The Wolf of Wall Street (2013) Poster

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High energy and wonderfully excessive as it delivers an engaging true story, but the lack of morality anywhere was a limiting factor
bob the moo17 January 2014
This film arrived in the UK with awards and Oscar nominations all around it, adding an expectation which it really didn't need adding since even without any of that it is ultimately a Scorsese film with a big name cast. It also arrives with some other stuff because the film has been criticized for near glamorization of the excesses that Belfort was able to experience with his ill-gotten funds and, to be honest, it is an impression that isn't helped when you consider that this film was put forward to the Golden Globes in the Musical/Comedy section. Now I am sure that was a political move by the studio, but it does say something about the film because indeed for most of it we have stuff so unbelievable and so excessive that it is hard not to laugh at it. It is hard not to enjoy it.

And this is a problem, because the first 2 hours and a bit of this film is really engaging and enchanting in how much of a rush it gives you, how enticing it is and just how much vibrant energy it all has. The viewer is swept along and I guess to a point this is the film doing its job well because not only are we being told a story but we are first hand seeing how easy it is to get caught up in the grab for success, for money, for status. In this regard the film works really well because throughout the film I really was glad to be part of it and wanted it for myself; I don't think the film goes out of its way to glamorize this excess and this life, but for sure it doesn't do much to balance it – and this really is my problem with the film.

The structure, subjects and delivery of this film is so inherently similar to Goodfellas that it is hard not to mention it. If you remember the opening of Goodfellas you'll remember that it opens with a memorably violent scene where an near-dead man in the back of a car is stabbed by Hill and his colleagues in a scene that is oppressive and violent but yet ends with the narration telling us "as far back as I can remember I wanted to be a gangster" and snaps to credits under a big track from Tony Bennett. This scene is important because it works as a microcosm of the whole film – the appeal but also the cost, all in one place. Wolf of Wall Street never has any of that and it hurts it. I suspect the message of the film is that our financial systems are screwed and that ultimately the rich will never be in the same world as the average person, because this is what I took from the rather sobering final scenes. However if this is the point it is trying to make then it really hurts itself with the rest of the film seeming to say "so why not get on board". I know this is not the case but the lack of a "point" or an agenda it the film means that it naturally fills it with its own, which is a weird feeling.

But then again – I guess it is a comedy. So the infamous Quaalude scene is not horrific but rather hilarious, the scenes of excess and of criminality are not equally appealing and repulsive – they are almost totally appealing, we hardly get the other side or get to see a victim here, and a few seconds on the subway with the FBI agent really does nothing but yet again make the suggestion that "it's all broken so why not at least get rich yourself". Getting away from this, it is a well made film. Scorsese makes this award season's second film to owe a massive debt to Goodfellas (American Hustle being the other) and he directs the film with energy; music is used well as one would expect and the editing makes the film pop. DiCaprio is great in the lead – OK he doesn't find the heart of the character, but the film doesn't ask him to. Instead he is charismatic and energetic, drawing the viewer in and giving the film its energy. The supporting cast is deep with names and familiar faces and it is a statement about how well the film holds the viewer, because it isn't distracting no matter how many famous faces or supporting character from TV appear (although I did notice that this and American Hustle had lots of faces from HBO's Boardwalk Empire). Jonah Hill is over the top in a way that works, although I am surprised to see him getting an Oscar nomination for it in such a crowded year.

Wolf of Wall Street has had a lot of praise and this will continue as the Oscars approach and are awarded. Personally I enjoyed the film as a funny true story delivered with energy and excess but in many ways it is not Goodfellas and the most important of these is that the film lacks a moral core to itself, to its characters and to its message. I don't mind the "it's all screwed so who cares" message that it ultimately seems to give, but I didn't feel comfortable with how wide a smile it had on its face while it was delivering it.
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DiCaprio gives the best performance of his career.
BrentHankins24 December 2013
In the mid-1990s, Jordan Belfort (Leonardo DiCaprio) and the rest of his associates from brokerage firm Stratton Oakmont became the very definition of excess and debauchery, their offices a boiler room fueled by cocaine and greed. High pressure sales tactic and less-than-legal behind-the-scenes manipulation bred plenty of twenty-something millionaires, and Belfort built himself an empire at the top of the heap. His rise and fall is chronicled in The Wolf of Wall Street, based on the memoir of the same name.

Under most circumstances, the actions of Belfort and his cronies (including Jonah Hill in a howlingly funny turn as Belfort's business partner) would be viewed as disgustingly abhorrent, but Martin Scorsese frames this tale of greed with a comedic lens that allows us to laugh at things we probably shouldn't find humorous. Whether it's a clumsy attempt at fisticuffs between two characters overdosing on Quaaludes, or the categorization of prostitutes using stock market terminology ("blue chip" hookers make you wear a condom and typically accept credit cards), the film is outrageous from start to finish, and rarely falters in its quest to entertain the audience for three hours.

Belfort manages to delude himself and his pals into thinking they can live like this forever, but the audience knows better, and Belfort's eventual comeuppance is hardly surprising. But the path is paved with hilarity, especially in a scene aboard the mogul's luxury yacht, where he surreptitiously offers a pair of FBI agents everything from booze to girls to cold hard cash in exchange for their silence. And let's not forget his punishment for drunkenly piloting a helicopter into the backyard of his estate at 3am, raising the ire of his trophy wife (Margot Robbie).

Scorsese has always managed to elicit astounding performances from his actors, and his fifth collaboration with Leonardo DiCaprio results in one of the most charismatic, despicable, offensive and captivating characters to ever appear on screen. As financial bad boy Belfort, DiCaprio swaggers from scene to scene ingesting eye-popping amounts of narcotics, groping and fondling nearly every female within reach, and spouting more profanity in three hours than an entire season of The Sopranos. Belfort is the kind of person that any sane person would detest in real life, but thanks to Scorses and DiCaprio, we can't take our eyes off him.

