User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 958 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 88 out of 958

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  1. Dec 21, 2013
    You are kidding me. This movie is one of the best? Odds-on favorite for best picture? Who are these professional reviewers? Ahh, yes, they are of that postmodernist breed who like nonsense disguised as cinematic art. Sorry, but this was a mess. To start you had three character narration tracks, Irving, Richie, and Sydney all had their turns--a director's shot at cutting-edge experimentation that was just stupid. Then there was the uneven smattering of Pulp Fiction-like time exploitation which just made it disjointed. The main blight was this now typical fixation with showcasing people doing stunningly insipid things then forcing us to gaze at others trying to cope in wildly emotional ways. This drives me crazy. The attempt at some penetrating authenticity with mere random and painfully distended melodrama was so contrived I just want to puke at the screen. You saw the same thing with Silver Linings Playbook and I hated that movie for the same reason. Yet I keep reading how David O. Russell is so wonderful, so I thought I'd give him another chance and see if this would be different. It wasn't. It gets a "2" rating because it did get tepidly interesting with the mob involvement there for a bit, as well as some of the con artist twists. Other than that, boorishly silly to the hilt Expand
  2. Dec 26, 2013
    The critics that ruined my Christmas. It would have been hard to live up the all the reviews, but this movie was boring. It's not a 1, but certainly not a 10. There was no buzz leaving the theaters, and the discussion in the car was how silly the plot was. The characters would have been better served in a Saturday Night Live skit. They were all kind of over the top and silly.
  3. Jan 17, 2014
    Truly stunning how the worst movies of the year get Oscar nominations. This movie is a joke, there is not a single redeeming feature in all of it, except for maybe Amy Adams' looks, she is cute, but that has nothing to do with the movie. It really is hard not to fall asleep. The characters are all unlikable, they look weird, they dress weird, the are weird. This movie, together with 'Gravity', should have never been released to the public. Simply awful. Expand
  4. JEK
    Jan 6, 2014
    The acting was good but the movie sucks. I don't know why does these critics call them critics. The movie was dragging and boring. I was expecting the ending would be great but I got really disappointed with the movie.
  5. Dec 21, 2013
    Totally forgettable movie, I was real disappointed by this one. Being a fan of Russel's previous films, i had high expectations for this one but this one is a rare dud for him. There never seems to get going until the very end. Never was able to get into the film. Jennifer Lawrence is the only reason to see this, maybe Christian Bale.
  6. Jan 3, 2014
    Thought the acting was terrible by the leads except for bale, and his character was unwatchable. Lawrence was good playing crazy, but her character was almost pointless making her scenes look way overdone. Can't figure out the media's "rapturous" reception of this disaster of a movie. Cooper and Adams are particularly bad, and it looked like the director let them develop their own characters and lines, which will get you this amateurish result from actors who are not that good. 0 is a bit rough, but it was meant to counter balance the overrated reviews of audience and critics, it is probably a 4 or 5. Expand
  7. Dec 28, 2013
    I'm with the minority on the one. The comments by Sodlid and Subseq nail it. American Hustle is like a unfunny joke at a party filled with pretentious people. What really surprises me are the numerous comments of great acting.

    I couldn't get passed the cheesy, cliched overacting by Christian Bale and Amy Adams. Bradley Cooper was annoying and not by design. Jennifer Lawrence was the
    lone exception. This was just one of the many problems with this film. But it was a big enough obstacle to not want to go further. Expand
  8. Cik
    Jan 26, 2014
    Linear, predictable and mundane move. Maybe, maybe a decent rental, but not a rewarding movie at all, and certainly any comparisons to Pulp Fiction are grossly exaggerated.
  9. Feb 11, 2014
    David. O Russell thinks he is a better director than he really is, and this movie is the biggest evidence of this. The only notable is Amy Adam's performance, but American Hustle is in my opinion a boring, superficial and totally overrated film.
  10. Jan 16, 2014
    I'm really disappointed, the movie is boring and confusing at some points. I expected so much more, the trailer looked so cool and funny and the end was really flat. So Overrated.
  11. Dec 21, 2013
    Thin. It felt like Russel was channeling Scorcese's Goodfellas. And that move only highlights how much better Goodfellas was than American Hustle. You can disagree. But we all have gone on quoting lines from Goodfellas for years and years. What will we quote from this movie? What scenes carry the weight of "you think I'm funny, like a clown?" This movie never takes itself serious enough to be memorable. Fun to watch, sure, but it doesn't ever make much of a dent. Expand
  12. Dec 20, 2013
    After all the 4 star reviews, critic’s raves, plus the 7 Golden Globe nominations, including Best picture, for “American Hustle” this will definitely be a minority review.

