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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
This is the rags to riches story of Jordan Belfort, played by Leonardo DiCaprio. He comes from a working class, blue collar background, and wants to climb to the top of Wall Street, by hook or by crook. He gets a job with a backstreet firm of stockbrokers, selling penny share stocks to working class families, and through sheer force of personality, charm and chutzpah, starts earning mega bucks ($70,000 US dollars in one month alone)
He realises few get rich working for others, and so he sets up his own stockbroking business on Wall Street, hiring buddies who come from similar modest backgrounds. Their mantra is rules are made to be broken, and clients are suckers, who can't be parted from their money fast enough. The business goes from strength to strength, and Jordan and his mates soon have more money than they can find ways to spend.
$2000 suits, $1500 hookers, qualudes and cocaine, yachts, beachside mansions, Lamborghinis and Ferraris, Rolex watches, the self- indulgence of these multi-millionaires has no limits.
Inevitably, as the business prospers, both through insider trading and manipulating stock markets, the U.S. authorities, primarily the FBI, start to take an active interest.
Leonard DiCaprio is consistently excellent. He gives a very melodramatic performance, with lots of tub thumping speech making, a performance very much from the Al Pacino school of acting. Jonah Hill, as Jordan's sleazy, right-hand man, is even better, arguably the most likeable unlikeable character, since Sean Penn's slime-ball attorney and counsellor-at-law in Carlito's Way ( Carlito's Way [Blu-ray] [Region Free] ). These two very much steal the show, although the lady who plays Jordan's wife is very effective too.
Inevitably, comparisons will be drawn between this movie and Oliver Stone's Wall Street, and also Tom Wolfe's The Bonfire Of The Vanities ( Wall Street [Blu-ray] [1987] [Region Free] Bonfire of the Vanities [Blu-ray] [1990] [US Import] ). Bonfire was a so so interpretation of a great book, and is less effective than Wolf. It's closer to call when matching this film up against Wall Street. They are more or less equally good, choosing one over the other would basically boil down to whether you prefer the combination of DiCaprio and Hill or Charlie Sheen and Michael Douglas. This movie has a harder edge than Wall Street, whilst Wall Street had more likeable characters, particularly Martin Sheen's character. Overall, if I had to watch one of the two films again, I'd definitely go for Wall Street.
The main difficulty with this film, is the complete absence of any sympathetic characters. Although Jonah Hill's role is quite amusing, you don't find yourself rooting even for him. I love the USA, my partner and I own a holiday home in Florida, and we have several American friends. However, this film is a near 3 hour advertisement for all that's bad in American society, and anybody watching it, would shudder at the thought of having anything to do with our cousins over the other side of the big pond.
The people in this film are uniformly avaricious, duplicitous, bellicose, immoral, depraved and obnoxious. Their souls are as bad as their suits are good. The movie overall, is basically a thinly disguised celebration of lechery, debauchery, and all the worst excesses of wealth. If the performances of DiCaprio and Hill weren't superb, and the two of them do basically carry the movie, the film would only be on a par with, say, Kevin Spacey's Swimming With Sharks, i.e. a movie who's bark is much worse than its bite ( Swimming With Sharks [DVD] [1996].
I wouldn't dissuade you from renting this film, but I'd advise against paying the full price for the blu ray. I think buying Wall Street on blu ray is a better choice, if only because I think that film will stand the test of time much better. Or else, read The Bonfire Of The Vanities, if you haven't done that already - The Bonfire of the Vanities.
Thank you for taking the time to read this review.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
TOP 500 REVIEWERon 22 October 2014
Based on the real life memoir of Jordan Belfort, we follow the rise of this young, hungry stockbroker (DiCaprio) who learns the quick way to the top unscrupulously. From living on the poverty line, to living a lavish life of wild parties, drugs, sex, fast cars & his inevitable downfall by the FBI.

The Wolf of Wall Street's almost 3 hour run time is an excessive charting of the eccentric people Belfort comes into contact with or surrounded by in the industry, that indeed he himself soon turns into an equally eccentric, unrecognizable person from that young, hungry stockbroker he started out as. Initially for the first hour it is an interesting journey of rags to riches with a little skirting of the law & bad boy behavior. As the next hour & 45 minutes delves deep into the greed & mass excess lifestyle of drug addiction, sex addiction, relationship implosion & FBI/SEC agencies coming knocking as things spiral out of control. This movie isn't a serious dramatic offering like 1987's Wall Street but instead a satire with a mixture of silly & subtle comedy styles spread through the film. The comedy scenes with DiCaprio & Jonah Hill in particular were the ones that i enjoyed the most. The satirize approach means the drug addiction & sexual content goes way over the top, from snorting cocaine from hookers bottoms, to mass orgies etc... with little time passing without scenes of one or the other & F-bombs every other word. Indeed it is more a film about focusing on the excess & greed , than it is a film with characters you actually care about or follow much in the way of development after the first hour. Martin Scorsese behind the camera is pretty spot on in immersing you into this lifestyle, from the rowdy trading floor to the mansions & excessive parties. Along with some neat touches of Goodfellas-esque narration & one particular funny car journey from the country club with an interesting twist.