-- Brent Hankins,
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Where Human Flaws Make a Rotten Core
Serge_Zehnder17 December 2013
Brilliantly acted, superbly written and as one would expect from a picture by Martin Scorsese, it is a masterclass of directorial craft.

Showy when it needs to be, but also quiet and contemplative. "The Wolf of Wall Street" is the equivalent of something like "Good Fellas" or even more so "Casino" but set in the world of finance. The suits might be more expensive but the people who wear them are just as sick and violent as their street-mob counterparts. Sardonic in humor and unflinching in showing the depravity of its characters, it marks somewhat of a different approach to the world of stock-trading than Oliver Stone's "Wall Street".

Where Stone seems more in line with Bertold Brecht who considered theater (or in this case film) a moral institution, does Scorsese take the position of the omnipresent observer of the dark side of the American and in many cases the human dream.

Leonard DiCaprio gives another stellar performance of great intensity and even greater tragedy while this tale of corruption, greed and self-righteousness unfolds.

It's a vast panorama that shows how during the last twenty-five to thirty years gullibility as well as our innate greed make all of us accomplices in this never-ending pyramid scheme far away from any reality.

One could almost hear Scorsese's clerical background come to the fore again, according to which nobody is without sin, and therefore we are all susceptible to corruption.

It is our decision on which side we choose to live that makes the difference. For every individual but also society as a whole.
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The Wolf of Wall Street is Leonardo DiCaprio's Crowning Work
ClaytonDavis17 December 2013
Martin Scorsese has done it again. His newest and most refreshing effort he's contributed to the world of cinema in years, The Wolf of Wall Street is a roaring thrill ride that is both absolutely hilarious and meticulously constructed. It also presents Academy Award nominee Leonardo DiCaprio in possibly his finest acting performance of his career. At one-minute shy of three hours, I was both engaged and hypnotized nearly the entire duration. A comedic epic that studies the behavior and cultures of a time in America, feels like the uncovering of a time capsule that was buried and dug up to give insight into our current financial crisis. Much more than just laughs, it turns on the dramatic elements early enough in the film to warrant considerable reactions about the choices of our key characters. Expertly paced with intelligent moral questions presented, The Wolf of Wall Street is one of the best films of the year.

Telling the story of Jordan Belfort, a young Wall Street broker that gets involved in drugs, money, and even more drugs during the 80's and 90's. In his tenure trading (and stealing), Jordan marries, divorces, does drugs, marries again, does even more drugs, makes solid friendships, and believe it or not, does a lot more drugs. Watching the destruction of Jordan acted as a documentarian's insight that felt like I was watching "Intervention" without the family that cares. The Wolf of Wall Street is a black comedy, giving hints of drama. Natural comparisons will fly to Oliver Stone's Wall Street which is accurate but you can see subtle hints of films like Trading Places, Glengarry Glen Ross, and even American Psycho. That's a testament to Scorsese's outstanding direction and Terence Winter's masterful screenplay. Scorsese keeps Wolf life-size, sprinkled with characters that are both geniuses and morons, but functioning morons. They're like the frat pack group that sat in a corner on my college campus, being loud and obnoxious, and made terrible life choices that they still aren't aware of until this day. Scorsese puts together an all-star cast to inhabit these beings that includes DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, Margot Robbie, Matthew McConaughey, Jon Bernathal, and Kyle Chandler. All of which seem to be having the time of their lives.

A lot of the credit of the film's overall success has to be awarded to Leonardo DiCaprio. I've never seen him truly "go for it" in a way that he exhibits as Jordan Belfort. In his breaking of the fourth wall, to his long but completely engaging monologues about life, money, and greed, it's the most assured and compelling work by the actor to date. When DiCaprio unleashed his talents in the mid-90's in What's Eating Gilbert Grape? and later stole the hearts of tween girls everywhere in Titanic, who knew this is the role he'd been gearing up to play. This is the role of his career and something that the Academy Awards should look to for his long overdue recognition. It's a charming and adventurous turn that presents a conundrum to the audience as we find ourselves both enamored and loathing the pure essence of Jordan. A sequence of DiCaprio crawling on the floor will probably be the scene of the year. This is DiCaprio's crowning achievement.

As the magnetic and cheesy-minded right-hand man, Jonah Hill's performance as Donnie Azoff is another great turn for the 30-year-old actor. He's allowed to explore some of his comedic ticks and beats that he may not have ever had the opportunity to explore in films like Superbad or 21 Jump Street. In Wolf, he relies on his own instincts, and his chemistry with DiCaprio, which has helped him before for his Oscar-nominated work in Moneyball opposite Brad Pitt. Matthew McConaughey, is one scene shy of winning the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor. While his work in Dallas Buyers Club will bring him the acclaim and recognition that he deserves, The Wolf of Wall Street is a prime example of what he should be doing when he's not working or seeking out the strong, independent features that are geared for awards recognition. Stealing every frame and focus from DiCaprio in his ten minute screen time, McConaughey utilizes all his charm and spunk as Mark Hanna, the mentor to young Jordan as he started out.

Like any great Scorsese film, the women are in full-force and given the opportunity to shine like the others. Cristin Millotti, a toned down and tragic version of Marisa Tomei in My Cousin Vinny, is sensational in her brief appearances on screen. Beautiful and sympathetic, she offers much needed serious and dramatic elements to Jordan's outrageous antics. In the end, a star is born in the gorgeous and vivacious Margot Robbie as Naomi Lapaglia, Jordan's second wife. Whoever was going to be cast as Naomi, had to be an actress of considerable talent and had the ability to really be the sexy kitten but still warrant an emotional reaction from the audience when called upon. Margot Robbie was the perfect choice and she'll need to owe Scorsese royalties for years to come with the roles she'll be offered following this. Robbie is pure magic and is everything she's required to be. She's the more elusive, compelling, and more thought out version of Scarlett Johansson's character in Don Jon.

