Here we go with capsule reviews of a bunch of stuff coming out just in time to distract you from dealing with your families during the holidays.
I enjoyed American Hustle way more than I did The Fighter and Silver Linings Playbook. In some ways, it feels like those movies were just warm-ups for this one, from culling the right mix of actors to perform in his ensemble to nailing the proper tone and style to match his story. But he got the recipe right and American Hustle is hugely entertaining. It’s heavy on the Scorsese influences, definitely not a copycat or even really an homage so much as a love letter to Scorsese’s heyday of crime films, all covered over in a shiny, post-modern gloss. The 1970’s details are terrific and provide a lot of funny sight gags just because irony, but there is also some wear and tear and grime for authenticity. The story is actually pretty straight forward, about criminals who get caught and have to try to, essentially, talk their way out of trouble. It’s all greed and politics and corruption, which is really one of the oldest stories in the book. But it’s fun to watch and this group of very talented actors (Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Bradley Cooper, Jeremy Renner, Jennifer Lawrence) are all on top of their game. Read more »