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90

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

User Score
7.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 909 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
    100
    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
    100
    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
    100
    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
    88
    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
    88
    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
    80
    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
    50
    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: 45 out of 247
  1. Dec 13, 2013
    10
    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 20, 2014
    10
    This movie has you guessing which way the story is heading one minute and then it heads in the opposite direction. It's replete with comedy, intrigue, suspense and action. It's well worth it to see it on the big screen. Expand
  3. Feb 23, 2014
    9
    After making great fighter and The Silver Linnings Playbook that helped in the total image transformation director, David O.Russel reaches the apex of his career doing his hilarious, daring, and ambitious film about the reinvention of the human being and the necessity of such a cheat to live with the minimum of dignity, and he tells it through fine performances ranging from soft-spoken characters we all know that one hour will explode, the ones who are always on ecxtase and his screen presence is striking, in a reverent, slow but very fun and compensatory what makes you think without guilt contrary to another strong oscar nominated 12 years a slave history. Expand
  4. Dec 21, 2013
    7
    American Hustle is a film that is extremely over-hyped. Every big-name review site has given this film incredibly generous scores. I saw this and was a tad disappointed, because I didn't feel it lived up to it's hype. However, I enjoyed the film nonetheless. American Hustle centers around two con artists named Irving Rosenfeld (Christian Bale) and Sydney Prosser (Amy Adams). During their long run of scamming people and stealing their money, they are eventually caught by FBI agent Richie DiMaso (Bradley Cooper). Instead of arresting them, Richie devises a plan to use the con artists to bust corrupt politicians. In order to do so, they need to become allies with the mafia, the universally loved mayor of New Jersey (Jeremy Renner), and a man of false importance entitled "The Sheik". Along with this, there is a huge subplot involving love among the characters. Sydney fakes love with Richie in order to get closer to him and make him trust her, and Irving cannot decide who to ultimately be with; his crazy and gossipy wife Rosalyn (Jennifer Lawrence) or Sydney. He has a hard time leaving his wife because he loves his stepson Danny. This here lies the first problem with this film. At times there were so many sexually charged scenes I couldn't remember if I was watching a crime drama or a porno. Along with the over-abundance of provocative moments, each character is interesting, there is too much going on in order to become invested in these people. In terms of acting, I had an issue with the actors dropping accents they had. Christian Bale was pretty consistent, but Amy Adams and Jennifer Lawrence dropped their accent frequently. Amy Adams' character also has a fake identity as a British woman with bank connections, however her accent isn't convincing in the slightest and it's hard to see how she conned so many people with such a soft and easily fake accent. Other than accent issues, each actor was very good. Even though the actors were really good, the cast list enhanced the hype factor a lot more, thus bringing the movie down for me more. When I saw Christian Bale, Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper, and Louis CK (Who had one of my favorite characters) on the cast list, I got really pumped. But that just hurt more when the movie didn't meet my expectations. The movie's writing was enjoyable, however the banter felt very forced, along with trying to replicate what "The Big Lebowski" did with explicit banter. Some consider this film a comedy, but it wasn't a laugh-fest the whole way through. Regardless, the moments that were funny hit their mark very well. The soundtrack and cinematography were both stellar, aside from occasionally annoying close ups. Even though I don't believe this film lives up to it's hype or properly utilizes it's two hour run time, American Hustle is a movie with the occasional funny moment, some great use of music, and plot twists up the wazoo that will probably entertain any fan of the crime drama genre. Expand
  5. Dec 22, 2013
    6
    AMERICAN HUSTLE explores the uniquely American need for self-reinvention and our obsession with success and finding a better life. Unlike most filmmakers, David O. Russell is able to use the great American con as a metaphor for our larger personal ills. Unfortunately, Russell does not seem like the right director for this tale. Scenes are lethargic and go on for far too long. A really super music score is laid down in the most perfunctory fashion. His cast is totally game and look amazing in their 70s garb but they too often come across as lifeless. Except for Jennifer Lawrence who totally steals the show! She delivers an astoundingly insightful performance that is both over the top and subtle. She's funny, whacked, sad and lonely--all at the same time. A miraculous performance. If only AMERICAN HUSTLE reached the same dizzying somber heights. Expand
  6. Jan 5, 2014
    5
    A few thoughts on this film... It was like each actor was trying to out-do each other with over-the-top, Oscar-bait performances. The acting felt artificial and too cerebral. Poorly cast and the accents of the characters were all over the place. Jeremy Renner as an Italian New Jersey mayor? Huh? I find Christian Bale arrogant and smug, so his presence here didn't help. And he's not convincing as a balding, paunchy New York Jew. Jennifer Lawrence doesn't belong in this movie and can't do accents. Amy Adams is wonderful, but she's a little too sweet for this role. Great outfits, though. Expand
  7. Jul 25, 2014
    0
    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.
    Expand

See all 247 User Reviews

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