I loved every second of The Wolf of Wall Street. Terence Winter's script is a natural and well-oiled machine that produces the words of a demigod. You couldn't make these things up. Thelma Schoonmaker is the utmost professional and continues to shine film after film. You won't find another dedicated and glossed editing work this year. The other supporting actors do sensational work especially Kyle Chandler, who has a very well-constructed exchange on a boat with DiCaprio, has us asking more and more, why is this guy not helming his own films on a consistent basis yet?
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Good or Bad depending on what you want...
Koodle010126 December 2013
Warning: Spoilers
This movie is NOT rated "R" but rather "NC-17" if not "X" rated. I got tired and almost fell asleep a some parts. About half of the movie is nothing more then them drinking, partying, and doing drugs. Literally. Also a bunch of pornography. It's like a college gone crazy for half of the movie (you see like 40+ boobies, a bunch of sex scenes, and a few shorts glimpse of a penis AND vagina)I got so excessive everyone I went with debated on leaving...

The humor is not bad and there is a decent amount of it throughout the movie. (7/10) The acting, mainly Leonardo, was fantastic! (9.5/10) The story is a bit shallow. Basically a bunch of people lying, cheating, stealing, and running/escaping on Wall Street and making a lot of "dirty" illegal money. Then talking talk and talking bad about other people who are honest but make less. The movie portrays a picture that money is the most important thing and it is what brings you happiness very well. (2/10) Near the end it shows that being controlled by money is very bad, but it wasn't portrayed as well as it did trying to argue for money bringing happiness. It shows a bunch of "rich" folks who have nothing but money thinking they're above everyone else. No health, no relationships, no integrity, no manners, no respect, no honesty, no time, nothing but money and the animalistic drive to get more and destroy everything in the way.

As a movie it makes the world a depressing place. Overall the main thing I like about the movie is Leonardo Dicaprio. Props to him for continuing to be an awesome actor. The movie content itself was subpar.
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Reserved for the male of the species
bkoganbing11 April 2014
The Wolf Of Wall Street details the rise and fall in real life of one Jordan Belfort who for a while was living high and wide off of other people's money. It was good while it lasted until some relentless FBI agents took him down partly because of his own hubris.

Leonardo DiCaprio as he did with such other real life figures like Howard Hughes and J. Edgar Hoover, each of who lived large in his own way with power, DiCaprio lives large with money. At first it's the realization of the American dream, DiCaprio the middle class kid wants to go on Wall Street. He goes, but then is one of thousands cast adrift by the stock market crash of the late Reagan years. DiCaprio is not about to give up his dream.

He organizes his own brokerage house, similar to what is seen in the more modestly financed film The Boiler Room. But DiCaprio takes it far from a penny stock outfit. With a collection of his own ill assorted bunch of friends chief among them is Jonah Hill, these guys and I do mean it is reserved for the male of the species DiCaprio makes obscene amounts of money and spends it obscenely. That is sure to attract all kinds of law enforcement attention.

I have seen very few films that have depicted the alpha male world so well. Women just do not compete in DiCaprio's world. All they serve as are sex objects. Women work on Wall Street in the more traditional brokerage houses, but not with him where being one of the boys is the first requirement. The world consists of 50% orgies and 50% piling up paper profits and later on hiding them from authorities. True of DiCaprio and true to a lesser extent of all his associates.

Martin Scorsese directed this film and handled the film like he did one of his gangster epics like Goodfellas. The narration of the film is by DiCaprio and it takes you from his rise to where law enforcement has him between a rock and a hard place. Like Ray Liotta in Goodfellas a combination of drugs and hubris makes him think he's invulnerable. But in Goodfellas would not have had a scene where the wise guys just out and out dared to challenge the FBI as DiCaprio does with agent Kyle Chandler. It so reminded me of that famous incident from 1984 where presidential candidate Gary Hart dares reporters to follow him around to catch him doing anything outside his marriage. And of course they did.

Five Oscar nominations went to The Wolf Of Wall Street, nominations for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay and nominations for DiCaprio and Jonah Hill as Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor. Hill was something of a revelation. The kind of nondescript character that you wouldn't look at twice, Hill gets taken to a world that he could only imagine in dreams wet or dry by DiCaprio. In his own Hill is almost as fascinating a story as DiCaprio.

The guy who beat Leo out for Best Actor has a brief but telling role as a mentor of sorts. Matthew McConaughey plays a stockbroker who takes him under his wing and they have a great scene at a club where he's getting his first three martini lunch. McConaughey only forgets to teach DiCaprio one thing, discretion.

I can understand why women would truly hate this film as they are nothing more than pawns in a male power game, but The Wolf Of Wall Street gives us a fascinating look at a man who tried to play with the big boys of the Stock Exchange and for a while, did.
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Wolf of Wall Street review
Al_The_Strange29 December 2013
If you've seen The Goodfellas or Casino, then you'll know the story of The Wolf of Wall Street. This is another tale of a criminal whose ambitions sweep him away into a debauched world of dirty money, out-of-control substance abuse, endless lies, a troubled family life, and a downward spiral of corruption that inevitably leads to his own undoing. Only thing is, this is less about the gangsters and mafia, and more about white-collar crime. The guys wear suits, work in proper offices, and everything they do is just business; funnily enough, this whole movie still plays out like a kind of gangster film.

Based on the memoirs of Jordan Belfort - the real-life stock broker who made millions by selling shoddy stocks to average joes - the film showcases one seriously messed-up slimeball of a man. If his scheme sounds familiar, it's because it's been the inspiration behind the 2000 film Boiler Room, and this film covers much of the same concepts, albeit with better structure. The film maintains a close and intimate focus on the man as he rises to power, suckers thousands into his schemes, and then lives a life of extreme excess. And it is extreme: the whole film becomes laden with drugs, sex, superficial luxuries, material things, and characters who want nothing more than to take and consume everything. The sheer corruption becomes palpable on-screen, and I couldn't help but to shake my head at numerous scenes when I saw just how far these wolfish characters have gone in their unrestrained partying and debauchery. I have no clue as to how closely this film adapts the real-life events, but at times it's almost hard to believe that things could have gone this far. And yet, the excesses serve to underscore key themes and criticisms on the American dream; the pursuit of money and success, through any means, remains the main drive of the characters and the movie, and it leads to a fairly hard-hitting downfall.

