American Hustle 2013

Critics score:
93 / 100

Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes

Richard Corliss, TIME Magazine: Reveling in its '70s milieu and in the eternal abrasion of sexy women and covetous men, American Hustle is an urban eruption of flat-out fun - the sharpest, most exhilarating comedy in years. Read more

Kyle Smith, New York Post: It's a little bit "Boogie Nights," a little bit "Argo," a little bit "GoodFellas." It's a breath mint, it's a chewing gum, it's a laxative, it's a hockey puck. Read more

Rex Reed, New York Observer: I wouldn't call American Hustle my kind of movie, but perversely, I have to admit I enjoyed it, primarily because of the twisted logic and wicked cleverness. Read more

Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal: High-energy comedy comes naturally to the filmmaker. He exults in free association, emotional riffs, in the craziness that underlies ostensibly rational behavior. Read more

Moira MacDonald, Seattle Times: Russell, following last year's sweet "The Silver Linings Playbook" with a very different tale of reinvention, has made a glittery disco ball of a movie, with Lawrence as its unexpectedly shining star. Read more

Justin Chang, Variety: A brilliant cast shines in David O. Russell's deliriously funny account of the notorious Abscam case. Read more

A.A. Dowd, AV Club: American Hustle turns out to be a freewheeling party of a movie, one that never stops adding complications and wrinkles and hungry new players to the mix. Read more

Bill Goodykoontz, Arizona Republic: It's hilarious and sad and, especially, entertaining. Read more

Jessica Herndon, Associated Press: The film may lack grit but the stellar cast adds to its allure, helping to round out this dynamic account where reinvention offers the means to endure. Read more

Ty Burr, Boston Globe: A sloppy, miscast, hammed up, overlong, overloud story that still sends you out of the theater on a cloud of rapture. Read more

J. R. Jones, Chicago Reader: 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. Read more

Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune: 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. Read more

Peter Rainer, Christian Science Monitor: It's a kaleidoscopic carnival, structured from the viewpoint of each of its main protagonists. The film itself is devised a species of scam, and for a while it's fun to be in on the con. Russell is, in effect, playing us. Read more

Chris Vognar, Dallas Morning News: [Russell] seems to be having obscene amounts of fun, which becomes contagious very quickly. Read more

Lisa Kennedy, Denver Post: 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. Read more

Tom Long, Detroit News: Ambitious even as it studies, exploits and explodes ambition, "American Hustle" is as good as any American film this year. It's also a lot of fun. Don't miss it. Read more

Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly: It's a film of jaw-dropping virtuosity and pleasure, one that leaves you revved, enthralled, tickled, moved, and amazed. Read more

Kate Erbland, While Russell's film succeeds on the strength of its casting and characters, it's dragged down by a murky and poorly-paced narrative. Read more

Wesley Morris, Grantland: The actors give the movie different sorts of mania. Read more

David Rooney, Hollywood Reporter: An infectious blast of funky jazz played by a terrific cast and a director at the top of their respective games. Read more

Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times: Dizzying, outlandishly entertaining ... Read more

Randy Myers, San Jose Mercury News: Even with a freewheeling style, "Hustle" is never aimless. All that flash, sass and canny sense for detail hit the jackpot ... Read more

Rene Rodriguez, Miami Herald: To borrow a phrase the film's con artists are prone to saying, American Hustle works from the feet up, and the fun is intoxicating. Read more

David Thomson, The New Republic: Loose, wandering, and often monotonous. Read more

Rafer Guzman, Newsday: It's a high-spirited lark that works thanks to Russell's dazzling direction, delicious period details and a parade of stellar performances. Read more

David Denby, New Yorker: 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. Read more

Stephen Whitty, Newark Star-Ledger: All in all, "American Hustle" is a fun ride - while it lasts. Read more

David Edelstein, NPR: Russell out-Scorseses Scorsese with hyperbolic technique: whip-pans, whooshes, slo-mo, and tacky but great '70s chart-toppers. He winds his actors up and lets them loose. Read more

Joe Neumaier, New York Daily News: It turns out that comb-overs, cleavage, cocaine and kookiness are an unbeatable combo. Read more

Manohla Dargis, New York Times: "American Hustle" giddily embraces the excesses of its era, from spandex to 'staches, though it's a farce that speaks as well to this tarnished age. Read more

Michael Sragow, Orange County Register: The source of this movie's galvanizing intrigue is that the characters remain in play -- they never settle into place Read more

Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer: 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. Read more

James Berardinelli, ReelViews: In spite of the subject matter's seediness (ABSCAM resulted in the corruption convictions of a U.S. senator, six members of the House of Representatives, and several lesser politicians), Russell's script is laced with wit. Read more

Richard Roeper, Richard The best time I've had at the movies all year. Read more

Christy Lemire, Ridiculously entertaining in all the best ways. Read more

Peter Travers, Rolling Stone: For some, the silver linings in Russell's movies represent a failure to embrace darkness. I see them as a humanist's act of resistance. That's why American Hustle ranks with the year's best movies. It gets under your skin. Read more

Andrew O'Hehir, Isn't it a pleasure to get hustled by such exquisite professionals? Read more

Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle: Russell has always had a talent for harmonizing tragedy and comedy, seriousness and outlandishness, all within a precise tone that allows for a wide range of emotions and effects. But his hand has never been more sure. Read more

Dana Stevens, Slate: Overweight, balding, and outfitted in supremely ugly '70s high fashion-I seem to recall a pumpkin-colored polyester three-piece suit-Bale has never looked worse, or been better. Read more

Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune: 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. Read more

Joe Williams, St. Louis Post-Dispatch: With a solid-gold cast and a sterling script, "American Hustle" has a higher return on investment than any other movie in the marketplace. Read more

Liam Lacey, Globe and Mail: Save your admiration for the performances, especially Lawrence, who is now Hollywood's most important presence in front of the camera. Read more

Peter Howell, Toronto Star: It's one of the year's cleverest films, and also one of the best. Read more

Alonso Duralde, TheWrap: Has the kind of throbbing pulse, wicked snap and sheer moviemaking bravado that makes it one of a very few films that can be mentioned in the same breath as Goodfellas. Read more

Guy Lodge, Time Out: Jennifer Lawrence is entirely extraordinary, improving on the performance that won her an Oscar for Russell's last film. Long may this collaboration continue. Read more

Joshua Rothkopf, Time Out: Does American Hustle have heart -- does it have importance? Such naive questions: It has Jennifer Lawrence blowing up a microwave. Read more

Claudia Puig, USA Today: With one of the best ensemble casts of any film this year, it's audacious, enthralling and uproarious. Read more

Stephanie Zacharek, Village Voice: There may not be much behind the sparkling tinsel curtain of David O. Russell's extraordinarily entertaining American Hustle. But what a curtain! Read more

Ann Hornaday, Washington Post: "American Hustle" may have taken its inspiration from the art of the steal, but it has a heart of pure, if slightly tarnished, gold. Read more