American Hustle - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

American Hustle Reviews

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FiLmCrAzY
Super Reviewer
½ November 27, 2013
Long winded and overrated! Lawrence however is a force to be reckoned with, stealing each scene she was in! Adams english accent with no bra throughout also worked for me!
Super Reviewer
February 24, 2014
A deliciously stylish and hilarious con movie with a clever script and a fabulous gallery of some quite intriguing characters, yet it barely avoids crossing the line between delightfully over-the-top and madly caricatural, including a miscast Jennifer Lawrence occasionally overacting.
Super Reviewer
December 14, 2013
All the makings of a modern classic, American Hustle may feel over-long and drawn out, but the performances of the four main actors are too good to pass up. Amy Adams and Jennifer Lawrence are brilliant--as usual--and Christian Bale and Bradley Cooper give extraordinarily strong performances. It's funny, well-staged, well-scripted, expertly directed, and accompanied by an iconic soundtrack.
garyX
Super Reviewer
½ December 11, 2013
A pair of con artists are blackmailed into helping the FBI entrap corrupt politicians or face jail. David O. Russell's long con comedy drama was very well received upon its release and fans of Martin Scorsese will no doubt see his influence throughout the film. It has the flavour of a PG rated version of Casino as these amoral hustlers try to out manoeuvre each other while staying one step ahead of the organised criminals they are charged with duping. Its light-hearted tone makes for a few amusing moments, often revolving around Christian Bale and Jennifer Lawrence's car crash of a marriage and the general level of ineptitude displayed by this cut price Ocean's crew. But one thing the story didn't seem to have is any kind of narrative momentum. It just seemed to be a loose collection of characters heading in the same general direction towards an ill-defined goal dressed up in Boogie Nights' wardrobe. The cast are all fine and it is consistently entertaining but there seems little meat on what is little more than an insubstantial con job with an inevitable who's conning who twist. In the end this fun but flimsy film feels like it could've been so much more in the skilled hands of Scorsese himself rather than a pretender to the crown.
Super Reviewer
June 24, 2014
"Some of this actually happened" set the stage up for me to give it a go. And it wasn't half as disappointing as I'd feared. Some of the parts felt overdone, but it's fine otherwise.
Super Reviewer
½ January 14, 2014
David O. Russell revisits a political blip from the 1970's and immortalizes it with this strong ensemble tour de force wherein the politics are the least part of the equation. Why? Because they are superseded by the highly volatile personal relationships driving the whole affair, a wet kiss to our whole social maelstrom. Particularly resonant are the nonlinear conversations, so unlike the movies, so like real life, giving every conversation a beautiful WTF quality.
This guy Russell is practically our only decent response to supposed better quality Brit films and I'm liking him.
Nikhil N.
Super Reviewer
½ April 15, 2014
O. Russel's direction is an acquired taste at best, but American Hustle is an incredibly smart, funny, and old school crime film that keeps the audience guessing. It heavily benefits from its witty script delivered flawlessly from its impeccable cast.
The Gandiman
Super Reviewer
April 10, 2014
An oddly uninteresting film. Characters in 70s costumes pulling off a historically-significant FBI sting should be more interesting.

"American Hustle" has a strong premise: two con artists (Christian Bale and Amy Adams) are forced by the FBI (led by Bradley Cooper) to participate in a sting operation to nab corrupt politicians.

I'm sold.

But the execution is off. By injecting some eccentric comedic pieces into the plot, it lowers the stakes "Hustle" has set up for itself. By the time a menacing cameo from Robert De Niro shows up, you don't know if the film wants you to be amused or wants you to be tense.

Either way because it is never clear what kind of film "Hustle" wants to be you find your mind wandering as the game actors keep showing up in over-the-top 70s garb and hair and throw out their lines with gusto. It feels like a costume party with some amusing attendees but you find yourself in the corner nursing a drink waiting for something to happen.