This film features good-looking photography and editing. Acting is great: Leonardo DiCaprio is practically perfect as the titular character, and the rest of the cast pulls their weight really well (including Jonah Hill, who seems to fit into his character's archetype very comfortably). Writing is really sharp and good; the film is full of great lines and great speeches. There are some great-looking sets, props, and costumes on display in this film. Music has a varied mix of songs, and they're all used really well for their intended effect.

The Wolf of Wall Street is every bit as good as Martin Scorsese's previous work with The Goodfellas and Casino. All these films work with similar plots and themes, but TWOWS is like a gangster film masked by the thin veil of upper-class corporate swindling. It is a film that candidly shows the crimes and excesses in full, before proving that, even for the super-rich, crime still doesn't pay.

Recommended! 4.5/5 (Entertainment: Good | Story: Very Good | Film: Perfect)
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The funniest movie of 2013
TheConnoisseurReviews25 December 2013
"The Wolf of Wall Street" is infectiously entertaining. It is probably the funniest movie I have seen all year with witty dialogue, over the top characters, and filled with energy that bleeds off the screen. Between all the fun however,  there is also a story about addiction and how it can cause a downward spiral in your life whether it be drugs, money, or power.

Acclaimed director Martin Scorsese does a wonderful job keeping this movie at a high at all times. Never once does this movie lose it's energy or sense of humor much like the drug induced characters. There are a lot of quick cuts and edits to keep the movie feeling as If you are on drugs as well as playing high energy music in some of the more serious situations.

The cast brings their "A" game. The stand out is obviously Leonardo DiCaprio, who pretty much owns and excels any scene he is in. This film really showcases his diverse range.

Overall "The Wolf of Wall Street" is a full on adrenaline ride that never loses momentum. It's directed with a lot of flair and energy and has an incredibly well written script that gives it depth and a ton of laughs. The cast is fantastic and DiCaprio gives his best and most fun filled performance to date. I really enjoyed this movie and think it's the funniest movie of the year 4.5/5
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Scorsese's best pic since Goodfellas
andrewcappelletti30 November 2013
The last few Scorsese pics left me a little disappointed. I had begun to think Marty had become a 'gun for hire' and that his brilliance may have been spent (his earlier works were some of the best movies ever made). I attended a screening of The Wolf of Wall Street this evening, and was expecting to be unimpressed. I am happy to say I was completely blown away. This pic is Marty at his best. I laughed, I cringed, I related (with fond memories as well as a bit of guilt) and I TOTALLY believed every unbelievable moment. A good book, a great screenplay and a delightful cast were formed and molded into what I believe should get Scorsese a best director Oscar, and likely a Best Picture Award for the movie. Leo DiCaprio has grown into a versatile actor and his creation of this super hero dirtbag's roller coaster ride in this crazy (true) story is really honest and delightfully entertaining. Jonah Hill pulled out all the stops too and this is definitely his best work. Thank you Mr. Scorsese for delivering the goods so brilliantly!
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Don't waste your time
luci19776 January 2014
Warning: Spoilers
I've always thought that there must be a very good reason for a movie to last 3 hours. Wolf of wall street does last 3 hours but there no shadow of a good reason for it. It could have lasted 1 hour and it would have been already too long.

It is difficult to summarize all the things I didn't like but let's try:

1- Characters development is simply not existent. There is no depth, just one-dimension flat characters that only do drugs, sex, and money. I am not against showing drugs or sex or money in a movie, if it helps the plot. But in this case, it didn't. It was 2 hours of absolute useless display of all the possible debaucheries on earth, without them helping in building up the characters. 2- If a guy manages to build up an empire based on a fraud, I'd like to see what happens to his victims too, and, sorry if I am not a master of Wall street, but I'd like to have 5 minutes of the movie spent in explaining what was this fraud about. 3- If the guy, once again, not only builds his own empire, but also drags other people in that, I suppose he must have some smartness, or intelligence, or be a master manipulator.. whatever it is, it cannot be just (once again) cocaine and prostitute. If they wanted to depict the guys as villains, they failed miserably. 4- the only relatively interesting part (the trial etc) is cut to 30-45 minutes max. Once again, I supposed it could have been a good chance to show some introspection of the characters, some development..something! But no, once again, nothing. We only notice that now the beer is not alcoholic. So sad. 5-Finally, DiCaprio performance: he did his job, probably, but he was alway over the top (and not in a good sense). Too much of everything, to the point that he fell into being ridiculous more than believable.

Ah, one last note. Wall Street? Where is it in all the story? I expected to see some connections to WS in fact, like what was going on in the meantime but there is - sorry to repeat myself- basically nothing about it.
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Con Man cons Scorsese & DiCaprio
maslotnick2 January 2014
Warning: Spoilers
Even though Jordan Belfort is a convicted con man, Scorsese & DiCaprio were apparently too dense to realize that his book was yet another of his scams. They leapt on Belfort's book like pigs on a pile of slop and thought everyone would be just as enamored as they were with the alleged life story of a sociopathic, sleazeball swindler. One example of how they got conned: In real life, Belfort never warned his cohorts that he was wearing a wire! In reality, he was a cry-baby snitch who immediately agreed to testify against his co-conspirators, never giving any of them a word of warning.

It's rather amusing to watch Scorsese & DiCaprio as they try to explain that this movie isn't a glorification of Belfort's swindling & debauchery. C'mom, guys, 'fess up, all three hours of the movie is a celebration of it! You wasted $100 million to make an homage to a drug- addicted, misogynistic low-life who swindled people out of their hard- earned money! Proud of yourselves?