Leonardo DiCaprio (Titanic) carries the film impressively as you can't take your eyes off him, featuring in pretty much every scene, his acting quality is consistent & never wavers. He has a great supporting man in Jonah Hill (21/22 Jump Street) whose acting chops are well & truly established, he's given a chance to show off his unique silly comedy style here in different extremes & gives you an idea of the realms of excess the movie goes into with his more outre humor. There is a host of good supporting talent including Matthew McConaughey (Mud) as an eccentric stockbroker, Jean Dujardin (The Artist) as a shady Swiss banker, Kyle Chandler (Super 8) as a dogged FBI agent & Joanna Lumley (The New Avengers) as an English cougar...i mean rose.

In conclusion, The Wolf of Wall Street is a satire on the life of Jordan Belfort which succeeds in charting the macho, unscrupulous methods & excessive lifestyle route to the top as these untouchables come crashing down to Earth. But at almost 3 hours long it was too indulgent, repetitive & morally hollow. Contains strong language, violence, mature themes & sexual scenes (full frontal nudity). Worth a watch.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on 3 September 2014
I enjoyed The Wolf of Wall Street. I'm not convinced it's up there with the best of Scorsese but for a 3 hour movie it flew past in a whirlwind of excess and was certainly never dull.

It's based on the memoir of Jordan Belfort about his sky highs and depraved lows as a stock broker on Wall Street in the 1990's. It may be a lazy comparison but the film shares much with Goodfellas in terms of story arch and structure - Belforts rise and rise to become The Wolf and the inevitable crash and burn that must follow.

Leonardo DiCaprio of course plays Belfort and puts in another cracking performances, narrating and anchoring the tale in a similar fashion to Ray Liotta/Henry Hill from that previous Scorsese classic. There's great support elsewhere from Jonah Hill and a whole raft of familiar faces including a memorable cameo from Matthew Mcconaughey. It's all ably directed by Martin Scorsese, bringing the stylistic flourishes you'd expect, perhaps the main reason it all flies past so breezily.

Admittedly it's probably not going to be to everyone's taste - while there's not much violence of any description, there's a huge amount of bad language, shed loads of nudity, copious drug use and a distinct lack of a moral compass. Pretty much how I imagined Wall Street in the 80's and 90's to be honest.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 30 July 2015
Everyone I'd spoken to raved about this film but I just don't see the appeal. I suppose if you like the fantasy of working somewhere that routinely brings in prostitutes and strippers, where men engage in laddish behaviour that would make an 18 year old in Magaluf blush, and take a ridiculous amount of drugs then this film is for you. I don't even mind that content as it's something I'd expect to see if the film is based around the lavish lifestyle these men enjoyed. However there didn't seem to be an awful lot of actual film around this aspect of it.

Leo Di Caprio is a fantastic actor, no question about it. However his character moves between sex with random women, taking drugs, and shouting down a microphone at his staff, and that was about it. I thought it was starting to get interesting when the FBI were introduced but all it showed initally was an agent placing his targets' photographs onto a board. Then we're straight back into an American college movie type party scene of beautiful women who are all topless.... ah now I see the appeal of this film for the men...! ;)

In all seriousness, I'm no prude but I did expect this film to have a bit more substance. My favourite scene in this film was when Patrick Denham (Kyle Chandler) the FBI agent was chatting with Belfort on his yacht. It was then I thought oooh here we go. They're sniffing about each other and now we get some authority vs scoundrel type action (and I was thinking a sort of Catch Me If You Can type scenario), but nope. Shame, because Kyle Chandler is a great actor but he's under used in this film. I'd even say Di Caprio is under used. I know he won awards for his performance, but his character is so shallow the script doesn't really give these actors a lot of opportunity to add some depth.

Maybe it's a grower and I should watch it again. I tend to find that if I'm checking my phone during a film/TV show that's usually a sign that it's not holding my interest and that was the case here. At nearly three hours of very little actually happening, this film can't afford to be lazy with the story but it is. I just don't see the appeal.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on 15 January 2015
An adaptation of Jordan Belfort's memoir chronicling his rise and fall on Wall Street and his hard-partying, addiction-fuelled personal life.

Welcome to Martin Scorsese’s 22nd feature film, another of his examinations of the rites and rituals of a particular sect, be it the wiseguys of ‘70s Little Italy ( Mean Streets ) or the society scions of late 19th-Century New York ( The Age Of Innocence ).

With its rise-and-fall arc, its hedonism and hubris, its gleeful exploration of the dark side of the America Dream, its money, crime and narcs, its sex, drugs and rock’n’roll (though the soundtrack also takes in Madness, Simon & Garfunkel and a fair bit of Euro pop), The Wolf Of Wall Street forms a loose trilogy with GoodFellas and Casino. And if it can’t quite match the energy and quality of those classics, it nonetheless stands as Scorsese’s finest for 15 years.