Disappointing but ultimately saved by the acting and the 70s visuals.
Super Reviewer
December 5, 2013
American Hustle certainly has problems sustaining its ridiculous story and characters, but this is incredibly lively filmmaking with solid performances from every cast member. The story is kind of hard to follow at times because they try to make you look one way while doing something else the other way, but it was very enjoyable. I liked the dynamics of the characters. Christian Bale and Amy Adams in particular were the most impressive. I love Jennifer Lawrence as an actress and she is decent here, but she did not deserve an Oscar Nomination. The whole movie is gorgeous to watch and completely envelops you in its style. It's really nothing more than an incredibly stylish caper film and I don't understand why it was nominated for so many Oscars, but it is a very enjoyable couple hours if you like more mature films. Just don't go in expecting it to blow your socks off.
Super Reviewer
April 5, 2014
Fabulous costumes and hair make this film well worth seeing! A good story and strong cast. Stylish, enjoyable and fun.
Super Reviewer
½ June 3, 2013
It's Goodfellas for the the twenty first century with con-artist. A masterpiece. Director, David O'Russell crafts a stylish, clever and well-character drawn film that marks as his best and most passionate project yet, that is much a crime story as it is a love story. An energetic, fresh, funny and wickedly entertaining movie. A brilliant and damn-near perfect film. A riveting and remarkable crime-drama. It's tremendous fun from start to finish. It has a great heart even if its slightly tarnished. A cleverly written and superbly crafted film that shines as a work of art. It delivers top-notch performances from its wonderful all-star cast. Christian Bale is outstanding, he totally transforms himself into this character by gaining forty pounds and shaving he top of his head and just digs deep into every emotion. Bradley Cooper is terrific. Amy Adams is excellent. Jennifer Lawrence is wonderful. Jeremy Renner is fantastic. The chemistry between the actors is just brilliant and shows that they are all totally award-worthy.
ajaymuthecooldevils
Super Reviewer
½ March 17, 2014
'American Hustle' a movie that actually kinda over-rated this year alongside with 'Frozen' in the animation zone.. The cast is doing brilliant job : Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, and Jeremy Renner, they're just stuninng.. While the script and directing style from David O Russell is once again made me fall in love with his work.. Why I said this movie over-rated because they're actually good, really good but just like 'Iron Man 3' which will leave the audience to love it or hate it, actually I felt that this movie got the same power to gave the audiences to love it or hate it.. While for the Golden Globes that this movie got, I must admit that the cast did a great job but to win it? Well that's what I thought as over-rated, especially for Jennifer Lawrence even though I love her performance in this movie..
cosmo313
Super Reviewer
½ May 12, 2013
For a while at least, this film will hold a special place in my heart for personal reasons, because I saw it at a time when it was something I needed in my life.

A bit of context. This was the next film I saw after seeing Inside Llewyn Davis. For more info about why that is significant, see my review for that film. A few days after seeing that film, my girlfriend and I began a period of separation from one another so we could each analyze the state and also the fate of our relationship. A few days after the separation began, a close friend and I went to see this movie, and it was just what I needed.

This is a gloriously stylish, uplifting, and fun character driven caper movie very loosely based on the FBI's ABSCAM sting operation of the late 1970's/early 1980s.

The film follows con artists Irving Rosenfeld and Sydney Prosser as they get tapped by FBI agent Richie DiMaso to help bring down a host of corrupt politicians, including the mayor of Camden, New Jersey- Carmine Polito.

Their efforts are met with complications, including interference from Irving's unpredictable wife Rosalyn, Irving's growing relationship with Carmine, Richie's testy dealings with his superiors, and a bunch of tensions between Sydney, Richie, Irving, and Rosalyn.


While the film is loosely about historical events, it is more concerned about the characters, and themes of loyal, deception, and power than the plot, which is largely there as a backdrop. For some, this might be disappointing, as the ABSCAM sting operation is a fascinating story in its own right, and sure, deserves to be given a proper film treatment, but I don't think that matters. Normally the historian in me would be getting really critical, but honestly, this is a case when I don't care. I love these characters, and yeah, though the film plays fast and loose with history, maybe that will inspire people to get out and do some researching for themselves. That is something I can endorse.

Even though this is a David O. Russell film, one can sense that he's really channeling 70s era Scorsese, as well as taking a huge helping of influence from Paul Thomas Anderson's Boogie Nights.

No, this film isn't as great as that one, and, no, I don't think it's a negative thing to make the Scorsese comparison. I mean those things in a positive way because I can't fault Russell for his ambitiousness, especially when he channels stuff like what I just mentioned.

The soundtrack is excellent, there's some fantastic cinematography and editing, and the period details, costumes, hair, and makeup are absolutely spectacular. Yeah, some of the pacing is a bit off, and the story is a bit murky (especially with the time frame), but in the grand scheme of things, I can overlook all this since the rest of it is so great, which brings me to the best part: the cast and their performances.

Unbelievable. We get one hell of a lineup with Christian Bale as Irving, Amy Adams as Sydney, Bradley Cooper as Richie, Jennifer Lawrence as Rosalyn, and Jeremy Renner as Carmine. Louis C.K. plays one of Richie's superiors, and Michael Pena is, some would say, criminally underused as a fellow FBI agent. I felt that Pena was in for an okay amount of time (given the role), and loved Louis in his particular part. There's also a killer cameo, but unlike some, I won't spoil it. I will say though, that this is one of the better and more appropriate roles this person has had in a good long while.

Bale is great, and really sells the mother of all combovers. Cooper is a hoot with that perm, and Adams rocks those low (and I mean LOW) cut dresses like nobody else. I will say that I think that Rosalyn might have been a part more suitable for someone about 10 years older than Lawrence, but she has a lot of fun with it, even if the Jersey housewife accent slips in and out on occasion.