    Along with cementing her versatility as an actress, Jenifer Lawrence is the main, if only a few, reasons to see this film. Her role as Rosalyn Rosenfeld is as far from her performances as Ree Dolly in “Winter’s
    Bone”, Katniss Everdeen in “The Hunger Games” series or her Oscar winning Tiffany Maxwell in “Silver Linings Playbook”. Here she recalls the ditzy, dumb blonds through all of Hollywood film history and would be right at home in a 1930s, 1940s, screwball comedy. She is the shining light in “American Hustle”.

    The soundtrack offers a variety of music from Duke Ellington’s “Jeep Blues” to Amy Adams and Christian Bale dancing to “I’ve Got Your Number” and then her and Bradley Cooper dancing in a disco to, who else?, the Bee Gees and Jennifer Lawrence lip synching to “Live and Let Die” all definitely a plus for the movie.

    One surprise, to me, was the role played by Patsy Levine and I will leave it at that.

    Bradley Cooper, as an FBI man setting up a sting using con artists Adams and Bale, is, as Bale is, in love with Adams and with her low cut down to there dresses that is understandable, brings a lot of his charm to his role. The cast as a whole do the best they can though many times Christian Bale mumbles, like Marlon Brando did at his worst, making his speech indecipherable.

    The 1970s and New York at the time is duplicated by the production crew and the hair styles are standouts, especially for Copper and Bale in two scenes.

    While most critics praised the direction by David O. Russell, and the screenplay by Eric Warren Singer along with Russell, I just didn’t get into the film or characters and looked forward to every appearance by Lawrence.
  13. Mar 3, 2014
    Jesus did someone actually compare this to Good Fellas now that's the best joke iv heard all year. Is this what is seen as a great movie, it reminds me of bad improve acting classes where actors we all have seen in a million other movies talking crap. Its too long as well. Avoid
  14. Feb 16, 2014
    The very messy plot should be about a convoluted scam played by a couple of swindlers, “forced” to work for the FBI. The swindlers happen to be Irving (Bale) and Sydney (Adams), also involved in a torrid extramarital affair. Irving is married to Rosalyn (Lawrence) a single mum, whose son he adopted. Like most married men, he stalling divorce because the “child would suffer”.

    Irving and
    Sydney get busted by Richie (Cooper) an ambitious FBI agent who forces them to get bigger fish into the agency net. Or, at least this should be the plot, because it gets derailed in all directions, none of which even remotely interesting.

    It feels like the whole movie is a scam played on the audience, starting with Lawrence. I understand that she is the present ”Hollywood-IT-hot” girl, but her part is bloated out of proportion, when her character was at best a marginal one.

    She is constantly on screen, shouting all her lines and going on endlessly about her relationship with Irving. Who cares? I wanted to see a movie about a hustle, not a dysfunctional couple in action, especially when their dysfunctions are not the core of the plot. We also get plenty of the Sydney-Richie relationship (and again, who cares?)

    Everybody is exceedingly verbose, and situations that would require at most 30 seconds of screen time drag on for several minutes. Even considered as a “character study”, the movie still does not work.