When we first meet Jordan Belfort, he’s more pup than wolf, his lowest-rung job at L.F. Rothschild requiring him only to “smile and dial”. A first-day lunch with big boss Mark Hanna (Matthew McConaughey, hilarious) sows the seeds of the chaos to come, though: Hanna advises him that the stock market is “all fugazi” while preaching the worthlessness of morals and the necessity of greed, cocaine and, to stay relaxed, jerking off twice daily. Then, on 19 October, 1987, the very day Jordan becomes a licensed broker, the market crashes and Rothschild goes under.

Jordan joins a penny-stocks firm in Long Island, employing a bunch of expert salesmen (mainly weed) from his old Queens neighbourhood and making Donnie Azoff (Jonah Hill, terrific) VP despite his phosphorescent teeth and shoulder-slung pastel sweaters.

The triumphant result is named Stratton Oakmont, and if there’s one thing these guys know how to do, besides sell, it’s party – Jordan blows $26,000 on a lunch, is married to a model, shags prostitutes five, six times a week, and hoovers Quaaludes, Xanax, cocaine and morphine. It’s only a matter of time before the FBI (in the form of Kyle Chandler) come calling…

Perhaps deciding the crazed behaviour is enough, perhaps thinking he took stylistic verve as far as it could go in GoodFellas , Scorsese shoots largely with a static camera. His use of whip pans, crash zooms, freeze frames and tracking shots proves so infrequent that Spielberg, visiting the set, suggested he might want to move the camera. But TWOWS is far from muzzled.

It is, of course, all part of Scorsese’s plan to charm viewers into accepting Belfort’s outrageously selfish, unthinkingly cruel behaviour. It works, too – more so because Terence Winter’s ( Boardwalk Empire , The Sopranos ) screenplay cleaves to our anti-hero, refusing to investigate the fallout of his misdeeds as he steals from rich and poor alike to line his own pockets (and mirror). It’s a decision some will take issue with, just as some, justifiably, accuse Scorsese of being in thrall to his gangsters.

But this is Jordan’s tale, and it’s sold by a magnetic, never-better DiCaprio.

A touch too long, yet never slack, at three hours, TWOWS benefits from independent funding, Scorsese’s brass balls and an A-grade cast’s turbulent improvisations to emerge as an epic, boldly broad screwball comedy about the state of America, then and now.

Despite the US censors trimming back the screwing and swearing, this is an audacious, riotous epic. Scorsese and DiCaprio’s fifth and best pairing, it’s liable to give the Academy a heart attack.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 16 June 2014
Very rarely do I feel compelled to write a review of a movie - especially one that's already had so many reviews but I feel I should with the Wolf of Wall Street.

I throughly enjoyed this film. I had it for my Birthday and watched it, I ended up watching it again a week later (something I never seem to do). Although this time with my Father, Fiancée and 85 year old Grandmother - who loved it, even the naughty bits!

It's an amazing story. When you watch it I find the story so enjoyable that it's easy to forget that it's a true story.

Leonardo DiCaprio was robbed of an Oscar. He plays the role immensely.

When I've watched it I thought that the time flies by because there's so much going on!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 16 June 2014
best movie ive seen in ages! and im fussy! Leonardo DiCaprio gets better and better! he really really suits the role of high flying, drug obsessed stock broker. Be warned it is a looong film but by the end you'll still want more! great 80s tunes in it aswell! you couldnt ask for a funnier movie! the movie follows true story, Jordan Belfort's life from innocent, optimistic, starting out in life but after meeting Mathew mcconaughey's character and a recession in the market he changes to drugs, hookers and fraud. Its all downhill from there though and it follows his downfall. Only wish the movie showed more of his arrest and restitution's made.. all in all if you havent seen it, you need to!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 3 June 2015
It started promisingly, not brilliant but a fairly standard rags to riches good boy turns bad story. Then it was ridiculous, OK I get the lavish, excessive rather repulsive lifestyle but there was far too much of it and none of it was mildly amusing, in my opinion. Then the film just goes on, and on, and on and on and on......I have to admit that I switched off before he got arrested because I just couldn't take any more. I've given this two stars, one because Leonardo Di Caprio is brilliant, he makes himself completely unlikeable which is a rare skill, and another star to give the benefit of the doubt because the film may have improved, I neither know nor care.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 4 March 2015
The best film I saw in 2014.

There aren't many films that I have uncontrollably laughed at but this is one of them! I thought it was utterly brilliant and so funny! There is one scene in particular that had me literally crying with laughter for the best part of 10 minutes.

It didn't feel like a 3 hour film at all, it was gripping enough that it went really quick. The whole cast were perfect, Leonardo DiCaprio is a genius (the man deserves an Oscar!!).

If you want something moral and emotional then this isn't for you, if you want something that will make you laugh until you can't breathe then this is for you.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 18 September 2015
I didn't like this when I first watched it. I found it too long and unfunny. Weirdly, I watched it again and loved it! I've since watched it several more times and I think its one if my all time favourite films. A definite thumbs up from me
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