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3.2 out of 5 stars
American Hustle [Blu-ray] [2013]
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
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
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 to enjoy along the way.
Special Features :-
* The making of 'American Hustle'
* Deleted and Extended Scenes.
* Film run time 138 minutes.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 13 November 2014
Some films are noted for their action, other for their stories, whilst others still have a great central performance. The very special few will have all these elements and become a classic. ‘American Hustle’ is not that film. It has little action and a slightly confused story, but what it does have is four stellar performances in the guise of Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper. These performances are at a level that you can forgive some of the film’s mistakes and instead embrace the elements that do work.

Based on a true story, ‘American Hustle’ discards any sort of reality in favour of an overblown portrayal of the 70s and even more overblown characters. It is almost as if director David O. Russell sketched out a general idea of what they were planning to do and shot the film anyway. This is certainly the case towards the end as a rather loose narrative begins to unravel into near enough nothing. In most cases, this would prove a real problem, but ‘American Hustle’ is not about the story, but about the characters.

It is here that the film really shines. You expect the likes of Bale and Adams to work well; they have Oscar nominations to spare. Of course you also have the wonderful Lawrence, proving once more that she can do drama or action; stick her in a film and watch her excel. The final of the four is Cooper, despite previous accolades I have not thought much of him, but as the sleazy FBI agent he is excellent. A charming facade soon breaks away to reveal something far less becoming.

The power of these four performances is plenty enough for you get swept away in the world of ‘American Hustle’. At times the lack of coherent story makes this film less like a movie and more a testament to a time and place. This is a time and a place filtered through the slightly offbeat eye of Russell and one that I would be glad to go back to. Who knows, next time he may even give the characters in his films a purpose?

In terms of extras, there was not much on the disc I saw, just some deleted scenes. The film should be caught on BluRay if possible as although it is set in the 70s, Russell has forgone the grainy feel of the films of the era and instead adds as a vibrancy and sense of colour that looks great in HD.
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on 27 June 2014
David O. Russell's "American Hustle" tells a mostly fictionalized account ('some of this is true' a title says) of the 1980's 'Abscam' scandal in which an eccentric FBI agent exposed corruption in political figures in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. That just begins to describe this top-notch entertainment with idiosyncratic characters that fascinate as they make you laugh. Virtually everyone is at the peak of their form.

Christian Bale plays Irving Rosenfeld (the fictional version of real-life Melvin Weinberg), a con-artist who is 'drafted' into working with the FBI to expose corruption during the "Abscam" scandals, and he's a joy to watch. Amy Adams is Sydney Prosser, seductive British partner to Bale's Irving Rosenfeld, and it's her best role to date. She's both funny and sexy as she works several different men in the FBI scheme she's been 'drafted' into. Jennifer Lawrence is also one of the pleasures of "American Hustle", garnering some of the film's biggest laughs without ever forsaking the believability of her character.

David O. Russell has had a good record of making extremely enjoyable films, and many of them display a great sense of artistic achievement. He started in the early nineties with some provocative and daring independent films ("Spanking the Monkey" and "Flirting with Disaster", two marvelous black comedies) before making his first masterpiece "Three Kings" in 1999, a darkly comic war film about the first Iraqi conflict, starring George Clooney and Mark Wahlberg. His subsequent films went from the esoteric and incomprehensible "I Heart Huckabees" to more grounded filmmaking with "The Fighter" and "Silver Linings Playbook", both Oscar winners and both excellent showcases for actors. Some say Russell seems to emulate Martin Scorsese's direction here (especially the early parts of "Goodfellas" sans violence), but is that a bad thing? Russell, even in his less accomplished films, has always had an affinity for directing actors masterfully, but in "American Hustle" he excelled himself in juggling his superb cast in a perfectly integrated ensemble.

This is certainly a film that no film lover should miss.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 12 November 2014
Over rated. I expected so much - I know its personal taste but very disappointed nonetheless
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on 2 May 2014
Fantastic film all round this! Good story that's well paced out over the 2hr+ run time, the 70's era looks authentic and the costumes etc are cool, the cast helps this movie so much and makes it what it is, Christian Bale does no wrong as usual and shines through this with another top performance, Jennifer Lawrence is amazing too, her best role to date, the rest of the cast is top notch too Amy Adams and Brad Cooper, there is a cool cameo from Robert De Niro too! Great soundtrack too well picked out songs and score help to set the tone, if you like a smart intelligent drama with a good story its a must see, con-men, corruption and mafia are a great cocktail with such an amazing cast! One of the best of the year so far!
Looks great on Blu-ray and there are some features!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 7 September 2014
No wonder this film didn't won any oscars at all, except Jennifer Lawrence's excellent performance. She's spot on capturing the character in a subtle way - amazing how young she is and so versitile with her acting. Didn't like the cast of Amy Adam, she's a good actor over all but not in this film, and her wardrobe - over used the 70s low cut fashion. In summary, the film is far too long and too much inpro with Chris Bale, Cooper and Adam. The story picks up when Lawrence involved... . It would have been a much more interesting story if it were cut down to just 1.30 hrs. Any good story could become boring if it drags on. The director is not a good story teller. It I were 20 years younger I would have liked some other reviewers - walked out of the movie!
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on 25 November 2014
To be honest 2 and a half would be enough. The acting is good and the premise is interesting but it takes such a long time to get to the actual Hustle that by that time you have lost a lot of interest.

And in fact the ending is fairly predictable although the way it turned out was not quite as I expected.

Christian Bale has a hair piece and it is part of the story but in a way it makes his character more comical than realistic, yes it does show his vanity and vulnerability but whenever you are watching him you can't help forget the hair piece.

If you like long slow burning movies with an involved plot then you will probably enjoy this. However, it is not my sort of 'Saturday night' film.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on 9 July 2014
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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