    Besides, the “moral” of the story is a murky one and an additional joke played on the audience: whoever makes more money (regardless of their methods) is smarter than anybody holding an honest job.
    Corrupted politicians are portrayed as minor offenders, dealing dirty deeds for the good of the community. Richie is played as a fool, while mediocre Irving and Sydney are glorified as first-class tricksters. Even dumb and insufferable Rosalyn gets a happy ending of her own

    The best thing about American Hustle is the 70’s atmosphere, with some amazingly tacky clothes and a good soundtrack, but it is definitely not enough to save the movie. Unbelievable to think this mess got 10 Oscars nominations….
  15. Jan 25, 2014
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. A movie perhaps for the bored cinefiles of the world, American Hustle is a convoluted mess with little direction and so much plot that it makes your head spin. It is different, in that David O'Russell way that might have worked for Silver Linings Playbook but fails when it aims for too much. It has some great actors, who give it their all but that doesn't really matter when the audience has no idea of what they're doing or why they're doing it. To give you an idea of what this movie is, I'll say the best part is when Robert De Niro briefly shows up for three minutes and reminds us all of how great Goodfellas and Casino were. For the rest of the movie I sat asking myself a few questions like: What is going on? Shouldn't this be considered entrapment? Man, Amy Adams nipples have been dangerously close to a wardrobe malfunction for like two hours, why does she only wear that one type of v-neck? Seriously, did they just glue her clothes to her nips or something? When will it ever end?'
    The only redeeming factor to this movie is that it's not the typical, it goes its own way and does its own thing and I'll give it props for that. I just don't think American Hustle is an enjoyable movie.
  16. BKM
    Jan 9, 2014
    I've never been a huge fan of David O. Russel's films, but this one was a complete mess in spite of the top shelf talent involved. The narrative felt clunky and unfocused and the performances seemed hammy and over the top. Only Louis C.K., in a small role as one of the few sane characters in this overstuffed pinata, generated any laughs. One of the most overrated awards season films I've seen in a long time. Expand
  17. Jan 12, 2014
    Acting isn't bad, but the film is slow, boring, and filled with characters you don't care about. You could stop watching at any point and not care that you will never know how it ends. If you do watch it all the way through you will leave feeling "American Hustled". You will scratch your head and wonder if you missed didn't. All hype, and awards...major disappointment.
  18. Jan 22, 2014
    This film got nothing new for the ones who commonly watch movies at all. Big Hollywood cliché. Slow-motion desnecessarily, characters with no sympathy and not "deep" enough, script with no originality... The only thing I can say is positive about this is the envolvement with the main (Bale, Amy Adams, Cooper and J. Lawrence characters) just it. And probably this piece of s**t will win some Academy Award. Shameful... Expand
  19. Mar 2, 2014
    The vast majority of critics and (thus?) moviegoers reacted differently, but I actually consider American Hustle to be an effective argument against improvisation in films. Because, whereas I’m a great fan of it when it’s executed amusingly by talented stand-up comedians, unscripted babble can thoroughly blacken a film’s quality – and that’s exactly what happened with this one. Granted, it does have good-looking costumes and set design as well as fine cinematography and editing, and if you find joy in the over the top of over the top portrayal of characters– well, go ahead, watch it. I just think that most of the people claiming to like the film are being overtly pretentious and following critics’ opinions, since American Hustle is a surprisingly boring, annoyingly ridiculous, and not anywhere close to funny film. Expand
  20. Jan 6, 2014
    This film is a mess. Like most David O Russel films, this is a great example of quirky and obnoxious affectation that sacrifices meaningfulness, coherence and solid narrative. It seems that the media, by giving this film such unabashed acclaim, makes sloppy chaotic direction seem legitimate. If you have enough likable actors in your ensemble it doesn't matter that the dialogue only serves to beguile us with how fast they can say it, or as long as it sounds complicated it might actually mean something. The films plot just tumbles forward sporadically when the characters are done talking and decide to get back to the task at hand. David O Russel is full of Critics and sheep alike enjoyed this film because they like watching a 90's quirk-era hack splatter brightly colored paints on the wall because, "Heck, I don't know what it means but it sure looks pretty." Expand
  21. Jan 18, 2014
    I have no idea how this all style, no substance mess has garnered so much acclaim. What a boring film. No stakes, no suspense, poor comedy, and way too much talking. I'm literally baffled by this film.
  22. Jan 26, 2014
