Director: David O. Russell
Cast: Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence and Jeremy Renner
Release Date: 12 December, 2013
Director David O. Russell reunites Amy Adams and Christian Bale from The Fighter and Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper from Silver Linings Playbook for an unashamedly over-the-top crime comedy. It’s 1978 and Adams and Bale play small-time New Jersey crooks conducting business in and out of the bedroom. After being busted by FBI agent (Cooper), they are forced to entrap corrupt politicians using bribes from a “sheikh” (a Mexican cop in costume) to avoid jail time. There’s one small problem; Bale’s wife (Jennifer Lawrence), who is holed-up in Long Island doing her nails and setting fire to the kitchen. This slightly-overlong race through nightclubs, offices and shonky bars features great cameos from comedian Louis C.K., Robert De Niro and Jeremy Renner, and some of the most awful screen hairstyles in recent memory.
The New Daily says: American Hustle is formulaic but undeniably irresistible: high camp, largely clean fun (aside from the scatter-gun swearing), with a ripper disco soundtrack and spectacular ‘70s costumes – Adams deserves a Oscar nod for best performance by Hollywood Tape. The story is ridiculous, despite the assertion that “some of this really happened”, but the actors give it everything they’ve got. Adams and Bale play charismatic con artists with depth and compassion, and J Law nails the ditzy – but never stupid – trophy wife by stealing every scene.
The New Yorker says: “American Hustle offers so many easy pleasures that people may not think of it as a work of art, but it is. In the world that Russell has created, if you don’t come to play you’re not fully alive.”
The Hollywood Reporter says: “What gives this film its teasing pleasure is that almost everyone, on both sides of the law, is to some extent an ambiguous hustler, promising one thing and delivering another, sometimes with multiple hidden agendas. These are juicy, garrulous characters and Russell has lovingly contoured them to fit actors who have been lucky charms for him in his recent work.”
The Guardian says: “The pressure-cooker simmer of suppressed madness bubbles continuously through American Hustle…It is an intriguing confection of a movie, announcing its influences candidly, but exerting its originality too. The performances are far from subtle, yet they have an eye-popping, beads-of-sweat commitment.”
Entertainment Weekly journalist @MarkHarrisNYC: “More on American Hustle later, but for now: Not just a great cast but truly a great ensemble. My MVP: Bradley Cooper. Yours may vary.”
Film critic @iamBenLyons: “I think Jennifer Lawrence should get an Oscar nom for her supporting performance in American Hustle. She crushes it in a really good film.”
Kids? Despite the subject matter there’s no overt nudity, drugs or violence, but might be best for 15+