Here's the "Spoiler Alert": You are being conned if you go to this movie. But go ahead and give your hard-earned money to this convicted swindler and the "Hollywood sophisticates" who think his pathetically sad life is worth being turned into a movie. Just know that Belfort is laughing all the way to the bank, and you are his latest victim.
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It should have been called Satyrs of LI instead of Wolf of Wall Street
margiepargie122 January 2014
Warning: Spoilers
It's hard to find the words to explain how TRULY AWFUL this film is. I'll try to do a list:

1) There's no context: They never show the victims of the fraud. We see the sales effort but not the people they're selling to. How can you do a movie about people perpetrating a fraud without showing the fraud & its effects???

2) There's no character development: They all start out as disgusting creeps and they all end up being disgusting creeps.

3) There's not much of a plot: It's 2 and 1/2 hours of debauchery and then 1/2 hour of getting caught. The debauchery part goes on forever and gets boring really fast. Not to mention disturbing & disgusting. Did Scorsese really make this movie just to show all this debauchery? What's the point of showing 2 and 1/2 hours of it? We get the point that they are gross lunatics pretty fast. Why keep going with seemingly endless variations of it? There is no point to it.

So, when all is said & done, this is basically a movie about debauchery. It should have been called "Satyrs of Long Island" instead of "Wolves of Wall Street" because these turkeys operated from LI and there's practically nothing in the movie about actual Wall Street firms.
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A Three-Hour Bacchanalia Caught on Film
gavin69423 February 2014
Based on the true story of Jordan Belfort (Leonardo DiCaprio), from his rise to a wealthy stockbroker living the high life to his fall involving crime, corruption and the federal government.

As of now (February 2014), this film sits at an impressive #57 on IMDb's list of greatest films of all time. Using that as a jumping off point for this review, we will have to scale it back a bit. Whether the film should be on the list is debatable, but certainly not within the top 100 -- it is neither that good nor among director Martin Scorsese's best work.

Along the same lines, the Oscar nomination for Best Picture is a bit much. While there is no denying it was probably among the ten best films of 2013, with some incredible acting and more than adequate cinematography and editing, the very fact it has no chance of winning makes one question why even nominate the film at all. (Of course, without nine nominees, we would be back to having the reasonable number of five...)

Scorsese received a best director nomination, and this strikes me as more understandable. He managed to assemble an impressive cast and tell a story that is both compelling and entertaining, without trying to put some moral tag on it. Whether or not the viewer thinks this is a glorification or denouncement of the acts depicted is up to them, as the film itself is blank (in the best way).

While on the subject, could the drug use and sexuality have been toned down? Absolutely. And there is a good argument that they should have been (especially the non-stop sex, which comes across as gratuitous and only adds more minutes to this lengthy financial epic). Another argument says the events are extremely unlikely and exaggerated at times. And this is probably also true; but the film is accurate to the memoir, not reality, and this is Belfort telling his story with all the embellishments that come with it. If you want just the facts, read the court transcripts.

Leonardo DiCaprio is nominated for best actor, and this is a choice that is understandable and yet hard to rally behind. He truly becomes Belfort, and probably makes the man out to be even more wild than he was. That deserves a nomination. But this is not DiCaprio's best role (he has also done a fine job portraying Howard Hughes and J. Edgar Hoover) and not one he deserves the win for.

Jonah Hill, on the other hand, was amazing and deserves to win his supporting actor category. Being up again Jared Leto, he probably has no chance, but Hill has come a long way in a few short years from a lovable doofus in "Superbad" to a formidable actor in his own right. At first, "Moneyball" seemed to be an anomaly in Hil's career, but he showed the world he could do even better when he became Donny Azoff in this picture. Incredible.

Whether Terence Winter deserves Best Adapted Screenplay for this film is unclear without having read the book. Such a nomination seems fair, though the win is hard to say without more familiarity. I am surprised no nominations came for cinematography or editing, which are strong in their subtlety. But oh well.

Of the film's five nominations, it may walk away with one win (Winter) or two at most (DiCaprio). More likely it will walk away empty-handed. The film is not flawless (we could go on about how awkward the soundtrack was) and may or may not go on to be memorable for much more than its nudity and pervasive cursing.
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A Farce you can skip.
kilohertz447 January 2014
Warning: Spoilers
Martin Scorsese could have created a Real Movie about Real Characters who committed terrible acts on Wall Stree. Instead he chose to create a comedy farce for the sole purpose of a box office hit in order to generate tons of cash just like the character Belfort. There is no mention of the victims of Belfort's scams. I cannot believe he has been nominated for Best Director for this piece of Trash. I don't understand how this movie received 8.7 on IMDb.

The formula for the Box Office hit Pot Pourri is simple: Wild Parties, Fast Cars, Expensive Houses, Huge Yachts, Drunken Helicopter Pilots, Lots of drinking, drugs, Naked Women, Orgies, guns, Cheating husbands, Money laundering, Slimy Swiss bankers, seducing hot babes, seducing ex-babes (grandmas, And finally,Idiotic Extreme Behavior by brokers who act super smart in one scene And pathetically stupid in another scene. If Tarantino had been the director, I would have said, fine, that is his style, but Marty, I expected a bit more class from him.

This movie Glorifies Scumbags who manipulate people who entrust them with their hard earned dollars The scumbags have no moral or ethical dilemmas. The movie turns them into heroes to be emulated. Belfort's sentencing agreement mandates a total of $110 million in restitution yet the victims have received little of this.

The script at times makes you think it was written by a hyper-hormoned immature male high school dropout teenager. It tries extremely hard to be funny, yet it falls flat on its face in this arena. Reminded me of a 22 minute sit com on TV, yet no one in my row was laughing at the jokes. The story could have been summarized in 30 minutes, Get ready for 180 minutes We are forced to watch one unnecessary scene after another, the same topic is repeated over and over again, Same arguments, same sales pitches "Sell me this Pen", OK I got it, Belfort is a charismatic Speaker and a great Sales Person, I don't need to have it hammered in my brain.

