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American Hustle Review

Movies.com Critics

4.0

Dave White Profile

Do it... Read full review

Other Critics provided by Metacritic.com

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 5.0
    90

    out of 100

    Metascore®
    Universal acclaim
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 100

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Owen Gleiberman

    It's a film of jaw-dropping virtuosity and pleasure, one that leaves you revved, enthralled, tickled, moved, and amazed.

    Read Full Review

  • 100

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Richard Roeper

    American Hustle is the best time I’ve had at the movies all year, a movie so perfectly executed, such wall-to-wall fun, so filled with the joy of expert filmmaking on every level I can’t imagine anyone who loves movies not loving THIS movie.

    Read Full Review

  • 100

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter David Rooney

    An infectious blast of funky jazz played by a terrific cast and a director at the top of their respective games.

    Read Full Review

  • 100

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    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.

    Read Full Review

  • 100

    out of 100

    Chicago Tribune Michael Phillips

    The whole movie, a feast of ensemble wiles and stunning hair, is juicy, funny and alive.

    Read Full Review

  • 88

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    With one of the best ensemble casts of any film this year, it's audacious, enthralling and uproarious.

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  • 90

    out of 100

    Variety Justin Chang

    It’s a rich, glorious mess, and its underlying craftsmanship is apparent in the characters’ beautifully delineated relationships, each with its own jangly rhythm and distinct feel.

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  • 90

    out of 100

    The New Yorker David Denby

    “Inside Llewyn Davis” and “Nebraska” are the current standards of what a serious Hollywood movie looks like. American Hustle offers so many easy pleasures that people may not think of it as a work of art, but it is. In the world that Russell has created, if you don’t come to play you’re not fully alive. An art devoted to appetite has as much right to screen immortality as the most austere formal invention.

    Read Full Review

  • See all American Hustle reviews at Metacritic.com

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Pause for kids 15 & under

Mesmerizing mature drama with just a bit of sex, violence.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that American Hustle is an intoxicating, brilliant -- but mature -- drama that will leave viewers breathless with its audacity and streak of humor. There's not a ton of violence or sexual activity, but the themes are intense and adult (reinvention, one-upsmanship, overarching ambition infidelity, an unhappy marriage). The movie also includes brief scenes of drug use and loads of swearing including multiple instances of "f--k."

  • Families can talk about what makes this movie unique. Have you seen other movies with similar styles or themes? What sets this one apart? What do you know about how the director works?
  • What makes a movie better for mature viewers -- sexual or violent content or adult-oriented themes? What kinds of movies should teens not see?

The good stuff
  • message true2

    Messages: Even among thieves and con artists, loyalty is a must. Also, love can sometimes be the only way out of a really big mess.

  • rolemodels true1

    Role models: Irving isn't a pillar of decency by any stretch of the imagination, but he does have standards and approaches his line of work with zeal and respect. Also, he truly loves his step-son and makes sacrifices for him. Sydney is lost, sometimes sad, but bold and hardworking, and truly loves Irving, even though he's married to someone else. Sydney is a force to be reckoned with, mistress of her fate. She and Irving have an equal relationship.

What to watch for
  • violence false3

    Violence: This is not a violence-packed movie, but there are a few key moments of brutality. A man shoots someone at point blank (it's a brief but visceral scene). A woman finds herself hitting a man hard with a picture frame after he refuses to stop making advances toward her. A man beats a co-worker with a phone; again, it's brief, but long enough for us to get a sense of the moment's brutality.

  • sex false3

    Sex: A woman's wardrobe consists almost entirely of plunging necklines that show off her cleavage. A man and a woman go into a bathroom stall, and he's shown lifting up her skirt and making out with her while they discuss whether to have sex or not. Another couple is shown kissing passionately, and it's suggested that they sleep together, though we don't see any explicit sexual activity.

  • language false4

    Language: Swear words galore, including "ass," "s--t," "son-of-a-bitch," bulls--t," and "motherf--ker."

  • consumerism false3

    Consumerism: Some old-school brands, including Pimm's, Chase, Skippy, Cheez Whiz, and New York's Plaza Hotel.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false3

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Brief scenes showing adults snorting coke and smoking weed. Lots of social drinking.

Fan Reviews provided by

2

No What I Was Hoping For... by nellie594
Disappointed in this one. Went in with high hopes. Story was convoluted. My own fault for going in expecting something close to Silver Linings Playbook...this is nothing like that. Very dark with very few laughs. A downer, despite attempt to cheer up the ending.

1

American "Fizzle" by candysxs4u
With all the buzz, I was looking forward to seeing this movie! Can I have my money back? One of the worst movies I have ever seen. When a movie is great, or even good, it stays in my memory for a long time; I even look forward to maybe seeing it again. I can't remember any of this movie. I couldn't remember any of it even as soon as leaving the theater. I became more and more disappointed as the frames rollllled on. I would probably even want my money back if I had waited and rented it at the box. 10 nominations??? Who are these Academy people anyway? Robots with no intelligence? Ugh.

2

American Hustle by nknowlton
Only went to this movie because of it's many Academy nominations. Many friends advised against it. Unnecessary profanity. Acting was great, but the plot slow and boring. If this is an example of Academy Award movie making, they need to have their heads examined. We would not recommend it to anyone.

5

American Hustle by NatalieRosen
FABULOUS FABULOUS FABULOUS. What a difficult field for the Oscars to choose so many are so good. Jennifer Lawrence was so riveting a character that I could not get enough of her. The film is so entertaining and even very funny while showing a rather bleak mirror up to American life as it was then and is, in my opinion, now. Christian Bale and Bradley Cooper were wonderful too. Great film great characters and a wonderful entertaining time was had by all who saw it. The audience even clapped at the end. A must see!

2

AMERICAN HUSTLE by salt30
Another Hollywood movie where clever lies are held in higher regard than simple truth. This movie had two good moments, neither of which redeem the two wasted hours of my life spent watching despicable people live futile lives. Bleh.

4

Great Fun by SHS619
Seemed to me to be in the same vein as "Casino". Lots of narrative. Great acting. Seemed a tad slow at times, but all in all an enjoyable movie. Great music!

4

american hustle by wellertrust
a step up from goodfellows with the quality of the music reaffirming the era. amy adams was the best actor in the movie. i would recommend this movie.

5

Killer Cast by gaslight99
Best film of 2013! Cast was fantastic-everyone just knocked it out, frankly we did not even recognize Renner, he did a gr8 job. Having lived thru the 70s we can also say that a super job was done capturing the sounds and the feel of that decade, esp the clothes. Amy Adams, Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence & Christian Bale, all deserve the kudos they are reaping. Not to mention, laugh out loud funny & better than "The Sting". PS Adults only

2

Not What I Expected by sbn594
This was not what I expected. I was tempted to leave the theater, but by then I had already sat through 1.5 hours of the movie. Last half hour was probably the better part of the movie. Too much yelling - no character with any redeeming value. I should have skipped this one!

5

Wow by christiconnors
Having not seen any of the other Oscar-nominated movies, I can not give a comparison. What I can say is that this is one of the best movies I have seen in a very long time. The narration is original and insightful. The camera work is amazing. The score and soundtrack are spot on. And the acting is top notch. The quirks and intricacies of each personality are wonderful, and help to build the overall story. This was a great film, and I would definitely recommend it.

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