This is a fun movie, and it also leaves you with something to think about,. Sure, it's flawed, and perhaps even overrated. I loved the crap out of it though, and think that, even with the flaws, it's still a dynamite piece of work. I'm biased, but I at least admit it and explain my reasons.

Even if this film doesn't quite connect with you like it does with me, I still strongly recommend it. It's funny (a lot), dramatic (at times), and, above all, constantly entertaining.
Super Reviewer
March 16, 2014
There's something so epically big about this period piece, set in the seventies, and very loosely based on the ABSCAM scandal set up by the FBI, ensnarling political players in corruption. A lot of the interest stems from how big it really is, in relation to the costuming, the way the actors are styled, the over the top performances from the four leads, and the expert directing from Russell. For all the glamour and prestige for this acclaimed comedy, there's an accessibility to it, an earnestness and sweetness to the characters and to the way the film is staged that make the impressiveness of its grandeur less important. Much of this film is improvised, but it moves smoothly along, ending with a great twist and a certain aplomb that just made it sing. The performances are not to be underscored for their brilliance. The four big leads are of course great: Amy Adams is never given enough credit for her chameleon like approach to every role she takes on, Bale is unrecognizable, Cooper acts with such ferocity that you can believe he's feral, and Lawrence, though in a small role, is electric as Rosalyn. Even the supporting roles have amazing actors in them. Jeremy Renner is so warm and supportive as Carmine, Louis CK is still as sardonic as ever, and even Elisabeth Rohm is believably sweet tempered as Polito's wife. It's kooky and funny, and everything you would hope it could be.
Super Reviewer
December 24, 2013
A hard to follow, if not entertaining and very well acted story of con artists, cops, mobsters, and politicians all taking place in the state of New Jersey concerning two criminals (Christian Bale, Amy Adams) who are forced to work with an FBI agent (Bradley Cooper) who wants to take down bigger fish in the state, including an emotional mayor (Jeremy Renner). This movie is sure to garner a lot of Oscar nominations given the names involved, especially in the acting department. However, I still came away not totally in love with it, notably due to its convoluted plot line which sometimes threatens to lose the viewer completely. Also, as fantastic as Jennifer Lawrence is as Bale's alienated wife, she looks way too young to play the part, which is an unfortunate distraction. Overall, an average movie that unfortunately comes across as a poor man's "Goodfellas" at the end of the day.
Super Reviewer
½ February 12, 2014
AH unfolds in a way that very few films can replicate. When character relationships are just as exciting or thrilling as its caper plot you know you've got something quite golden.

I mean Lawrence's hysterical performance is perfect, Bale's strained and complex relationship with her, Adams struggle between what is real and what isn't... Everything is written and acted with such finesse that none of the characters ever feel like a stereotype due to their varying complexities. To do all this character work AND have it come together with a cohesive, satisfying plot was really the icing on top.

If anything, the film just lacked accessibility. It's hard to root for anyone when you pass judgement on their inherent flaws and if you don't get the nuanced humor everything can seem quite dreary. A little more edge in direction style could have also helped the relatively mundane setting/genre that AH is pigeonholed in.
Super Reviewer
January 16, 2014
Excellent and well-deserving of all of its Oscar nods if you ask me. The entire ensemble is brilliant, but David O. Russell and Christian Bale can do no wrong as far as I'm concerned.
hunterjt13
Super Reviewer
½ January 28, 2014
An FBI agent engages two con artists in an entrapment scheme involving politicians and mobsters.
Going into American Hustle without knowing that it's the favorite to win Best Picture is impossible, and as I watched it, I waited for the moment when the film would rise to a substantive height, something beyond a coolly orchestrated con flick a la The Grifters or even the more shallow Matchstick Men, but I waited in vain. There's nothing uniquely American about the hustle or the characters, and there's nothing profound embedded in the film's plot. It's a fun caper film with good performances by the whole cast -- good, not great, not soaring, not Academy-Award-worthy. It's an enjoyable diversion, a fun time at the movies. In a word, it's overrated. The ending is predictable, the scenes are enjoyable, and the acting is solid.
But overall, this is a fine film but nothing more.
YodaMasterJedi
Super Reviewer
January 27, 2014
three stars...
Super Reviewer
½ December 21, 2013
Looking for a crazy, wild, and hilarious roller coaster ride through the twisted American dream? Well, director David O. Russell (Silver Linings Playbook, Three Kings, The Fighter) delivers in spades with this partially true crime dramedy of con men, FBI agents, mobsters, and politicians. Intriguing, ultra-intense, and superb acting from a dynamite ensemble cast (standouts include Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper, Amy Adams, and Jennifer Lawrence); "American Hustle" delivers a well-crafted tale of survival that will most likely be a strong contender in the upcoming award season. Ripped off and hustled will be the last feelings you will be left with as the ending credits roll.
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