The Range of behaviors of the characters go from one Serious Extreme to completely irresponsible infantile idiotic and unbelievably stupid levels. Watch Donnie (Jonah Hill) Play with himself in public when he first takes a look at Naomi Lapaglia ( Margot Robbie ). Remember that he is the Number 2 Lead at the Investment firm and Later in charge of running Stratton Oakmont. How can he be so stupid and so smart at the same time. The Characters are Caricatures of the real people they are supposed to depict. The tone was set after the first few minutes of Belfort's (DiCaprio) narrative while he is starring at the camera. It did not work for me. There are only two decent scenes in this movie that stand out for their realism. When DiCaprio first Seduces his future blonde wife at dinner in the restaurant When The two Fed agents board Belfort's Yacht Nadine and Belfort in a sly arrogant manner attempts to bribe the investigators.

Some movies are must see movies Because they change your view of the world and you never forget them.

This movie changes nothing.
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Loud and Flat Failure
aharmas25 December 2013
Warning: Spoilers
De Caprio is the heart of the film, a daredevil whose motivation seems to be a misguided desire to acquire as much money as possible. He lives his life as a constant dare, using and abusing the investments of others, gambling with his personal relationships and his own health. He constantly endangers his life and those who are closest to him. It seems like he is capable of stopping this fall, but he keeps sinking and sinking. We could say he has a survivor's nature, but he carries with a very intense death wish, too.

Usually, it's easy to understand how people like him become so successful. There's gotta be a bit of charisma to their natures, so that we can see how they seduce the rest of the world into following them. Unfortunately, the main lead here lacks that quality, and in one of the worst casting choices in recent history, what we get is a man who is not full of life and youth. He himself become his own iceberg as he reveals his "age" early in the film, and De Caprio hasn't looked that youthful in decades. This is not to say that De Caprio doesn't try, but he's not a good fit for this role. About three years ago, in "The Social Network" we could see the recklessness and drive of man who could lure you into a trap. There's no way that seems believable here, especially when you see the people he surrounds himself with. His wolf can't cast a spell, and he can hardly bite.

Mercifully, we are not treated to the hyper kinetic editing and camera work we usually encounter in Scorcese's films, but he's found other ways to annoy us. He intermingles "Infomercials" throughout the movie, as if we need reinforcement about the seductive power of his character. They are sometimes ridiculous, and I doubt that is the intent. There are also liberties with the source, and it's a pity because the text is a delight to read, giving us the opportunity to wonder how something that is definitely based on reality can appear so unbelievable. The movie tries desperately to portray the excess and trappings of wealth, but there is nothing sexy about the constant parade of prostitutes and the overuse of obscenities, which occur at least every other minute. The books gives us time to breathe. Nothing like that is ever possible here, and that's why the film feels flat, not necessarily boring, but it fails to crackle because it's just too much of the same, never showing us where all the madness originates. There's little fire, just an endless portrayal of stupidity.

Not all is lost (like in that other film) because we have a rising star here. Margot Robbie makes quite an entrance and gives the best and most solid performance here, enhanced by the mess the rest of the cast comes up with. She's a formidable beauty, with lots of ambition, an overpowering stare that will let you see that she is not afraid to seek ambition, but she is still a full human being, capable of distinguishing between right and wrong. She reminds you of a more powerful Sharon Stone in her earlier films, and she is as talented as she is gorgeous. Here we see how one person can become obsessed with another, but it also makes you wonder why anyone would even stray from such a beauty. Oh, yes, I forgot it's perfectly obvious drugs can totally ruin your life and turn you into a monster.

The film is way too long, with more than a dozen scenes that could have been eliminated because they don't add anything to the story flow. We wish we could see more of the FBI agents, and it would be helpful to see why Wolf doesn't seem to find any way to listen to his father, a wonderful and underused Reiner.

We can guess the film's ending from its early frames. It seems as if all the energy goes into the presentation of the material, and little consideration is giving to the dialogue, other than peppering the conversations with redundant expletives. Parading naked people around, having snorting line after line of that white powder, or coming up with sound blasting songs to underscore a point is a brutal point to deliver a message. Just recently the Coens gives us a more dimensional creation with no more than a few ungrateful remarks here and there. All the time I could only wonder how it was that this film escaped the stamping of that NC 17 rating because its only success was the abuse of visual imagery and irritating language that loses its impact as it appears in an endless barrage of mind numbing utterances.
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A big Waste of time and money for backers and customers
Clive_barons28 December 2013
Warning: Spoilers
How can a film this bad costing $100M get past any adult review process. It seemed like Scorcese and DiCaprio made it for their own egos -- big budget/Gatsby-level theatrics and face-time respectively. DiCaprio does a good job in the role but we all (age range 25 to 65) kept waiting for the movie to come to the point. Hours of redundancy of plot and gratuitous over use of swearing and sex scenes the message and context could have been delivered with about sixty percent less: we kept waiting for a fatal drug overdose to change the direction of the plot and give it some purpose . . We almost walked out a couple of times but did not and waited for the plot to come to a point. We didn't and suffered the full three hours.
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Encompasses everything wrong with Hollywood's arrogant attitude towards its audience
GodofGSXR19776 January 2014
Warning: Spoilers
Dear Hollywood: It's time for something new.

Firstly, this film is entertaining enough and has a great director/cast/performances, blah blah blah -- However we should expect more after this many years of the same tripe from indeed talented people who have done better before. And seriously, how many times can we be entertained by basically the same thing over and over and over, just repackaged? People snorting cocaine. People having sex. Hookers. Bad behavior. Shocking male genitalia in an R-Rated movie when we usually only see bush and knockers. Give me a break. Hate to tell you, although the audience may be comprised of giddy man-children who laugh at dick jokes: Shock value does not equal brilliance.

The film started out good and held my attention but the lack of depth written for any character besides Leonardo was awful. Everyone is a caricature of characters we have seen in countless other movies. And I learned less about Jordan Belfort from this three hour film than a three line bio on wikipedia.

And: What was the point of this movie? I honestly still have no idea and the ending was especially disappointing and anti-climatic.

