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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth it just for Christion Bale and Jennifer Lawrence
I loved the opening scenes, especially those of Christian Bales comb over composition.

Bale is excellent throughout as it Amy Adams, however it is the scenes with Jennifer Lawrence that are laugh out loud as the trailer trash, common, scheming wife.

Bradley Cooper was suitably annoying and the secret of THAT hair is revealed about halfway...
Published 2 months ago by Wiltshire

versus
1.0 out of 5 stars Here comes "I HEART HUCKABEES" (yuk!) on runaway steroids.
The lavish praise for this film gets turned on by scenes & features that are adolescent and pre-adult, beginning with the opening five minutes of Bale fussing with his comb over. Critics can't resist praising this, whereas my reaction (not having read any reviews) was that better planning could deliver this message about Bale (or the universe?) in a far more economical...
Published 10 days ago by Ronald Haak


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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth it just for Christion Bale and Jennifer Lawrence, 11 May 2014
This review is from: American Hustle (DVD)
I loved the opening scenes, especially those of Christian Bales comb over composition.

Bale is excellent throughout as it Amy Adams, however it is the scenes with Jennifer Lawrence that are laugh out loud as the trailer trash, common, scheming wife.

Bradley Cooper was suitably annoying and the secret of THAT hair is revealed about halfway through.

The sense of time and place are great and it is comparable with Good Fellas for that.

Some may not enjoy the lack of action but it is the performances that drive this film and based on that it is superb.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Such A Time, 19 Mar 2014
By 
prisrob "pris," (New England USA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: American Hustle [DVD] [2013] (DVD)
Have we been hustled by this film? At times I thought so, a little slow going at first, but then it interrupted into a fast paced film that brought excitement. The film was fashioned after the Abscam affair in the late 80's.

"Abscam--sometimes written ABSCAM--was a Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) sting operation run from the Bureau's Hauppauge, Long Island, office[1] in the late 1970s and early '80s. The operation initially targeted trafficking in stolen property but was converted to a public corruption investigation. The FBI, aided by a convicted con-man, videotaped politicians as they were offered bribes by a fictional Middle Eastern sheik in return for various political favors. The investigation ultimately led to the conviction of a United States Senator, six members of the United States House of Representatives, one member of the New Jersey State Senate, members of the Philadelphia City Council, the Mayor of Camden, New Jersey, and an inspector for the United States Immigration and Naturalization Service." Wiki

Now we see how this entire affair went down, and what we have is a film with superb characters and acting. Christian Bale is the epitome of the com man, and with his intelligence, Amy Adams, good looks and brain, we have one heck of a scam. The FBI enters with Bradley Cooper as the leader of a group,looking for a couple of good arrests for a fame hungry leader. Jennifer Lawerence as Bale's wife knocks the ball out of the park with her role. Jeremy Renner as the mayor of a New Jersey city, always on the make for his city brings truth and life to his role. Every one in this film out did themselves, believable and so ironic. Can a con man con those in the law? Robert DeNiro plays the second in command of a Florida branch of the Mafia. The hair,and I am not talking about Amy Adams, is so awesome. The clothes of the time, the cars, the homes all a remembrance of things past.

This film was one of the better of the season. If not for 12 Years A Slave,this film would have found the Oscar. Kudos to all.

