American Hustle Reviews
Director David O. Russell and co-writer Eric Warren Singer grab hold of the FBI's long-time Abscam sting (conducted in the late '70s into 1980) as their kernel of truth, then Jiffy Pop it like mad.
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.
The film zigs and zags, chasing after many different characters. And that sprawl, the rogue's gallery of strays, cheaters and deceivers, activates the film rather than deflates it.
Filled with rich characters and sharp dialogue, the movie turns on questions of friendship and fidelity, both personal and political, with a knockout performance by Jennifer Lawrence as the con man's jealous, ball-busting wife.
American Hustle is a movie built on that cornerstone of the American Dream, reinvention. If you're not happy with who you are, or who people think you are, then go ahead and become somebody else. Anything to survive - and thrive.
Even at two hours and 20 minutes, the movie doesn't wear you down. It carries you along with heedless momentum, giddy and exhilarated at its all-American ambition and scam-artist confidence.