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American Hustle (2013)

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A con man, Irving Rosenfeld, along with his seductive partner Sydney Prosser, is forced to work for a wild FBI agent, Richie DiMaso, who pushes them into a world of Jersey powerbrokers and mafia.

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Nominated for 10 Oscars. Another 67 wins & 206 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Paco Hernandez / Sheik Abdullah
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Dolly Polito (as Elisabeth Rohm)
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Irv's Sheik Plant (as Said Taghmaoui)
Matthew Russell ...
Dominic Polito
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Francis Polito
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Storyline

A fictional film set in the alluring world of one of the most stunning scandals to rock our nation, American Hustle tells the story of brilliant con man Irving Rosenfeld (Christian Bale), who along with his equally cunning and seductive British partner Sydney Prosser (Amy Adams) is forced to work for a wild FBI agent Richie DiMaso (Bradley Cooper). DiMaso pushes them into a world of Jersey powerbrokers and mafia that's as dangerous as it is enchanting. Jeremy Renner is Carmine Polito, the passionate, volatile, New Jersey political operator caught between the con-artists and Feds. Irving's unpredictable wife Rosalyn (Jennifer Lawrence) could be the one to pull the thread that brings the entire world crashing down. Written by Sony Pictures Entertainment

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Everyone Hustles To Survive

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for pervasive language, some sexual content and brief violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

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Release Date:

20 December 2013 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

American Bullshit  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

$40,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$740,455 (USA) (13 December 2013)

Gross:

$150,117,807 (USA) (4 April 2014)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Color:

| (surveillance footage)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Rosalyn, after destroying her husband's microwave, or "science oven," by putting "metal" in the oven (tin foil), justifies her mistake by quoting an article purportedly written by Paul Brodeur, that she claims says that microwave ovens destroy nutrients in food. Paul Brodeur subsequently denied this in a submission to The Huffington Post in January 2014, but he didn't reveal that he was quoted in People Magazine in 1978 as claiming that microwaves were "zapping" the American public! The producer refused to respond to Brodeur's complaint about the reference to him. See more »

Goofs

In the opening scene, Irving Rosenfeld sets his comb-over with L'Oreal Elnett hairspray. While Elnett did exist in 1978, it was banned in the USA at that time. Elnett became available in the USA in 2008, when a packaging change allowed for Target to have a highly publicized exclusive Elnett US launch. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Richie DiMaso: What are you doing, going behind my back? Telling people I'm screwing up this operation? I got you a suite at the fucking Plaza Hotel.
Irving Rosenfeld: The shittiest suite at the Plaza Hotel.
See more »

Crazy Credits

An opening title card states, "Some of this actually happened." See more »

Connections

Featured in The Tonight Show with Jay Leno: Episode #22.55 (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Papa Was a Rollin' Stone
Written by Barrett Strong & Norman Whitfield
Performed by The Temptations
Courtesy of Motown Records
Under license from Universal Music Enterprises
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Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Do not get ensnared in the hype surrounding this hustle....
27 December 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

In the late 1970s, while America was swinging to rock n roll, exposing all its flashy jewelery over plunging necklines and under unruly hairdos, a scandalous entrapment planned by the FBI threatened several political figures and rocked the nation in its most oddly alluring time. David Russell reunites his cast from his previous best movies including 'The Fighter' and 'Silver linings playbook' to tell us the story of con artists who are led by the FBI to trap bigger fish in an attempt to expose corruption at high levels. This highly fictionalized version of the Abscam sting by the FBI has some meaningful conversations, witty dialogue and glorious nonsense in its overlong narrative.

In an era of resurgent wealth and dynamic lifestyles, success is achieved with compelling ambitions amidst increasing competitiveness, only through some hustle. Right through his childhood years of conning people for his father's business, Irving Rosenfeld (Christian Bale) used the guise of legitimate businesses such as dry cleaning to conceal his beguiling loan schemes. Sydney Prosser (Amy Adams), initially suspicious of Irving's businesses, soon becomes his partner in bed and crime. Her fake identity as Lady Edith Greensly not only attracts investors lured by her supposed British financial contacts but also by her revealing attire. Soon enough however, the con-artist duo is in the grips of FBI agent Richie DiMaso (Bradley Cooper) who intends to entrap a New Jersey Mayor along with several Congressmen. Aided by a wire operator and a bogus Sheikh Abdullah (Michael Pena) who was to provide the funds for the redevelopment, the hustling of mayor Carmine (Jeremy Renner) begins with Richie, Sydney and Irving hustling each other in the process. If that wasn't enough, Irving's loud mouthed, cleavage flashing housewife Rosalyn (Jennifer Lawrence) gets them all on the edge with her erratic outbursts and ignorance of the entrapment. This sexy looking inspiration of the Abscam operation lacks a fast-paced plot and intrigue that made other conman films such as 'Catch me if you can' and 'Argo', exciting movies. Loud characters protract several insipid sequences that outlast their importance from the script. The seriousness of the entrapment plot is often overshadowed with the digressed focus on the characters and their relationships and while this dilutes the story-telling, it isn't such a bad thing when you have such a talented cast. However, one can only go so far with just acting, good looks, sexy styles and 70s tunes. David Russell fails to engage the audience with a tight script and twists in a con-artist's story that are only few and far apart. Clearly, style over substance was his approach here with entertainment left solely upon the actors' talents.

Christian Bale put on 40lbs for this movie. It isn't the first time he has transformed himself on-screen and won't be the last. This con-man draws a line on his wrong doing and hesitates on going too big with the plan. His love for Sydney grows through the movie but always comes second to his son's well being. Irving has everything likable about him, even his weirdly meticulous wig. His softer, more intelligent character is a sharp contrast to his unabashed wife. Jennifer Lawrence plays everything that is wrong and right with the film. Rosalyn can be a big mouth, whining incessantly and trying hard to prove her worthiness. But she can also be the one character whose presence just makes you nod in disbelief about what she will do next. That uncanny ability and its unpredictable deliverance is surely Lawrence's talent at work that doesn't fail to impress. Bradley Cooper is a hot-headed FBI agent whose ambition gets the better of him. There are many scenes where he clearly improvises, such as enacting Louis C.K.'s agent Thorsen and the epic moment when Sydney lays herself out on the table for him, he gets so close and simply can't handle it. The most striking aspect of Cooper's performance is that his character is so unconvincing. He is ambitious and he has the con-artists by their necks in his elaborate plan but he is still an amateur who is guided by instinct rather than experience. Jeremy Renner's Mayor Carmine shows his devotion to his city and while it took some major hustling to draw him into the plan, those interactions with Irving were quite a delight to watch. Amy Adams looks sensational and sizzles in the chemistry she builds with Irving and Richie. She portrays wit, grace and spontaneity as they adapt to changing scenarios during the sting operation and remains ever focused on the plan. Adams may not be as loud as Lawrence nor as multi-dimensional so to speak but her screen presence is equally alluring.

David Russell hasn't showcased his fine talents in a script that needed to be funnier, wittier and tighter. The actors improvise on their greyish characters and provide more entertainment than the script possibly could. That certainly isn't the film-maker's achievement but he did choose the right cast that could pull that con off on the audience. Perhaps that is the year's biggest hustle from Hollywood that bends the audience into liking material that is portrayed to be far greater than it should be accorded for. Enjoy it for the gorgeous women, the committed actors and the stylish times but do not get ensnared in the hype surrounding this hustle.

  • 6.701 on a scale of 1-10.



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