The Wolf of Wall Street – Review

Director Martin Scorsese and leading man Leonardo DiCaprio team up once again to bring us The Wolf of Wall Street, based on the real life of Wall St stock broker Jordan Belfort. Who rises up through the world of big finance and shows us the true face of greed and temptation.

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The movie is best described as a dark comedy, Jordan’s exploits become so outrageous and sickly comic that it regularly left me in stitches and to the movies credit despite the ludicrous nature I never once felt like it wasn’t all true. The Wolf of Wall Street is taking the dark fabric of our culture and putting it up on the screen for all to see.

Some have condemned the movie for glorifying the exploits of these corrupt con-men; however I never felt this was the case. Whilst I did not find myself sympathizing with them I did feel myself being swept away in the overwhelming nature of excess and temptation. Which I feel is the central thesis of the movie.

We see Jordan at the beginning of the movie wanting to make money in the thriving financial centre of the world, but also more importantly to help his clients. An idea which is quickly dismissed by his first boss on Wall Street, played brilliantly by Matthew McConaughey. The idea being that not everyone who goes to work on Wall Street goes there with the intention of ripping off innocent people but they become intoxicated by the culture of greed which they themselves go on to propagate for future generations. This is not to say that Jordan and his compatriots are not to blame which of course they are but it is also pointing towards a larger problem within our society, that we allow these things to happen and go unpunished.

The Wolf of Wall Street had me laughing throughout and delivered standout performances from Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, Kyle Chandler and Jon Bernthal. I absolutely loved this movie and much like Scorsese’s previous work Goodfellas, which would make an excellent companion piece with movie, The Wolf of Wall Street will be remembered for years to come as a cultural touchstone.

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American Hustle – Review

American Hustle is the story of the semi-true misadventures of 2 small time hustlers played by Christian Bale and Amy Adams who become entangled in an FBI plot to take down corrupt politicians.

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This the latest directorial outing from the recently prolific David O. Russell delivers some fine performances and brilliant moments of outrageous fun, specifically an absolutely outstanding turn from supporting actor Louis C.K, however fails to create any sort of cohesive narrative.

The movie sort of just plods along and generally just feels muddled and undisciplined as a piece of film making. I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed O. Russell’s previous work The Fighter and it’s obvious he has a true talent for getting incredible performances from his actors however I cannot justify his Nomination this year for Best Director at the Academy Awards, nor the movie itself for Best Picture.

American Hustle is an incredibly average movie with moments of brilliance spotted throughout and some fine performances but not quite enough to compensate for its muddled narrative and dragging plot.

More hair than plot, unfortunately American Hustle perfectly exemplifies a movie that is style over substance.