Recommended. prisrob 03-19-14
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 'CON-ARTIST' 'IRVINE' LOOKS TO BE 'IN OVER HIS HEAD', 29 April 2014
By 
rbmusicman (U.K) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: American Hustle [Blu-ray] [2013] (Blu-ray)
The film has certainly got an all-star line up fronted by 'Christian Bale' and 'Bradley
Cooper'
Talented Con-artist 'Irving Rosenfeld' and his equally talented partner 'Sydney Prosser'
rather than go to jail are forced by ambitious F.B.I agent 'Ritchie Dimaso' to help him
expose some high-rollers in the hustle-business in the shape of 'New Jersey' power-
broker 'Mayor Carmine Polito' who's dealings include the Mafia and many leading
political figures.
The situation the two hustlers are walking into appears to be way over their heads with
a high-risk scenario, these guys do not play games.
'Sydney' initially knew very little about 'Irving's' wife 'Rosalyn' or the existence of his
young son.
'Rosalyn' isn't always predictable and could easily blow the op' wide open, putting 'Ritchie'
'Sydney' and her husband in danger (a woman's scorn)
The film is for long periods pretty slow-moving, because of it's acclaim you are expecting
it to suddenly take-off.
'Jennifer Lawrence' won best supporting actress for her role as 'Rosalyn' (rather she'd won
her Oscar for 'Hunger Games')
'Christian Bale' plays 'Irving' 'Bradley Cooper' F.B.I agent 'Ritchie' and 'Amy Adams' plays
'Sydney'
The film based loosely on one or two real events is set in the 70's for which there is one or
two mainly great 70's sounds.
Special Features :-
* The making of 'American Hustle'
* Deleted and Extended Scenes.
* Film run time 138 minutes.
* Rating 7/10.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Here comes "I HEART HUCKABEES" (yuk!) on runaway steroids., 22 July 2014
By 
Ronald Haak (Cork, Ireland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: American Hustle [DVD] [2013] (DVD)
The lavish praise for this film gets turned on by scenes & features that are adolescent and pre-adult, beginning with the opening five minutes of Bale fussing with his comb over. Critics can't resist praising this, whereas my reaction (not having read any reviews) was that better planning could deliver this message about Bale (or the universe?) in a far more economical fashion. That it doesn't, bodes bad for the film and suggests the film is going to be incoherent and reckless, a verdict that is quickly confirmed. The opening 30" of dialogue was a hodge-podge and Sydney's character (played by Amy Adams) then went every which way, and having her bob around histrionically adds to the film's incoherence. Which man was she after? What qualities was she looking for? Was she mad? A scene that represents the manic ugliness of the entire film for me is the toilet stall scene, where Cooper and Adams veer toward copulation in the tiny stall. Why in the the world was this particular scene devised and thrust upon us? Answer: this is the primitivism the director is good at scattering about and droves of people love it. It's a trademark capsule of a wild, chaotic and quirky pattern devoid of maturity that critics have termed "thrilling".

What follows are adoring excerpts gathered from newspaper reviews on imdb. Except for a few brackets in the form of [ ], what follows is critics' praise in their own words. It's clear what they dote on: intensity and unending sensation. I see their terms of reference as on a collision course with cinema as we know it from LOLITA, GIRL WITH THE PEARL EARRING, PAN'S LABYRINTH, LOURDES (with Sylvie Testud) + the calm, poised, thought provoking treatment of life and its mysteries in MUD (unfortunate title) and other films that'd now be jeered at --- as too staid, slow or not spastic enough --- not to mention too lacking in a steady stream of obscenities.

Here's the first adoring excerpt. In this excerpt and those to follow, note the qualities that send the critics into ga-ga land.

"It’s great -but then again, was a film that features Jennifer Lawrence over-zealously cleaning to the strains of Live and Let Die ever going to be anything other than great?" [Can the critic actually MEAN this???]

"Each of the main characters are their own individual wells of entertainment, with their plethora of bizarre ticks. Whilst it occasionally feels muddled from the sheer wealth of characters, the off the wall intensities and surprises are thrilling."

"He takes four entirely preposterous characters, who take themselves entirely seriously: they begin to enact something like a dysfunctional four-way comedy routine, or perhaps a challengingly atonal modern jazz quartet. They are people who hate and love each other, and everyone often seems on the point of screaming . . . . ". [A key to the film's popularity?]

"The pressure-cooker simmer of suppressed madness bubbles continuously through American Hustle . . . . ."

"The bizarre, uproarious and semi-credible story rattles along with plenty of comic setpieces along the way. Richie is infuriated by his tightass boss Stoddard Thorsen, played by Louis CK, who is reluctant to use official funds for his crazy entrapment schemes and keeps on telling him a homely anecdote about his childhood ice fishing, which Richie keeps petulantly interrupting when he thinks he understands the moral. It is a running gag, punctuated by furious rows and there is even a psychotic flashback in which the two appear to be pulling guns on each other in some scuzzy bathroom: did that really happen? Or just in Richie's head?" [Many critics swallowed this cunning bait and were diverted by this nit wit running gag and had to describe it at length.]

"The performances are far from subtle, yet they have an eye-popping, beads -of-sweat commitment." [ Exactly --- INTENSITY trumps all else.. "Far from subtle". "Eye-popping, beads of sweat [performances]." Yes, this critic has nailed it. It's another way of saying INTENSITY, via mini- shocks from the roller coaster taking curves abruptly, jerkily and in "shake em up" fashion. Lace heavily with extreme emotional states, circumstances pushed to the limit, profanity & cleavages and you have a winning formula for one and all. Well, for a great number, anyway.

I so much prefer films that are coherent & take time to have characters gain depth: THANK YOU FOR SMOKING, AN EDUCATION, BURN AFTER READING, WEATHER MAN/Nicholas Cage --- and by all means, MUD.

