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American Hustle (2013)

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A con man, Irving Rosenfeld, along with his seductive partner Sydney Prosser, is forced to work for a wild F.B.I. Agent, Richie DiMaso, who pushes them into a world of Jersey powerbrokers and the Mafia.


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Nominated for 10 Oscars. Another 70 wins & 208 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Carl Elway
Anthony Amado
Dolly Polito (as Elisabeth Rohm)
Alfonse Simone
Irv's Sheik Plant (as Said Taghmaoui)
Matthew Russell ...
Dominic Polito
Francis Polito


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 brilliant con man Irving Rosenfeld (Christian Bale), who along with his equally cunning and seductive British 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. Jeremy Renner is Carmine Polito, the passionate, volatile, New Jersey political operator caught between the con-artists and Feds. Irving's unpredictable wife Rosalyn (Jennifer Lawrence) could be the one to pull the thread that brings the entire world crashing down. Written by Sony Pictures Entertainment

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Everyone Hustles To Survive


Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for pervasive language, some sexual content and brief violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

20 December 2013 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

American Bullshit  »

Filming Locations:



Box Office


$40,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$740,455, 15 December 2013, Limited Release

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs



| (surveillance footage)

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
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Did You Know?


In keeping with the themes of the film, "Duke Ellington Live at Newport", the record over which Irving and Sydney first bond, was largely a fake live album. More than half of the original LP had been re-recorded in the studio, as record Producer George Avakian wasn't happy with the live recordings from the Newport Jazz Festival. This didn't become public knowledge until 1996, and the full live performance was finally released in 1999. Ellington hated the idea of doctoring his Newport live recordings, walked out on one of the sessions where the studio inserts were recorded, and refused to work with Avakian again. See more »


Arriving at Teterboro Airport, in the background are Diamond Aircraft. They were not produced until 1992. See more »


[first lines]
Richie DiMaso: What are you doing, going behind my back? Telling people I'm screwing up this operation? I got you a suite at the fucking Plaza Hotel.
Irving Rosenfeld: The shittiest suite at the Plaza Hotel.
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Crazy Credits

The film opens with the late 1970s Columbia Pictures logo, as well as 70s-stylized logos for Atlas Entertainment and Annapurna Pictures. See more »


Referenced in Chelsea Lately: Episode #8.5 (2014) See more »


I Feel Love
Written by Pete Bellotte (as Peter Bellotte), Giorgio Moroder & Donna Summer
Performed by Donna Summer
Courtesy of The Island Def Jam Music Group
Under license from Universal Music Enterprises
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

If seeing Jennifer Lawrence clean a house to 'Live and Let Die' is on your bucket list, then this your kind of movie
3 January 2014 | by See all my reviews

'American Hustle' is another movie that I've really wanted to see for a long time. It's probably because I love the 70s, or whatever. When it was finally released in good ol' England, it did not disappoint.

Coming into this with only having seen 'Silver Linings Playbook' as some of O Russell's previous work, I didn't really know what to expect. Although that was very good, it is completely different on many levels, so whatever this was, it was going to be fresh.

As not to spoil anything, I won't go through the film scene by scene, but I have to say this film met and (to an extend) exceeded my expectations. There was noting I didn't like about it, because everything and everyone was just so brilliant. First off, the acting was superb. The improv that the actors pull off made it all so much more real, because you felt that they were just letting themselves run with the story and script. When the tensions rise (which frequently happens during this film), you feel for these characters, because for a second they really are Riche Dimasso or Irving Rosenfelt. It also added a lot of the humour, which showed that, although it primarily felt like a drama, it didn't take it's self too seriously, which is so fresh and needed in Hollywood right now.

For me, J Law's acting talent stole the show. I saw her in 'Silver Linings' and the first 'Hunger Games' a while back, so again I didn't have any real preconception of what she would be like. But in this movie, her acting was just on another level. Every scene she was in carried so many emotions, and you'd couldn't tell if she was going to explode at any point (a'la the bathroom scene with Sydney). The things her character gets herself into in this film, even while she's still at home, are just out right slap your knee hilarious, especially the argument scenes.

Direction was a large positive for this. The way the camera moves is so subtle yet so effective. There are a lot of clichés that it could have fallen into, but O' Russell was very clever, and everything about the way he directed it was planned out perfectly. The camera seems to interact with the characters emotions, so you're really seeing this on more than one level.

The story was another element that made it so brilliant for me. Well, that was at the end. I loved the way it ended. It's just as the film plays out, you're so engrossed in the amazing performances, style, characters and humour, it gets hard to keep track of the story. Not on the level of the new 'Doctor Who' episodes, which have plot lines so ridiculously convoluted. You weren't supposed to get it at the start, as your just thrown into this world of eccentric, self absorbed con-men. You get the general idea throughout, with what's happening and what they're aiming to do, but when it got to the end, I didn't get some of the things they were taking about that seemed important ('Did I miss all of that? Was that when that old guy walked in to the cinema with a 20 year old something girlfriend and I lost focus for a bit?'). I heard that O' Russell was more focused on the characters, and lost a lot of story to allow room for Improv, so I guess it's OK if you don't get all of it. I didn't and still thoroughly enjoyed it. There are times during the film when I thought "Wow, that's a brilliant way to end a movie", and then it suddenly carried on and wasn't over, and the story got even more compelling. The way it wrapped up was a feat of true story telling.

I'm not one for movies about money and mafias and cons and all that, but aside from that, it's just as much a tale about relationships and what people are really like. The story of Irving's relationship with his family and Sydney plays out so well, and you feel things for them as their relationship changes, and when Cooper's character enters their unique workforce.

This film really benefited from the actors improvising, as it lead to some very funny moments. Obviously meaning to be funny, like the scene on the the jet and Roselyn's explanations for everything Irving throws at her. I meant that scene where she cleans the house to Live and Let Die is hilariously awkward to watch, with her little son just sitting there and watching his mom give an angry yet powerful rendition of the Wings song.

Bale portrayed Irving brilliantly. When things get tough for him, he excellently shows how a man of his status and ideology breaks down, bit by bit. You start the realize that even though he's so eccentric and rich, he still only human. I think Jeremy Renner deserves credit for that too. Not in the sense that his character goes through the same stuff as Bale's, but in that he was played with so much heart and honesty.

Something that hasn't been seen for a while in Movie-Land, 'American Hustle' is a unique film that gets in the audience up close and personal with every main character they see. The story could have been clearer, but heck, 'Badlands' had little story and that was brilliant too. It makes way for the improvisation, which adds so much and another dynamic to the story and experience.

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