American Hustle kicks butt. Everyone is scamming somebody in this flick. It's just a question of who can outlast the contenders. Christian Bale gained 40 pounds for this role along with a bad combover. He keeps his cons low key until he meets Amy Adams. With those innocent blue eyes, she lures him into bigger money deals and even though his (big) gut says no, he can't help but say yes. Unfortunately Bradley Cooper's FBI character uncovers this duo, arrests them, and sees larger prey in store.
It's 1978 and the movie is loosely based on the Abscam scandals. Using a fake sheik and a whole lot of potential money, the FBI nabs congressmen, senators, and a lot of greedy folks looking for the quick buck. Bales's wife, played by the incandescent Jennifer Lawrence (what can't she do on screen) knows he has a girlfriend, but she's the one with the ring on the finger. There's some classy (!) Jersey catfights going on. Jeremy Renner is the mayor of Camden. With his pompadour and frank innocence - he gets caught up in the money laundering scheme.
This is an adult movie full of a lot of nuanced moments. Some folks might think it moves slow. This critic was along for the ride and enjoying every second of the buildup to the final, final con. The soundtrack adds to the cinema experience. Enjoy the disco music, the polyester clothes, the Jersey accents, and the sheer power of David O. Russell's directing. Do the American Hustle.