    This movie was a mess. It tried to set up a plot that never ended up happening. The pacing was very slow which would be fine if there was any reward for the two hours of pointlessness required to endure.It wasn't even particularly stylish. On top of that Jennifer Lawrence's accent was absolutely brutal and most of the time non-existent. Metacritic is usually fairly accurate with their scores but this one is miles off. Expand
  23. Jan 18, 2014
    American Hustle does not bring us anything new, and yet it still manages take risks in the end were completely unnecessary. I think people are fooled by the stellar cast and flashy costumes into thinking this is a good movie. If this same movie were made by M. Night Shyamalan, people would be saying it was just another bad Shyamalan film. Because it is from David O. Russell, people praise it as another good Russell film. This is a film that is supposed to focus around the idea of survival, and what you would do in order to get the money, or fame, that you need in order to survive. Yet it teaches us nothing new about the ideals of American society, and this fictional telling of an actual historical event falls flat on its face at it appears as just that: Fictional. David O. Russell dazzled with The Fighter and Silver Linings Playbook, but he just got too cocky here and thought he could tackle 5 different characters in an interwoven story and still allow us to focus on one thing. The acting is great, no doubt, and the writing is pretty good too. However, we end up getting bored by the pointlessness and irrelevance. The opening 10 minutes is some of the worst filmmaking I've ever seen. Though it picks up decently after that, it is not nearly enough to save what I view as an unnecessary movie. Expand
  24. Feb 2, 2014
    American Hustle is a somewhat uneven movie with disappointing and entertaining parts. The movie sagged in the middle with a tangled plot. Performances were generally good, although some seemed like a rehash from last year's Silver Linings Playbook. Overall, American Hustle is not a particularly memorable movie.
  25. Dec 27, 2013
    Slow, unconvincing, cannot see what would make this a "best" pic in any way. Did I mention s-l-o-w?? Several of the performances were mildly entertaining; perhaps three real laughs in the two hours. No reaction from my audience. What was all the hype about? Seems like The Emperor's New Clothes.
  26. Dec 29, 2013
    The first movie in a long time that kept me glancing at my watch. First to try to guess how much time there was left before it might become interesting, and secondly in order to simply judge how much longer I had to endure it. I don't get why the critics like it.....weak plot, weak dialog, and boring. Jennifer Lawrence and Elizabeth Rohmer were the two bright spots. I hope Christian Bale was well paid because otherwise I'd be very depressed about putting on 40 pounds for this epic miss if I were him. Expand
  27. Dec 31, 2013
    My comment is also in the red zone. I thought AH was a very bad rip off of Goodfellas-but with no humor, no likable characters, no attractiveness in any of the characters (not actual actors) save a few scenes with Jennifer Lawrence who wasn't given much in the way of dialogue to work with. I was hoping there would be a great soundtrack to at least jump us from scene to scene, but that wasn't even included as promised. It was just too cold outside and too late at night to motivate my daughter or myself to get up and face the freezing walk to the car, so we stayed "hoping for a moment that just don't come" I didn't believe the plot, the dialogue, the just seemed like the most contrived attempt at art I've seen in a long time. I would have been better off watching the alleged porn in the next theater aka Wolf of Wall Street. Bummer! Collapse
  28. Jan 4, 2014
    Did not live up to the hype. If you liked Silver Linings Playbook (I'm sorry for you if you did), and are a Jennifer Lawrence fan you'll probably like this movie. If, like myself, you do not find yourself in that camp, American Hustle is not worth your time. Unmemorable plot and characters, passably acted at best, and slow (oh god is it slow). Upsides are Christian Bale's performance (funny, nuanced, highly-committed) and the soundtrack. Expand
  29. Jan 5, 2014
    Thought this film was utter rubbish, yes acting was good but with little plot to go with. Took ages to get going and sadly never did. If this wins any awards I am at a loss as to what people find entertaining
  30. Jan 10, 2014
    I just dont get the critics rave reviews. I thought it had an unoriginal scripts with poorly written characters and even poorer dialogue. Stuffing a film with big name movie starts seems to be inversely related to how good the film is.
    None of it was believable - the romantic interludes didn't work as all characters involved were unlovable. One cop battering another cop with a phone to
    get arrests - nah.
    Not a good film.
  31. Jan 12, 2014
    I agree with the other reviewers who found this film profoundly boring. I couldn't make it even half-way through before walking out. I also felt it was trying so hard to be another Good Fellas but it didn't come close. In one scene, they showed the outside of the Chelsea Hotel in NYC and then they cut to an interior shot, presumably inside that hotel. They made it look like a nice hotel. I can vouch that the Chelsea Hotel was a fleabag hotel in the late 70s because I stayed there for one night in 1980. We couldn't stand more than one night and scrambled to a safer, cleaner hotel for the rest of our stay.