Bravo for Di Caprio in the role but that is honestly about it. Why was John Favreu even in this film? Why was Mathew McNaughahay wasted for 5 minutes of screen time?

It could have challenged the audience by not giving us the stereotypical black and white character development and extra predictable plotting.

Scorcese has done a good job of making mob figures and murderers seem charismatic and cool, but this film teaches neither the character or the audience anything at all.

I'm rich, so this resort style jail is not that bad. Time to get an inspirational speaking gig and make a Hollywood movie officially validating me as legit.

Enough is enough, we need to ask for more out of these "based on true story" indulgences.

Between Belfort and Hollywood, I would say the latter has ripped off average people the most.
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Sad way to glamorize immoral behavior, long and drawn out.
annmarienll29 December 2013
Warning: Spoilers
Cricky, lets start of with saying how long and drawn out this movie was. Gosh 3 hours to sit through watching a porn movie(basically) along side drug abuse and lying cheating behavior.

Quite a few people actually got up and left during the movie,maybe it got a bit to much for them seeing that you saw naked woman every couple of minutes.

Overall the movie glamorized greed. Sad part is there was only about 15 minutes of the whole movie that showed any consequence to this false immoral lifestyle. I feel the message of the movie was wrong and the movie could have had a lot more emotional impact if they had showed this lifestyle in a less glamorous way.
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Boring beyond imagination.
AdultAudienceMember31 December 2013
Warning: Spoilers
Wolf is a waste unless you are a 19-year-old boy who thinks Napoleon Dynamite was funny. Sex without passion. Drugs without end. Scenes without points. Acting without entertainment. But let's go to the board.

1. Sex.....tons of it. This film is pretty well soft porn. But it is also about as sexually exciting as watching a Zamboni polish an ice rink....and about as cold. 2. Drugs.....tons of it. Think of Scarface levels. Hey, drunks are funny, right? Think Cheech and Chong without the laughs. 3. Vulgarity.....worse than Bridesmaids and much less humorous.

During WWII, the US 8th Air Force delivered nearly 700 thousand tons of explosives. If each one of them had had the f-word painted on them, it still would fall short of the f-bombing in this movie.

But even if the pretty naked girls had been arousing, the drug quantities smaller, and the vulgarity lighter, it still would be a tremendously boring film.

I am sure it will be touted as a great movie....a modern Gatsby tale. I am sure there will be rewards. I am sure Tarrentino will rip it off and be declared a genius.

But none of that will change the fact that Wolf of Wall Street is a dog on the screen.
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Must See! DiCaprio and Scorsese are Brilliant!!!
mayel71430 December 2013
By far the Best Movie of the Year, Best Actor, Best Director! The whole supporting cast is excellent as well. This movie will not disappoint it was much better than I expected and the duration of the movie is not felt at all. It definitely did not feel like a 3 hour production. Scorsese put this movie together brilliantly! You are on your toes and engaged throughout from beginning to end. Leonardo DiCaprio is at his best! He will take you through the highs and lows of the movie with an Oscar Winning Performance. I read about Jordan Belfort and it appears that Scorsese and DiCaprio made this movie as accurate as possible which I really appreciate. I commend Scorsese and DiCaprio for keeping this epic picture as authentic as possible. After all this is Hollywood.
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Scorsese and DiCaprio Make Another Masterpiece
Michael_Elliott14 January 2014
The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)

**** (out of 4)

Two word review: A Masterpice.

Martin Scorsese's latest film is yet another brilliant one with Leonard DiCaprio turning in the greatest performance of his career as stockbroker Jordan Belfort who takes some rather bland people and turn them into one of the biggest scams that the FBI ever saw. THE WOLF OF WALL STREET is going to make many people unhappy and there are many more who are probably going to be offended by it but the perfection that is Scorsese was right when he decided to turn this into a comedy instead of a drama. Yeah, it's GOODFELLAS on speed and ramped up sex but it's just so brilliantly and wickedly funny that you can't help but laugh at all the craziness going on. Yes, there are some moral police out there who are going to object to a movie being made about a man who ripped off poor people but I'm sorry, I like the fact that this film doesn't really care about those people and instead just gives us an in-your-face look at these wild people, their wild drugs and their wild sex lives. This film is certainly over-the-top in regards to the excess but so were the characters so I thought they just went hand and hand with each other. Scorsese was the perfect person for this project because of his ramped up speed but here is goes all out and really delivers an incredibly wicked little ride that will have you smiling and laughing at some very questionable things.

I've been a fan of DiCaprio long before he became famous and this here is without question the greatest performance he's given so far. I was curious to see how he would do playing someone crazy and wild like this but he does so perfectly and I'd say it was a flawless performance. No matter what was going on in this crazy life you believe that you're watching a real character and as his character says throughout the film, sell him something. Well, DiCaprio sells this performance and role like no one else could. The supporting players are just as wonderful with Jonah Hill, Margot Robbie, Rob Reiner, Jon Favreau, Matthew McConaughey and Jean Dujardin all delivering terrific performances. The cinematography, the music selections and everything else are just flawless here. THE WOLF OF WALL STREET could have been a complete disaster in so many ways but the strong screenplay and Scorsese's wicked direction makes it an incredibly entertaining film that works so well. It's hard to fully put into words what Scorsese and DiCaprio have pulled off but it's certainly one of the best and most memorable comedies in ages.
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A masterful depiction of human piggishness
safbden29 December 2013
Warning: Spoilers
Martin Scorsese scores a huge hit in this seminal celebration of human piggishness, rot and squalor. Sure one will face daunting challenges to self-indulgence, but if he tries hard enough and stays the course in dissipation and exploitation, he can become a King like Jordan Belfort, with a fawning, obsequious following. And what's wrong with that? What's wrong with living the good life, by whatever means necessary, if you have the talent and only care about yourself?