I feel vulgarized and knocked around by this film.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WHO'S THE MASTER? THE PAINTER OR THE FORGER?,, 16 Jan 2014
By 
The Movie Guy "Movies from A to Z" (United States) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: American Hustle [DVD] [2013] (DVD)
Irving (Christian Bale)is a con artist. His wife (Jennifer Lawrence) is flaky so he has a mistress Edith (Amy Adams) who helps him in his cons. When she gets pinched by an eager FBI agent (Bradley Cooper as Richie) they are asked to assist the FBI with four arrests and then they would be let go. Irving reluctantly agrees and Edith helps against her better judgement. The plot leads us to Irving being involved in a bust of organized crime figures (Robert De Niro), something that would lead to his demise and that of everyone he loves. He is in over his head. During the film you know everyone is scheming, but who is going to come out on top?

This is another classic con artist tale. It is a crime/thriller/drama/comedy. The acting was superb which made the script look substandard. Amy Irving is perhaps the sexist we have seen her to date. I never miss a film with Jennifer Lawrence who proclaims "Thank God for me." Her role starts out minor but then grows. The ladies room kiss with Amy Adams is something I predict will be on loop.

Seems like a good old fashion con artist film with some fine acting.

Parental Guide: F-bombs. Brief sex. No nudity. Stripper with pasties, most likely Amy Adams body double as face is not shown with nearly bare torso.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Enchantingly Good, 1 Aug 2014
This review is from: American Hustle [DVD] [2013] (DVD)
Hype towards a movie can easily ruin your experience with it, time and time again. You see all the awards it's been getting, amazing quotes from critics, and your expectations are set way too high. Then, when you actually see it, you're totally disappointed, and expected something much better. That's exactly what happened when I first saw "American Hustle". I liked it a lot, but not as much as other people seemed too. When I decided to see it a second time, I tried to put all the hype aside, and I enjoyed the movie considerably more.

The film follows Irving Rosenfeld, played by Christian Bale, a con-man who runs a corrupt loan business alongside his seductive partner Sydney (Amy Adams). When busted by FBI agent Richie DiMaso (Bradley Cooper), he is obliged to work together with him to lineup the arrests of several other people including congressmen and mafia members.

With awesome costumes and music choices that set you right in the time period, the movie is enchanting from the start. It may be a tad too long, but the cast of off-beat and interesting characters make up for that in the end. Christian Bale is certainly the standout, and seeing his performance a second time solidified that. Go in with a clear head, and you will most-definitely enjoy it. Rated R for language and sexual content, "American Hustle" is enchantingly good.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Overhyped? certainly. Over-rated? probably., 23 Jun 2014
By 
Stanley Crowe (Greenville, SC) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: American Hustle [DVD] [2013] (DVD)
A lot of talent working hard in this movie, but only with sporadic success. One of the biggest names, Robert De Niro, has an uncredited cameo, and unkind though it might be to say, I think his decision to keep his name off the credits was a wise one. The problem is with the rhythm and direction -- there are scenes that seem either unnecessary or to go on to long. For example, the scene with the agents who believe that they have just taped an incriminating phone call is probably not needed, but certainly goes on far too long. The scene with Richie (Bradley Cooper) and Sydney (Amy Adams) in the bathroom stall adds nothing to our grasp of these characters or to the plot. The running gag of Richie's boss (Louis C. K.) and the ice-fishing story is weak and unnecessary The big party scene involving the sheikh and the mobsters -- way too long. Carmen Polito, mayor of Camden, NJ, goes on and on about how his constituents are his family, long after we get it. The energy of the actors and the excellent production values aren't enough to save these scenes, and they throw the rhythm out of kilter.

George Roy Hill's "The Sting" ran like clockwork -- like the sting itself. This is a sort of sting movie, and (thanks to Rosalyn [Jennifer Lawrence], the wife of con-man Irving Rosenfeld [Christian Bale]) the sting DOESN'T run like clockwork -- but the movie should, and it doesn't. The con artists, Irving and Sydney, are constantly having to adapt to unforeseen circumstances -- and there is a possibility of humor in that -- but the adjustments aren't always as funny as they could be. There is a certain satisfaction in the ending's showing that folks who have to con for a living are better at it than the government, but I'm not sure that that makes up for the dull patches on the way. I think that Cooper, Adams, Lawrence, and Bale -- as well as Jeremy Renner, who plays Carmine Polito -- are fine, and some local scenes work well enough, but not enough of them.

Viewers shouldn't expect a satire on the level of "M.A.S.H." or "Network." Despite the title "American Hustle" it's not clear that there's anything specifically American in the targets of such satire as there is beyond the setting. Somewhere in the background, and signaled early, there's a point being made about self-invention and re-invention (this is, I think, what all the stuff about everybody's hair is all about), but it hardly deserves the name of cultural criticism. Further, the cartoonishness of the characterization distances us from the characters' predicaments, but they are not reduced to social or culturally recognizable types in a way that would enable us to say confidently that this or that aspect of the culture is being satirized.

