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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

    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

    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 Tribune Michael Phillips

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

    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

  • 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 true1

    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 true0

    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 false2

    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 false2

    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 false3

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

  • consumerism false2

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

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false2

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

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