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American Hustle More at IMDbPro »

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6 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Over-rated and disappointing

Author: emmatails
20 February 2014

I really wanted to like this movie. I'd seen all the marketing, the plot interested me and the awards buzz seemed to indicate that the acting was second to none.

On the acting, the film didn't really disappoint. Jennifer Lawrence was fantastic, and all the recognition she has been getting is well deserved. The other leads, Bale, Adams & Cooper also performed extremely well. However, the material fell far short of the hype.

The story was confused an awful lot of the time, and the screenplay was just bland (covered over with colourful language to make up for its deficiencies). I heard that much of the dialogue was improvised, which may explain why the plot was so unclear. The ending didn't quite allow me to forgive the dull spot in the middle of the film.

All that being said, the soundtrack and production design were both great, so it was an excellent film visually. It just lacked a gravitas and a depth which I was expecting.

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6 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Gratz, you successfully raised my hatred toward everyone of the characters

Author: zhengji yan from United States
25 January 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I 'hustled' in to see this movie few weeks ago and expected it to be a great enjoyment, and i came out of the theater with literally depression(yes, depression) and disappointment. what did i see? i saw a unique interpretation or political wash white of a scandal involve bunch of a**holes (almost everyone in the movie). i went movie for pleasure but disgusted and felt depressed coming out of the theater. i have to say that the acting of the movie is really good that it literally made me hate those characters - selfish, stupid and unconventional. honestly speaking, the movie is not bad but not good enough to earn any praise - acting is good, scripts are dry but reasonable enough. story is supposedly interesting with comedy involvement, however, i didn't catch any of those elements - what surprised me was that the commercials are advertising it as a COMEDY, wow, i cannot see any association to COMEDY. maybe it is just too real to be a comedy - it didn't bring me any pleasure but depression - if all a**holes like these characters in the movie get out of this situation no harmed, well, go you united states.

the movie reminds me of two movies - 'pain and gain' and 'the great Gatsby'. both 'pain and gain' and 'American hustle' are supposed to be crime comedies yet none of them are funny and disgusted me. 'the great Gatsby' derived from novel with similar elements upscale life and crime, but execution and scripts in my opinion far out-compete American hustle.

allover, maybe it should have receive a 5 or 6 for its acting and others performance, but i will only give it 2 for it disgusted me so much.

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6 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Dull & Disappointing

Author: TM from Australia
13 January 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Great actors do not always make great movies - Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner. I thought the acting in itself was actually very good but the story - extremely dull & disappointing. I am at a loss as to how/why American Hustle is being hailed as such a great movie when it lacks any colour or imagination. The premise of the story on the whole is quite good. Reading the story on which it is based makes for very interesting reading and as this is an adaption surely some more hustle (pardon the pun) could have been added. Instead it seems they play the whole thing down. So Cooper's character doesn't get the credit for bringing down politicians? Hardly the greatest ending to a story. The whole thing from beginning to end is bogged down by dialogue. At every turn it seems things just drag on and on and on - the movie goes for 2 hours 18 minutes & could have easily squeezed into an hour and a half. I read that a lot of the dialogue was improvised - perhaps some sort of script may have been in order because it really killed the movie for me. The only reason it gets 6 is because I thought the performances of Lawrence, Bale & Adams were very good. It's just a shame about the story they were given to act to. Is anyone else getting a little tired of the Bradley Cooper "I'm a little bit crazy but not so crazy that you don't like me" routine or is it just me? I'm not sure if the whole thing just went over my head but I watch about 100 movies a year and I can safely say this won't make the top 20.

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7 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

Well, it was boring, I fell asleep

Author: nona-sica from United Kingdom
20 February 2014

Having read all the good reviews by critics, I cannot disagree more.. The movie is boring, and I literally fell asleep after 30 minutes of the movie. My friend tried to wake me up, and yes, I did try to make myself awake, but I just couldn't. The progression of the movie is really slow I fell asleep again. The first 15 minutes was fun, another 15 was boring - fell asleep - 20 minutes before the ending was great. Wasted £7.50 for cinema ticket.

The idea of the story is not bad (but anyway, it is not a super authentic story, its another "based on true story" movie). But I think people expected something more from this movie merely because of the casts and nothing more. Especially the youngsters, they go gaga for Jennifer Lawrence nowadays.