    Bottom line: Save your money
  32. Jan 12, 2014
    There's no denying the acting chops of Bale, Adams & Lawrence. However, that their talents were put to the service of this absolute mess of a "story" is a misfortune for them, the entire viewing audience - and especially these actors' fans. I lasted 65 minutes. As my stomach began to churn with more agitation, I chose to walk out - and was happy to do so. I read the rest of the plot details at Wikipedia and apparently the mess I saw only got much worse. My dissatisfaction is not just personal, but for all of us in the movie-viewing public, that we should be offered as entertainment a made-up tale of moral recklessness. Expand
  33. Feb 23, 2014
    One of the worst films I've seen in theaters. The characters were completely unlikeable, I wasn't sure if I should root for the cop or the crooks, the story was boring and I didn't see a point to Louie CK and Jennifer Lawrence even being there. It seemed like they were there just because they were big names and not because they fit the role.

    If it wasn't for Bale and Amy Adams the movie
    would have been a complete wash. I almost left the theater twice during the movie and I only stayed to find out how it ended for Bale and Adams. Expand
  34. Feb 8, 2014
    I can't help but see this as the most overrated film of 2013. The acting, cinematography, and soundtrack is good...but the script is not even half as clever as it thinks it is, the plot is so scattered it feels like a schizophrenic leprechaun on LSD wrote it, and director David O. Russel just seems so lost in his own recent success that he feels like he can push all of the boundaries he wants and get applauded for it. Sadly that last part seems basically true. I'm all for movies that break traditional molds and delve deep into the bizarre and contradictory rawness of human thoughts and emotions, but this just made me feel sick and confused. There is no structure at all, while this is clearly intentional, it doesn't work for me. Plus the movie isn't funny enough to be a comedy, it isn't engaging enough to be a romance, and it isn't interesting enough to be a drama, leaving it stuck in some sort of genre-limbo. That isn't even touching on the extreme overuse of narration to explain the characters feelings, the fact that the actual problem of the movie is completely ambiguous until the end of the second act, and the absence any real protagonist to care about or find fascinating. Expand
  35. Jan 16, 2014
    American Hustle is the only movie I have ever seen where I felt like walking out of the cinema. There were a couple of scenes that made me smile or laugh but overall the whole film was dire, a sort of dull shade of grey and blandness throughout. I can't even put my finger on what was so bad about it I just know I did'nt enjoy it one bit. It kind of reminded me of a Guy Ritchie movie...but with all the interesting bits taken out. Even the "twist" or "how they did" moment at the end just didnt grab me, it just felt very "oh..." Expand
  36. Mar 10, 2014
    Good actors, poor story, extremely boring movie. They could make the ending brilliant by saying something like "And then he found a five dollar bill!"
  37. Jan 22, 2014
    This movie is so overrated. It is not funny nor the story is interesting. I have no clue why it is considered to be so good. It deserves 5/10 at most.
  38. Jan 14, 2014
    The plot of this film in no way lives up to it's marketing. The acting was excellent, but that ultimately could not sway me from the excruciatingly unrealistic characters, their relationships, and the way they move the plot forward. For a film made to attract audiences that are expecting sex and violence and cliche and humour and drama and cunning... it is a crash and burn failure. No sex. At all. No violence. At all. Little attempt at humour. Honestly, awful film. Expand
  39. Mar 30, 2014
    This is the problem that I had with this film, it was utterly boring. The acting was beyond great don't get me wrong, but the movie itself was a total snooze fest! No real memorable scenes in it, except for the ending credits... Look, I don't mean to be so harsh but come on! Some people can agree it wasn't that great of a movie.
  40. Apr 2, 2014
    I came in to this movie thinking I was going to see a real badass gangster movie about hustlers. can't give more then 0 because I couldn't finish it. This is the story of a pathetic man that robs people of 5000 dollars, in my eyes this isn't a hustler. Bad title, bad story and just overall bad, can't seem to find the reason this movie gets a score that high from critics, together with frozen probably the most misleading scores of critics this year, can't finish either movie and they have more then 7? everyone has a right to an opinion but this 10? What, you people have not seen any movie the past 10 years? Just watch silver linings playbook, a lot of the same actors, 10x better story (and I don't like romantic movies!!), IN WHAT WORLD WOULD THIS MOVIE BE WORTHY OF AN OSCAR? Even 47 ronin was more entertaining and man that movie sucked, but at least I could finish it Expand
  41. Apr 19, 2014
    Trying to rip off Karen from Goodfellas.....badly! I can't for the life of me understand how this film got such good reviews. Bad. Just BAD.

