A-Listers Shine in American Hustle

Critics are in love with what one calls the year's best film
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 20, 2013 9:26 AM CST

If you're hustling to see David O. Russell's American Hustle this weekend, you've got good reason. Critics are raving about the film and its A-list cast, which includes Christian Bale and Jennifer Lawrence, giving it a 95% rating on Rotten Tomatoes as of this writing. Read on for highlights of this 1970s con-game satire:

  • "American Hustle may have taken its inspiration from the art of the steal, but it has a heart of pure, if slightly tarnished, gold," writes Ann Hornaday for the Washington Post. She calls it "irresistible," while "Bale is particularly heroic in his portrayal of a blubbery white whale of a man trying to shake that last harpoon."

  • "It's one of the year's cleverest films, and also one of the best," writes Peter Howell at the Toronto Star. There's "all-in commitment" from each of the four stars—Bale, Lawrence, plus Bradley Cooper and Amy Adams—in this flick, which is "off-kilter, untrustworthy, and utterly enjoyable."
  • The closest thing you'll find to a hater is probably the Boston Globe's Ty Burr. American Hustle is "a sloppy, miscast, hammed up, overlong, overloud story that still sends you out of the theater on a cloud of rapture," writes Burr. He's no fan of the last 20 minutes, but "still you walk away giddy and full. American Hustle takes your money and makes you glad you were fleeced."
  • But for Tom Long at the Detroit News, the "crazed tale of con men, FBI agents, thugs, politicians, and some dazzling-but-loony women ... is absolutely hilarious." Each actor wows but Lawrence "punches this movie into the stratosphere." He's got three words for you: "Don’t miss it."
(More movie review stories.)

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