Universal acclaim - based on 47 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 818 Ratings

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  • Starring: , , , , , , ,
  • Summary: A fictional film set in the alluring world of one of the most stunning scandals to rock our nation, American Hustle tells the story of con man Irving Rosenfeld (Christian Bale), who along with his equally cunning and seductive partner Sydney Prosser (Amy Adams) is forced to work for a wild FBI agent Richie DiMaso (Bradley Cooper). DiMaso pushes them into a world of Jersey powerbrokers and mafia that's as dangerous as it is enchanting. Caught between the con-artists and Feds is Carmine Polito (Jeremy Renner), the passionate, volatile, New Jersey political operator, but it's Irving's unpredictable wife Rosalyn (Jennifer Lawrence) who could be the one to pull the thread that brings the entire world crashing down. [Sony Pictures] Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 46 out of 47
  2. Negative: 0 out of 47
  1. 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.
  2. Reviewed by: Joe Morgenstern
    Dec 12, 2013
    High-energy comedy comes naturally to the filmmaker. He exults in free association, emotional riffs, in the craziness that underlies ostensibly rational behavior. The crosscurrents have crosscurrents in his films, but the current that carries everything along here is announced by the first strains of music from the screen: Duke Ellington's "Jeep's Blues," with one of the most exuberant passages in all of jazz. David O. Russell does buoyancy better than anyone.
  3. Reviewed by: Mick LaSalle
    Dec 18, 2013
    American Hustle is David O. Russell's best film, one that finds him in that ideal zone of spontaneity and complete control.
  4. Reviewed by: Peter Travers
    Dec 12, 2013
    For some, the silver linings in Russell’s movies represent a failure to embrace darkness. I see them as a humanist’s act of resistance. That’s why American Hustle ranks with the year’s best movies. It gets under your skin.
  5. Reviewed by: Ann Hornaday
    Dec 19, 2013
    The warmth that courses through American Hustle makes it irresistible, with Russell’s affection for his characters and his sharp-eyed evocation of their recessionary times, honoring their struggle, however dishonest, rather than denigrating it.
  6. Reviewed by: Kim Newman
    Dec 16, 2013
    An extremely entertaining, brilliantly acted, highly diverting film which — like all hustles — delivers less than it promises. Still, it’s worth being taken for the ride.
  7. Reviewed by: Kyle Smith
    Dec 10, 2013
    American Hustle is a movie that was built backward, or inside out: It puts actors’ needs before the audience’s. There’s no heart under those polyester lapels, and what all that Aqua Net is pasting together is a few sparse strands of wispy story.

See all 47 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 43 out of 225
  1. Dec 13, 2013
    David O. Russel proves once again how good of a director he is. The acting is also hugely strong, most notably from Jennifer Lawrence and Christian Bale. This is a sure bet for the Oscar race and as a whole its just a fantastic film, beautifully acted, vibrantly filmed and if you're a fan of Silver Linings Playbook or other O. Russel pics you'll love this film. Expand
  2. Jan 17, 2014
    Mind simply blown !!!
    American Hustle
    What a brilliant film I have just seen ....
    Everything is just ... just awesome... This is actor's
    movie and you will be amazed by every performances. Jennifer Lawrence and Christian Bale steal the show.... Best thing about Christian Bale is... when he is preparing for new role.. he inspires you... and his characters simply mark your brain... for many days... till his next performance... and this time we have Bradley Cooper to fight with him... the fight is so thrilling... fearless Amy Adams, classic Jeremy Runner and Robert Di Nero in guest appearance .... you cant demand for more... And captain of the ship is Great Director David O Russel !!!
    It is soft love story having thriller, comedy, emotions, twists in it !!!

    This film is going to rock at the Oscars.. surely !!! Am so confused now... am going to stick with Gravity or changing my party now... but I m loving this confusion....
    Don't think again... leave your place and rush to the nearest theaters... You stop that torrent right now as you should watch such art in the theaters to experience the EXPERIENCE...
  3. Mar 22, 2014
    American Hustle is a vigorously accomplished, and impressively stylized film. It's funny, it's full of twists, and it's undeniably alive. David O. Russell has absolutely perfected his directing style, and has cemented a spot among the top talents in the business. The screenplay is just incredibly well written. The actors are all either at the top of, or over the top of their game. Nearly every performance is shockingly good, even by the standards of this ensemble. The one I was most impressed with had to be Bale. His character was so far removed from his usual roles that at times I just had to laugh in astonished disbelief for how strange it was to see him like this. If I have any complaints about the movie they are few and far between. In the first act some lines are hard to hear, and some scenes can get pretty skanky. Other than that, it's great. In 2013, which was one of the best film years ever, American Hustle just might have been the best movie of the year. Expand
  4. Jan 16, 2014
    Whether you try to unravel the titular hustle's plot yourself or you just wait for it to be revealed, it's altogether very entertaining and fast-paced. The all star cast lives up to expectations, with, in my opinion, Bale, Renner , and Amy Adams giving out the best performances. Bradley Cooper blurbs as if he's still acting in Silver Linings, all fast and repeating the same sentence over and over, but that's okay. It also has a spectacular soundtrack (though not so much adherent to the time setting: we are in 1978 and the soundtrack sounds more like '72) and there's nothing pretentious about the film, as some have suggested.

    All in all, it's fun to watch, it's well acted, it's well scored, it's well written. What else is there?
  5. Dec 21, 2013
    More hype than hustle and a major disappointment. This film has too much stagnant film time where nothing of consequence occurs. Every time it gathers some momentum, it diverts to the snails pace love triangle hustle that is frankly not very interesting. Amy Adams revealing cleavage isn't enough to make up for the fact the hustle is does not constitute enough of the film to keep your attention. There are about three scenes of interest and the rest of the film is a bore. Expand
  6. Dec 25, 2013
    As a big David O. Russel fan, I had high expectations, particularly after seeing some of the film reviews for 'American Hustle'. I was highly disappointed with the film. Although it was very well acted, with an authentically 70's set, there was nothing particularly captivating about the storyline. The movie never drew me into the film as Russel has in previous past 2 efforts. It had a couple of funny moments in it, but overall I wouldn't describe it as a comedy. If you want to see a decent movie, it's worthwhile, but don't expect another 'The Fighter' and certainly not 'Silver Linings Playbook'. Expand
  7. 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!"

See all 225 User Reviews


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