"American Hustle": Goodfellas, the Comedy

... and the 1970s.
... and the 1970s.

Location Info


AMC Metreon 16

101 4th St.
San Francisco, CA 94103-3003

Category: Movie Theaters

Region: Mission/ Bernal Heights

AMC Van Ness 14

1000 Van Ness
San Francisco, CA 94109

Category: Movie Theaters

Region: Nob Hill/ Russian Hill/ Fisherman's Wharf


Rated R. Opens Friday at the AMC Van Ness and the AMC Metreon.

Trying to set a somber drama against faithful recreations of the inherently funny fashions and interior designs of the late 1970s would be tough, so it's a good thing that David O. Russell's American Hustle is played as a comedy. The picture follows a New York con man (Christian Bale) and his partner in scam (Amy Adams) as they're recruited by an ambitious FBI agent (Bradley Cooper) to bust crooked politicians, particularly a New Jersey mayor (Jeremy Renner). There's a lot of Goodfellas in the DNA, including dueling narrations, an ear-candy soundtrack full of the moribund music of the '70s, and a De Niro cameo, but American Hustle is ultimately about America finding its post-Watergate identity. This is symbolized by the amount of time the main characters spend working on their appearance — indeed, the key to the film's themes may be in the hair regimens — and the cast is clearly having a ball, playing broadly pitched Long Islanders who speak with their hands while gnawing on the scenery. If you listen closely, you can hear traces of Bale's infamous "Oh, good for you!" rant from the set of Terminator: Salvation, and it's also refreshing to see Renner invested in his character, giving American Hustle all the fucks he did not give Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters.

My Voice Nation Help

Now Showing

Find capsule reviews, showtimes & tickets for all films in town.

Box Office Report

Join My Voice Nation for free stuff, film info & more!

©2014 SF Weekly, LP, All rights reserved.