American Hustle | Film review – A hilarious screwball crime comedy fizzying with energy and wit

American Hustle - Amy Adams, Christian Bale

A pair of slick confidence tricksters, a wildly ambitious FBI agent and some dodgy politicians all get entangled in this hilarious screwball crime comedy from the maker of Silver Linings Playbook and The Fighter. Inspired by the bizarre Abscam sting operation cooked up by the FBI in the 1970s, David O Russell’s film fizzes with energy and wit, bowling along with a brio that matches the quick-wit and razzle-dazzle of its con artists. Russell’s stars, all of them Oscar-nominated veterans of his previous films, are superb, too. Sporting a hideous comb-over and podgy paunch, Christian Bale’s con-man Irv is endlessly slippery but with a surprisingly decent core; Amy Adams is fascinatingly complex as his English-accent-faking partner in crime ‘Lady Edith’; Bradley Cooper’s FBI agent Richie is giddy with zeal; and Jennifer Lawrence is hysterically funny as Irv’s flighty wife, whose volatile relationship with domestic appliances is priceless.


Certificate 15. Runtime 132 mins. Director David O Russell.

Released on Blu-ray and DVD on Monday 28th April by Entertainment in Video.

© Entertainment Film Distributors


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