American Hustle is based on the ABSCAM scandal from the 1980s. The FBI scam involving a con artist whose scams caught members of Congress, a New Jersey mayor and members of the Mafia with their hands in the proverbial cookie jar.
Writer/director David O. Russell (Silver Linings Playbook) and co-writer Eric Singer have a blast with the material and the year's best ensemble cast. Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper, Amy Adams, Jennifer Lawrence and Jeremy Renner -- actors with incredible rsums packed with great performances -- all give what may be their best work ever. This is especially true of Adams and the Oscar- and Golden Globe-winning Lawrence.
Adams and Bale were nominated for best acting Golden Globes, and Cooper and Lawrence for best supporting work in this film. Russell got tabbed for director and he and Singer for screenwriting. The movie is nominated for best picture in the comedy category.
A lot of American Hustle is true. An equal amount is conjecture. The story is way too complex to give you much detail. Google ABSCAM if you want more. All of Russell's take on the topic, however, is entertaining and sometimes laugh-out-loud funny.
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Director: David O. Russell
Stars: Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper, Jeremy Renner, Robert Di Niro
Mr. Movie rating: 5 stars
Rated R for mature themes, language. It's playing at Regal's Columbia Center 8, the Fairchild Cinemas 12 and at Walla Walla Grand Cinemas.
5 stars to 4 1/2 stars: Must see on the big screen
4 stars to 3 1/2 stars: Good film, see it if it's your type of movie.
3 stars to 2 1/2 stars: Wait until it comes out on DVD.
2 stars to 1 star: Don't bother.
0 stars: Speaks for itself.