Okay, it borrows freely from Goodfellas, Casino, and Boogie Nights. But David O. Russell’s comic crime caper about New York con artists, bent New Jersey pols, and a fake Atlantic City re-development deal splashes around enough Seventies-Eighties-style glitter and sleaze to entertain anyone who enjoys a good comb-over-plus-foolish-rug joke. The silly hairpiece belongs to Irving Rosenfeld (Christian Bale, in outlandish form), swindler extraordinaire. Irving’s wife (Jennifer Lawrence) and his partner in crime (Amy Adams) add to the fun, as do Bradley Cooper, Jeremy Renner, and Jack Huston as assorted suckers. Watch them hyperventilate. The screenplay – with no mention of either Martin Scorsese or Paul Thomas Anderson – is by director Russell (Silver Linings Playbook, Three Kings) and Eric Singer (The International), who allegedly based it on the Abscam case, a news item from many scandals ago (137 min.).
Director: David Russell
Producer: Charles Roven, Richard Suckle, Megan Ellison, Jonathan Gordon, Matthew Budman, Bradley Cooper, Eric Singer and George Parra
Cast: Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper, Jeremy Renner, Amy Adams, Jennifer Lawrence, Louis C.K., Jack Huston, Michael Peña, Shea Whigham, Alessandro Nivola, Elisabeth Rohm, Paul Herman, Said Taghmaoui, Matthew Russell, Thomas Matthews, Adrian Martinez, Anthony Zerbe, Colleen Camp and Robert De Niro