2013 Film Releases In Review
Another year, another damn list.
Published: December 30, 2013
Really, Really Good,
But Not That Good
David O. Russell riffs on Martin Scorsese while Martin Scorsese riffs on himself. The Wolf of Wall Street is a three-hour, balls-to-the-wall indictment of American greed that will invoke memories of Goodfellas and then some. In tackling the true-life tale of a drug-addled, immoral penny-stock megalomaniac (played by Leonardo DiCaprio), the 71-year-old Scorsese seems determined to prove that he can out-Scorsese all the Scorsese imitators who have followed in his footsteps. As a result, the movie is fitfully brilliant but far too long. American Hustle, on the other hand, knows not to wear out its welcome and sports the best ensemble in the worst of hairdos. A ’70s era con movie set during Abscam, Russell’s comedic drama fizzes with brash energy and nutty performances but has a mess of a plot that botches its central conceit: The cons are neither convincing nor all that clever. Still, it’s to Russell’s considerable credit that you probably won’t notice.
2013 Releases Deserving of Praise: American Hustle, The Wolf of Wall Street, Frances Ha, What Maisie Knew, Much Ado About Nothing, Stoker, Ain’t Them Bodies Saints, Enough Said, Kill Your Darlings, Dallas Buyers Club, Philomena, Frozen, Nebraska, C.O.G., In a World.
2013 Releases Deserving of Only Scorn and Derision: Gangster Squad, Bullet to the Head, Movie 43, After Earth, Only God Forgives, Grown Ups 2, The Smurfs 2, The Hangover Part III, A Haunted House, The Host, Prisoners, A Good Day to Die Hard, Last Vegas, Planes, The Counselor, Saving Mr. Banks.
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