    The plot of this film started as one thing and ended in another but tried to make out a kind of Usual Suspects twist at the end. Rubbish pure rubbish.
  42. Jul 25, 2014
    Unoriginal, unfunny,unengaging , uninteresting, unentertaining, self obsessed, super pretentious and absolutely boring. The oscar wining the sting meets goodfellas/casino and cast Robert DeNiro to insult the injury.

    We see Christian Blair doing his hair in the opening scene and this is the point where the film loses the connection with its audience and proves that " the look" is so
    important. This is why we see the 70s hair do, fashion and music all the way through film but hey Who cares the plot?

    Some of the audience might have loved the film's charm.However ,it is a 20 minute too long and empty film in the end.
  43. Apr 6, 2014
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. This movie is cynical, vacuous and depressing. The critics are really wrong about this one! The main character is so unlovable. Which is why the ending really irked me. Con-artists don't become good people all of a sudden, and ride off into the sunset enjoying a conventional and moral existence. Yes, perhaps he had some redeeming qualities, but no leopard changes their spots like that. Oh, did I mention that this movie is cynical, vacuous and depressing? Except for the ending, which is just silly. Expand
  44. Mar 26, 2014
    Oh my god!! What a BORING movie!!! I don´t understand what´s the Oscars fuzz about!! Some of the characters are OK, and some even suck. The plot is more of the same, nothing original here. The good things about this are the makeup, clothes, style, and of course Christian Bale´s great performance. The rest of the cast got nothing compared to him. But apart from this, this movie really sucks...
  45. Mar 15, 2014
    What the? Really? I'll make it short.. Overrated beyond belief.. The acting isn't all that and deservedly never won anything at the Oscars. I really don't know what kind of back room deal was going on with the Hollywood clique.. But this is in no way a good film. Waste of time.
  46. Jan 19, 2014
    The film is chalk full of good performances, too bad they’re drowned out by weak storytelling, blathering dialog and an unsure sense of style.
    Bale, Cooper, Adams, Lawrence, Renner and the rest all give solid performances. Bale as the self-assured conman is as usual, methodical in his performance. Cooper is rightly over the top in his role as the overly self-involved FBI agent. Adams is
    rock solid, albeit Russell and the wardrobe department seem to think her cleavage should have top billing. Lawrence does her Silver Linings shtick and does it really well. Renner is wonderfully charismatic as the naïve corrupt mayor. And yet all these parts do not add up to a great or even a good movie.
    The poor storytelling that is on display in this film well, it wastes all the strength of its performances. The film is merely a series of events strung together to deliver the semblance of a story. The film starts of quickly enough, but quickly spirals out of control as the narration speeds through events and character development from one set piece to the next. The audience has no time to breathe or take in any of the atmosphere that Russell rushes through on his way to fill the tale with detail. Characters are introduced and then promptly discarded as if they were nothing more than set pieces (poor Michael Pena). Major events are set up that have the pacing of a teledrama, like the documentaries on crime you see while skipping through the history channel in the morning, albeit with a few **** more. It’s such a flurrying buzz of events and information presented in a disorganized fashion that by the end you’re not entirely sure what you’ve just sat through. Sure the story is all their, the pieces fit, but the elegance of the man who brought us The Fighter, Three Kings and such is nowhere to be seen. The narration does not help things, there are three different narrations and their used in an ad hoc manner as if they weren’t sure whether to use them or not, so instead they cut it down and sprinkled it down at random points throughout the film. All this combines to create an environment where even a great performance is easily lost to sloppy filmmaking. By mid-way through the film you realize, that you might be more interested in reading the Wikipedia article about the Abscam then actually finishing this meandering film.
