than once. In all honesty it happens very rarely. If there is a movie I just have to own, I will see the film again when I buy the DVD. As far as I can remember, I think there are only 4 movies I have seen twice while they were still playing at the theater. One of those films was The Sting with Paul Newman and Robert Redford. If I were reviewing movies back then I would have given this film a 4 star rating. Everything from the acting to directing to the music was as close to perfect as possible. Now the reason I brought up this film was because this crime film reminded me of The Sting. From writer and director David O. Russell (Silver Linings Playbook, The Fighter) this film festival winning movie was loosely based on the ABSCAM scandal from the 1970’s, which was an FBI sting operation against public corruption. Forty pound heavier Christian Bale (Out of the Furnance, American Psycho) and Amy Adams (Man of Steel, Enchanted) played con artists Irving Rosenfeld and Sydney Prosser. Forced into service by ambitious FBI agent Richie DiMaso, played by Bradley Cooper (Silver Linings Playbook, The Words), they discovered their lives could be at risk when some dangerous individuals suddenly became involved. The first thing in this Golden Globe nominated movie that reminded me of The Sting was its story. Besides both being about a sting operation, the story had several twists and surprises. The next thing that was similar was the unbelievable, amazing acting. Everyone in this film held their own with their terrific acting skills. One of the youngest actors in the cast gave such an astounding performance that she should get nominated for an Oscar. That actress was Jennifer Lawrence who played Irving’s alcoholic wife Rosalyn Rosenfeld. I thought her young age would be a hinderance in playing this role, but that was not the case. However, Jeremy Renner (The Hurt Locker, North Country) who played Mayor Carmine Polito looked too young for the part. His acting was first rate, but I felt he needed to look older for the part. Everyone in this dramatic film had equal amounts of screen presence which carried me through the couple of parts I found to be slow. With a little more editing the already fantastic dialog would have been ideal for me. The music and sets were perfect for the times. This movie certainly will get a couple of Oscar nominations and is definitely worth seeing. Now that I have seen it I have this urge to see The Sting again.

3 2/3 stars 

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About moviejoltz

From a long line of movie afficionados, one brother was the #1 renter of movies in the country with Blockbuster, I am following in the same traditions that came before me. To balance out the long hours seated in dark movie theaters, I also teach yoga and cycling. For the past 3 years, I have correctly picked the major Oscar winners... so join me as we explore the wonder of movies and search for that perfect 4 star movie.

Posted on December 24, 2013, in Drama and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 14 Comments.

  1. I just reviewed this as well, and I mostly agree. 😉

    A very good film, this one, with a tremendous cast. I think the director gets in their way at times, but he doesn’t stop the movie from being Oscar worthy.

  2. Nice review, I thought it was a terrific movie. One of the year’s best

  3. Tempted by your review! Another film that follows a plot similar to The sting, is 9 queens, from Argentina. Surely worth seeing!

  4. it’s funny, I thought Jeremy Renner was great in this! Normally I love Jennifer Lawrence, and I thought she was funny in the film, but her Jersey accent kept fading in and out…

    • I agree that Jeremy was excellent, but visually he came across younger than the character which in the scheme of things is a minor detail. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this movie.

  5. The Dancing Rider

    Jennifer Lawrence and Amy Adams! Lawrence’s accent went away some of the time. Nonetheless, I think Lawrence is a very talented actress.. Amy Adams was so good in this. Wow! However, the prior build-up to this movie worked against me. I found it to be a good movie. But not a great movie. I think the direction got in the way some of the time, and I found myself “aware” of the actual craft of movie making — something I don’t prefer usually! However, I would give it 3.3 stars!

  6. I just watched this one on BR and I was disappointed after hearing such great things about it. The actors did a fine job and the story was interesting but the pacing seemed very slow. I believe it was designed to be a slow build with a powerful ending but something about it didn’t work for me and I couldn’t sit through it again.

    • The saving grace is the acting; the entire cast worked extremely well together. I agree the huge buildup colors one’s expectations. This is why I try to avoid all comments and reviews until after I see the movie.

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