So what's to like? The energy of the acting is engaging; De Niro's brief moment is gripping and well-paced; there's a great late 1970's soundtrack, and the '70's look is faithfully recreated -- but these alone didn't redeem the movie as a whole for me. So . . . it's OK, but a bit tiresome, I'm afraid.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Not bad, entertaining enough..... But who's conning who?, 24 July 2014
This review is from: American Hustle [DVD] [2013] (DVD)
Yes we know what's going to happen at the end but the film still plays well enough without losing interest. There's an odd relationship between the FBI agent and his boss and doesn't really fit with the rest of the film's general style. There seems to be quite a bit to and fro along the story time line and sub-twists in plot to try and throw you off what remains an obvious plot. I'm not too anamoured with cooper in the role as he plays it ambiguous - at times he seems to playing for laughs, which I'm not sure fits the bill. I could extend this to both Adams and bale in their varying emotional demeanour through the film - it just doesn't hang together for me and some scenes just seem out of place with other scenes in context of their emotional reactions. I'm just wondering whether the writers and director kept changing their minds about what type of film they were making - sometimes it comes across as a spoof - perhaps that's the joke - the film is con of a fictional con............
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not the 'film of the year'., 9 July 2014
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This review is from: American Hustle [DVD] [2013] (DVD)
Did not like any of the characters [had no sympathy for any of them] new there had to be a twist and was not bothered when it happened. Was acted well but story did not have enough in it for me. How ever watch Jennifer Lawrence dance to 'live and let die' in the deleted scenes,you WILL enjoy that.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Everything that is truly screwed up about America...and more..., 9 July 2014
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This review is from: American Hustle [DVD] [2013] (DVD)
America is as America does. Watching this was like a cross between Starsky and Hutch, LA Confidential and Goodfellas all rolled into one crazy movie, with a top soundtrack to boot. The look, style and feel of this movie alone is enough to suck you in and drag you by the hair through a hedge backwards. The comb over, perm and Elvis look are goofy too. It really is that crazy. But it's just so American it hurts. Sleazy, tacky, egotistical, narcissistic and totally manic.

But at the end of the day this is a comedy. There are 'drama' elements, but they take a back seat. American Hustle shouldn't be taken 'seriously', in the truest sense of the word. This is just a blast. We need to constantly realize what we are witnessing: Everything that is truly great, but screwed up about America. The land of the free gets taken for a ride by a duplicitous con man, who actually comes across as a deadpan but seemingly well intended, plausible character on the surface....

Jennifer Lawrence tops the charts as the dizzy blonde, semi-neurotic, trailer trash, bitter and embattled younger housewife with a deranged kid, whose been ensnared by (the same) over-weight, heart condition I need my pills, con man of a so called husband, one marvelous Christian Bale. Who must have put on at least three stone or more to play the part.

Then we have the smart, savvy, but equally duplicitous lush puppy, butter wouldn't melt, how can you not love me, Amy Adams, Bale's real partner in slime, I mean crime. While they are art wheeling and dealing and making a fortune they are caught by FBI agent in charge, the hilarious Brad Cooper, with his perm, who tries to use them to catch the alleged real criminals - the scheming public officials who have been paid off by mafia. A mysterious sheikh is employed too, to try and catch them all at it. Everyone in the movie seems corrupt in some way. Everyone has an ulterior motive, everyone wants to use everyone else, everyone wants to manipulate everyone else. Who really is the bad guy?

Underneath all the craziness and shenanigans there is actually a story and a plot going on (70s FBI 2 year ABSCAM sting operation). But the plot of the movie seems almost irrelevant to mention, because that's not what we're really watching for. In comes Jerry Renner who plays the Mayor with umpteen kids, who is all family on the outside, but just as corrupt on the inside. It trips over itself in one crazy scene to the next you're left dangling as to who is really trying to con who. But Jennifer Lawrence doing Wing's 'Live and Let die' is right up there... We also get to see the legendary Robert De Niro in a non-credited cameo as mafia's second in command, thrown in for good measure...

You have to understand the mentality of the movie to appreciate it, I can't believe so many on here gave it 1 star, they weren't paying attention, they didn't do their homework and they didn't realize what they were witnessing. Shame on them. Hustle indeed.
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American Hustle [Blu-ray] [2013]
American Hustle [Blu-ray] [2013] by David O. Russell (Blu-ray - 2014)
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