Lastly, the cast, however, did a good performance, especially Christian bale. But i do not think its the best performances of the year. There are many other actors and actresses who did a lot better job. So overall, it is pretty disappointing. The advertisements and trailer really did make the movie looked awesome.

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7 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

Over-hyped Pretentious Garbage

Author: mattsweeney1 from United States
19 February 2014

Why this film has such praise is beyond me! Yes, there is amazing cinematography and great performances from Amy Adams and Christian Bale..but that's literally it! The story is unbelievable slow and drags like you can't believe. I was patient and sat through the entire film, hoping that the sh*t would actually go down in the end and compensate for the lack of entertainment throughout... But nope...none at all. I love drama and am not an action guy at all, but I was at least hoping for some intense scenes or serious drama to happen by the end of the film. Everything is so light hearted and "fun" so you naturally just don't care what happens to anyone...there are zero stakes!

If you are familiar with the film "Get Him to The Greek" here's a reference for you... This movie is the "African Child" of films this year. It's like everyone is afraid to say that they didn't like the movie! Whenever someone admits they didn't like it...they feel like they have to whisper because someone will be offended. People get so defensive over this film and I don't understand it.

Bottom line is, don't waste your time on this film. It feels like it's a four hour film and I was literally looking around the theater and seeing everyone shifting in their seats, waiting for it to end.

Here are some films I DID enjoy this year to give you an idea of my taste... "Place Beyond the Pines" "Inside Llewyn Davis" "Her" "Captain Phillips"

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8 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

Extremely disappointing

Author: punishable-by-death from Australia
6 January 2014

I don't get excited for movie releases. I've not allowed myself to, after so many disappointments. But seeing the trailer and reading about this movie caught my attention. Instantly I was looking forward to it. It looked like a Goodfellas style movie but with con men and politicians. It sounded interesting.

The problem with this analogy is that Goodfellas excelled in displaying family values, the brutality of man at the peak of greed and power, an amazing score, unforgettable camera-work; the works. The only thing this movie shares with Goodfellas is Di Niro.

The script seemed very under-written (it was very cheesy at times, very forced at others). The actors all looked like they weren't really trying, with the exception of Jennifer Lawrence who, despite the idiotic online musings of her being miscast, was the only memorable, eccentric character. Bale hid behind his disguise. Brad Cooper was Brad Cooper. I hadn't seen the other lady before but nothing she did impressed me. In fact, with such idiotic lines, she excelled in propelling the implausibility of this movie. Since when do Americans 'ooh' and 'ahh' over English royalty?! I also thought the director was a little too relaxed. Visually, it isn't anything spectacular, and there isn't really anything that makes the camera-work or directing/editing unique at all. In fact, the camera was so still, I needed to re-watch it to see if there were just a few interesting angles or moving shots.

And the story. Good God, the implausibility built up to a point where people were laughing at it. This film paints a very tainted version of real things, such as the FBI not firing an agent blatantly ignoring ethics and acting on his own accord, and mobsters stupid enough to invest in someone they didn't know and had zero reasons to trust, but had reasons not to. Apart from the opening 30 minutes, it was all too much and snowballed into a giant, idiotic force that managed to pull you out of the movie with constant, overblown plot twists.

And when people are laughing at the lunacy of it all, I know I'm not the only one. I have never heard so much giggling. It is also certainly not a movie you can watch twice either, which definitely is not a good thing. I tried.

As most will have heard, Robert Di Niro makes a one scene appearance, donning an absurd pair of glasses. His sudden appearance wasn't only pointless, it again totally shattered that fourth wall, that illusion that I'm in this fictional world. Pair this up with the impossibility of almost everything that happens. Just terrible. And you just know that this shite will clean up the 'awards' no doubt. I'm afraid I'll never see why, and I really tried to see the good when I went to see it the second time. But when Jennifer Lawrence wasn't on-screen, all I could see was average acting, absent editing/directorial technique, a forced script and a story that slowly becomes more and more impossible/laughable as the long running time of the film drags on.

A big disappoint for me, as I was looking forward to this flick. The 70's are easily my favourite decade for film. But it was so average, on so many levels, I can't help but feel cheated. Especially when the trailer made it out to feel like something that it wasn't remotely close to.

Don't be fooled.

