Movie Review: American Hustle

American Hustle

It is 1978. There are no bras in this movie.

Irving Rosenfeld (Christian Bale) is a con man with an elaborate comb-over in the New Jersey/New York area. He falls in love with Sydney Prosser (Amy Adams), who becomes his partner in crime. Eventually they get caught by FBI agent Richie DiMaso (Bradley Cooper).

Richie, like an ax spinning wildly off the handle, conjures up a scheme of his own, recruiting his victims, to take down New Jersey politician and operator Carmine Polito (Jeremy Renner) who wants to rebuild Atlantic City to its former glory. The plot gets complicated quickly, soon poised to snag some U.S. congressmen and senators accepting bribes. Things get complicated very quickly. There is apparently no casino business without the mob, and soon the Italian guys enter the scene, led by their boss from Miami (Robert De Niro).

American Hustle starts out a little slow. During the first 20 minutes, the movie is mostly narration to provide the background for the main characters and not much action. As it picks up, the story is both serious and hilarious, eliciting not outright laughs from the audience – there is no slapstick humor here – but a continuous chuckling as the characters get themselves entangled ever more deeply.

The con couple needs to get out from between massively out of control feds and evil mobsters. Will they manage?

Oh, and did I say there are no bras in this movie? You will know what I mean when you watch for yourself.

Rating: ***

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