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3.4 out of 5 stars
3.4 out of 5 stars
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on 26 December 2016
Really boring. I had several attempts to watch this but abandoned them. Nothing like as good as the British tv series of Hustle.
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on 16 January 2014
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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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 13 March 2016
David O. Russell’s entertaining and stylish ‘con-caper’ movie is set in 1970s and involves an elaborate FBI plan to entrap corrupt politicians through the use of a fake sheikh and a pair of grifters, blackmailed by the authorities to assist them and remarkably, is based on events which actually occurred. The movie appears to be a marriage of The Sting and Goodfellas with everybody dressed with the wardrobe from Boogie Nights as the main actors strut their stuff to an iconic pulsating pop soundtrack of the times. Although the movie possesses humour aplenty and the protagonists are presented as larger-than-life characters the tone is never mocking or derisive. The main actors all give splendid performances - Christian Bale’s as a paunchy toupee wearing con artist, Amy Adams as his attractive partner in crime, Jennifer Lawrence as his unpredictable and ever so slightly unhinged wife, Bradley Cooper as the tightly permed FBI agent responsible for the entrapment scheme and Jeremy Renner as the politician who is targeted. Good support is provided throughout and Robert De Niro makes a chilling cameo appearance as a powerful Mafia figure. Well worth watching, and not just for the clothes, hairstyles and decor.
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on 9 July 2014
Classy & hilarious. Great acting from everyone in it
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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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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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on 6 March 2016
This is one of the better films of the last few years. The director is somewhat inconsistent, but this is his best, most rounded effort since his breakthrough movie, Three Kings. It all basically comes down to Christian Bale's awesome performance in the protagonist role, which I can't believe didn't earn him his long-overdue Oscar for Best Male Lead. It also contains a unique movie moment in bringing together surely the two greatest actors of their respective generations in Bale and Robert De Niro for a brief but luminous cameo.(Strangely, this heralds a horribly jarring device to break the tension which contrives to arise from their encounter. You'll know it when you see it.) Another great movie which revisits the seventies, which you really ought to see, if you haven't already.
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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 23 June 2014
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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on 23 October 2016
by far one of the worst films ive ever seen stupid story just kept waiting for something good to happen and it never did and to say its a two hour film it felt like four it just dragged like hell,don't bother with it watch paint dry instead far more entertaining!
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