    Lawrence’s manic energy is drowned out to make room for as much story as possible. Her character has no moments of connection; she is all energy all the time. There is no respite from her whimsy, she exits only to do bafflingly stupid things and is given no redemptive qualities. Lawrence does her best, and I can imagine a lot of her performance was left on the cutting room floor, but she can’t get over the fact that her character is nothing more than a means to an end, like the car that gets them from point A to point B. Renner fares little better as the nice but naïve mayor. His character is made to look like such an oaf you begin to wonder how he ever became a mayor of anything. These two are the main supporting cast so if they’re treated like furniture, imagine how the third tier cast is treated.
    Cooper and Bale are good in their roles, but their resolved to acting out specific scenes that rarely tie into the previous one. This makes it seem as if their performances are uneven and at time all over the place. By the end of it, the two seem to blend in as almost one character that could be interchangeable were it not for the hair styles. Russell should’ve look to The Town to see how it is that a film makes a clean cop look like the bad guy.
    Adams on the other hand is evidently trying and the camera pays her a lot of attention. Wait no sorry my mistake, it pays her breasts a lot of attention. Apparently the films wardrobe didn’t allow for a dress or shirt that didn’t show of her mammary glands. In a film like this, this kind of attire distracts from the performance, which I think was pretty good, but thanks to the camera’s constant focus on her **** or hair I can’t be sure. In fact this brings up a great way to Segway to the next point.
    With films dull, textbook like narrative structure one might be prone to dose of or possibly even turn of the movie and save yourself at least one hour that this movie robs you of. In my case that wasn’t the case, I strove to finish it even as my brain screamed at me to just read the Wikipedia article to see what happens. Thankfully I stayed which allowed me to experience the good part of the film. No not the end, that was just as boring as the start. No, I talk of the technical side and visual style of the film. The camera work is fantastic. As the camera flows and weaves through each set piece, it’s almost like floating through the film on a cloud. You find yourself ignoring the blathering dialogue and enjoying the picturesque view of the film.
    The art deco and cinematography both do a wonderful job, even if they falter once or twice. The glitz and glamour of the Abscam world is brought to vibrant light as the characters navigate their harrowing odyssey. The disco scene in particular is stunning to behold. The colours, the movement, the sound all match up perfectly. They almost make you forget that you’re watching a **** film. The only odd part about the deco style of the film is when they try to throw in some gritty realism. It instantly looks out of place and knocks you from the daze. The start of the disco scene is a prime example of this. It’s as if they are trying to be an ode to seventies style fog machine but winds up looking cheap.
    All said and done, the film is really just a montage of events padded to a two plus hour’s length. That or the film is really three hours long and was cut down without care for structure or pacing. The performances are good, but they are good enough to overlook the storytelling problems that painfully populate the screen. A film with tons of stuff happening, but lacking in tension. The Globes and the Academy might be giving Russell a pass, by I sure as hell won’t. But hey, at least it looks pretty.
    Oh and it has a pretty decent soundtrack.
  47. May 16, 2014
    I had high hopes for this film, I decided not to bother reading the reviews, what a mistake that was!!! While its not one of the worst films I've ever watched it was close! Over two hours of my life I'll never get back. The pacing was terrible, after about 30 minutes I found myself wanting the film to end, I would have turned it off if I didn't have company. Even Amy Adams obvious talents did nothing to improve my opinion of this film, and Christian Bale was about as far away from the Batman trilogy as is humanly possible!!