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8 out of 13 people found the following review useful:


Author: seba-comis from Italy
3 January 2014

Il went to the cinema because of good critics read in the newspaper. Disappointing. I totally agree with Tango & Cash review. It's a comedy without laughs and a drama without tears-The director looks more confused than the plot,that looks flat, not really surprising. The characters are weak, the actors are hopelessly attempting to revitalize exhibiting all what they have learned in an - I don't imagine what - actor's school. I confess that I left after one hour and came back to pick up my wife after another hour. i am sure I didn't loose anything important. I have remembered with nostalgia Stephen Frears The Grifters- Decline and fall of American movie industry.

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9 out of 15 people found the following review useful:

Simply Awful

Author: bobbygmt from United Kingdom
19 January 2014

Starts with a bang - the opening scene is the only thing worth seeing in the whole film, and it goes downhill all the way from there. The music aside - and there was a peppering of some much loved golden oldies - everything about this film is second rate; I found myself wondering if this was a spoof, or an attempt at some sort of weird comedy - but, alas, nothing funny or even remotely amusing ensued throughout. And, by the way, De Niro is becoming just sad with these typecast cameos, they simply don't work any more. Avoid this film if you value your time ( I actually aborted as soon as the long-awaited "scam" was revealed), and if you want to see hustle, watch again David Mamet's Heist, or Fabian Bielinsky's Nine Queens.

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12 out of 21 people found the following review useful:

Insufferable boring mess

Author: badajoz-1 from United Kingdom
23 January 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

There is a minor joke in the first 30 seconds (which goes on for another couple of minutes), then this film proceeds to bore the pants off you with some of the worst acting, direction and scriptwriting you will ever have the misfortune to experience. How the critics have fallen for this I do not know! Or perhaps, I do. Russell (Director) is seen as a mini great, so when he produces absolute rubbish of a script and film, then the critics have to back him or they will seem stupid for over-praising him in the first place. The film is very like 'Goodfellas' ( another pile of sh***) and there the critics had to praise Marty because he is a living God of US film directing. But, no, reputations are only as good as a last film, and this resides in the nether regions of totally awful. Plot - two smart conners - Bale and Adams - are caught by the FBI and turned to con corrupt politicians. Well, there is only evidence of their being mediocrities as conmen - their greatest feat being to con $5000 out of desperate people looking to borrow $50,000! Mad man Cooper plays an FBI agent on speed and falls for Adams as they try to frame Renner et al (New Jersey politicians). It all gets a bit heavy as the MOB appears ( you guessed it - Robert de Niro) and Bale has to con his way out (having spent the middle part of the film invisible!). The acting - Bale doing a bad impression of Quasimodo with back throat heehawing, bent frame, forever pushing up dark glasses, and a bad comb over (convincing no-one he is clever); Adams showing cleavage (not big) to show how men fall for her gets someway with her character, but not far; Cooper overacts and should never be allowed on set again until he has done three silent mime shows in the theatre; Renner an innocent who has too little to do; and Lawrence (seen for the first time by this reviewer) pouts and whines semi-angrily to get yet another Oscar nomination (what a totally limited actress she appears, but with this non-script I'll give her some slack). The script does not bear a nanoseond's consideration - was there a lot of improvisation?- because it simply is a mess - no proper characterisation, lines repeated, terrible voice overs for the thickest of the thick in Iowa presumably, and a plot that hardly holds any interest. Poor, poor, awful rubbish. It is a film that is about conning, and the critics and the Academy and BAFTA have all fallen for the con!!!!!!!

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13 out of 23 people found the following review useful:

Is this a comedy or what?

Author: f-ullathorne from United Kingdom
23 January 2014

Watched this film in a packed cinema in UK about 10 days ago and can honestly say that this film did not raise one bit of laughter. You could even say it was unfunny. How this film could win an award for best film comedy beggars belief. Not only was it unfunny but it was boring to an extreme. The person next to me fell asleep after 10 minutes and my wife and I both struggled to stay awake. The answer may be in the difference between the UK and US sense of comedy but to see this film nominated for a BAFTA seems to suggest that the UK academy is just following the US academies like sheep and are not making their own minds up about the film. To sum up this was probably the worst film that I have seen in the last 12 months and is definitely not worth any awards when there are films like Gravity etc around

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