Human baseness and predation are honored in the film through Belfort's graphic gluttonous sex and extraordinary drug use, constantly extolled as giving the edge one needs to dominate and manipulate. That, with unapologetic predation, are critical parts of the road map to the good life in the Scorsese model.

And with that, Scorsese proves a master in describing a modern day Inferno (like Dante's) with the new paradigm that being bad is not so bad after all if you win in the end.
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Entertainment, not reality
bobbobwhite26 December 2013
Yes, Scorsese has always entertained us so well with abberant types, from mobsters to street criminals to boiler room stock brokers, all dealing death or financial destruction 24/7. But, do any of them bear even a faint resemblance to what really happened, and did those people actually behave that way? Regarding this film, I worked on Wall Street during that time, and even though we had heard of Jordan Belfort's firm, it was totally discounted as a boiler room and had no Street cred at all, just a terrible rep as sleazebag junk. It was no more than a side story to the real Wall Street, as those boiler room types were the lowest level of that era's greed-is-good WS slicksters.

But, the movie.....could any human superman take the amount of drugs and unprotected sex shown in this story and even function, let alone at a high continuous level and not have a fatal heart attack? None that I have known or seen, and I have seen a lot. But, Dicaprio as Belfort was a marvelous choice for this outsized role, and he played it to the hilt as never before, with Jonah Hill as his sidekick comic relief, and Matthew Macconaughey a great choice for Belfort's oddball, probably whacked out(off?)mentor, and Bob DeNiro in a short mobster spot.

It was such fast action that the 3 hours went by quickly, with not a dull moment in it. I enjoyed the fantasy ride that Disney could not have done better, but I could never get past the fact that it was 99% dramatized fiction, done to sell tickets(greed is good!) but not to enlighten us at all about the real Wall Street of that era.
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Leonardo Di Caprio's Best Character Driven Film
Desertman8415 April 2014
Warning: Spoilers
The Wolf Of Wall Street is the fifth collaboration between actor Leonardo Di Caprio and director Martin Scorsese.It a black comedy and a character-driven film based on the memoir of Jordan Belfort,a New York stockbroker who ran a firm that is involved in securities fraud and corruption at Wall Street during the 1990's.Jonah Hill, Margot Robbie and Matthew McConaughey co-stars.

The film is similar to many of Scorsese's genre of gangster films such as Goodfellas and The Departed.But this time,we get to see the anti-hero Belfort,played charismatically and excellently by DiCaprio dumping fake stocks that are worth nothing instead of killing and murdering people.Aside from that,it explores Belfort's character,a young Jewish broker from New York looking to make his way in Wall Street.He starts off at J F Rothstein and he is quickly taken into an understudy by lead broker Mark Hanna,who teaches him how to make money without morals and integrity.He then finds himself trading penny stocks and sets up his own operation.As his business grows exponentially,he tries to make it into the legit business which goes awry as they soon find themselves conning thousands of businessmen out of their cash.This leads to an FBI investigation on his part.Aside from his business that consists of greed and scams,we get to see Belfort's lifestyle that is characterized by excess that includes sex,drugs,parties and orgies.

Despite the fact that it is 180-minutes long,one will surely enjoy the ride of watching this film.DiCaprio and Scorsese makes it a point to make it interesting and entertaining.Despite the controversy it has made due to its themes of moral ambiguity and having a lot of amoral characters that are involved in a lot of sex and drugs as well as the constant use of vulgar language,it definitely epitomizes fraud and corruption in Wall Street during the 90's.Although many viewers have seen this film as it somewhat glamorizes Jordan Belfort and his lifestyle,it certainly is one great movie.In the end,this is one great film that will surely be enjoyed by many people.
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The Worst Movie I Have Ever Seen...
carrie-a-davis14 January 2014
Warning: Spoilers
The title of my review says it all. The Wolf of Wall Street was literally the WORST movie I have seen in my entire life. My opinion might not be quite so negative if the movie hadn't dragged its disorganized, rambling plot on for THREE WHOLE HOURS. At about the one hour mark I was already checking the clock out of boredom and disinterest, and continued to do so throughout the rest of the movie.

I appreciate good film-making, and I appreciate that Martin Scorsese is widely recognized as a film genius, but I think this one was an artistic flop. The movie starts off entertaining, but it never really feels like the film takes off. Instead, I felt as if the film was rambling, always promising to find the point where the action gets good, but never quite getting there. The pacing is slower than molasses, and the dialogue inundated with largely meaningless conversations consisting mainly of expletives. While the movie focuses on Jordan Belfort's (DiCaprio) addictions to money, sex, and drugs, we never see Belfort hit rock bottom as we would usually expect of such a movie. Nor does the movie glorify his addictions, so the audience is left merely absorbing the gamut of his largely taboo experience without any meaning or particular point to it. The nudity in this film, too, is needlessly gratuitous and seemingly serves no purpose other than to continuously drive the point to the audience that Belfort is an uncommonly selfish ass who enjoys the sexual underbelly of the underworld -- a point which could have been made just as effectively with about half the nudity and sexual scenes.

Throughout the film we see none of the characters grow, nor do we see their actions have any other consequence besides generating more money, aside from Belfort's divorce and imprisonment at the end of the film, which seem to carry absolutely no weight. The characters are flat and shallow -- not the kind of people you would want to spend three hours with. DiCaprio's performance as Belfort was strong and believable, although the character was so thoroughly unlikable that it was difficult to enjoy his performance. Jonah Hill also gave a solid performance, but again, the character was too unlikable for me to care.

Scorsese also used little visual and narrative tricks (such as slowing the film down to focus on a ticking clock flying through the air, or having DiCaprio narrate Belfort's thoughts) to break up the flow of the story that, had they been used more consistently, more frequently, or in conjunction with any sort of meaning, would have had a positive stylistic impact on the film, but their usage was sporadic, giving the film a disjointed and uneven feeling.

I will be sorely disappointed if the academy nominates this film for best picture, as it felt more like an unedited rough draft that was prematurely loosed on theater-goers rather than a carefully constructed, polished piece of cinema.
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