    Do yourself a favour and don't buy this, wait until its on TV. I wish I had read the reviews before buying this film.
  48. May 3, 2014
    Once again the movie critics prove how little they know about what goes into making a great movie. Yes, the movie had incredible acting and the setting was founded upon detail after detail. However, does entertainment value mean nothing? I'm sorry but I was to enjoy my moviegoing experience, not be bored out of my mind while I acknowledge that Jennifer Lawrence is an amazing actress. Honestly, the only things redeemable about this movie were Lawrence and Bradley Cooper's insane yet fantastic performances and Amy Adams relentless cleavage and side-boob. None of the characters are likable in any way and the plot drags and is annoying. The acting and the well detailed setting are worthwhile but the rest of the film is not. Expand
  49. Mar 21, 2014
    Sorry, we've been conned, hoodwinked which of course is the film's conceit. A bunch of b-list actors doing a 70s period piece featuring your dad's big-band music and your big brother's pop hits. This looks and feels like a made-for-tv movie from the 70s. I do not know how people sat through this in a theater. Seriously.
  50. Jan 29, 2014
    Buyer beware. This is more of a rom com than a hustle flick.

    Not what it says on the tin, and for that I feel utterly scammed. If Romance isn't your thing, don't touch this with a 6 foot pole.

    A few points for the 70s costumes, Christian's Bale unrecognizable character, and the thrashy wife, superbly played by Jennifer Lawrence.
  51. Jan 26, 2014
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I saw American Hustle after reading the positive reviews of the Media after all the nominations received for the Oscar Awards but I was very disappointed for the following reasons:
    - the movie tries unsuccessfully to move between comedy and a serious story
    - they said that it was based on a true story Arabscam (or s similar name) but most of the facts seem totally unrealistic and difficult to happen, such as advancing money to receive a loan from UK in the '70 ties or Arabs investing in US in gambling in the same historical period
    - in the movie there are many inconsistencies. For example De Niro discovers that the Arab doesn't understand the arab language and there is no consequence?
    If it is based on a true story I would like to know exactly what happened to see if the erratic behavior of many characters really took place.
    The acting is OK, except for the poor appearence of De Niro but this doesn't seem enough to me to rehabilitate the story and the movie overall
    Roberto Bellei
    Rome Italy
  52. Mar 13, 2014
    Great acting but very poor story line, difficult to follow and left you feeling empty at the end. It got high critic reviews but honestly, I think the NY Post review was spot on.
  53. Mar 20, 2014
    I was looking forward to seeing this film for a while but was left very disappointed. I struggled to get through it with boredom. The story seemed forced to me and while the level of acting was good I never got into at all. Expected more from an Oscar nominee.
  54. Jun 25, 2014
    Prior to watching this: I went to see the film because of the many good reviews. Snucked in a Dominos Pizza and felt lethargic half way through film. Got food poisoning that night.
    Pros: General good acting, particularly Lawrence's.
    Cons: This is a rather slow and miserable film with terrible hair for all the main actors. Cooper's character was a d**k, Bale's was inept,
    Lawrence's was naive and I've never liked Adams's acting ever.
    2/5 - Don't bother.
  55. Sep 29, 2014
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. This film convinced me to register here. I just couldn't believe the high average review score. I/10 is harsh but there is no way this is a 7.5, which makes the critic score just ridiculous.

    I like the four main characters in their previous work, but my god this was turgid. Cooper, Adams, Lawrence and Bale is pretty much a dream-team cast, but I found myself losing interest well before the end, and generally not caring about what was going to happen.

    Where was the danger? The slick voiceovers, quick wit and bizarre costumes created a more comical setting, but apart from the five minutes where De Niro rocks up I never felt that any of the characters were in any danger. Cooper bless him might get his heart broken. Oh well. It's not exactly Joe Pesci's menacing presence.

    A bunch of generally unlikeable characters all trying to get one up on each other. Rather than Goodfellas,, this was more like Ocean's Eleven without the charm and twists.

Universal acclaim - based on 47 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 46 out of 47
  2. Negative: 0 out of 47
  1. Reviewed by: Mike Scott
    Dec 24, 2013
    Like everyone else in Russell's cast, Lawrence appears to be having a blast in the role. It's downright contagious.
  2. Reviewed by: Andrew O'Hehir
    Dec 21, 2013
    A work of tremendous confidence and dazzling showmanship that may just be a delirious movie-as-drug-high or may, if you choose to read it this way, contain a level of commentary about the nature of America and the illusioneering of Hollywood.
  3. 100
    The movie is a slot machine that never stops spitting quarters.