Unsurprisingly, given the New York Film Critics win, American Hustle's reviews now coming in are proving pretty ecstatic indeed. The madcap comedy about con artists and corruption in the late 1970's has drawn comparisons to everything from Goodfellas to Boogie Nights to classic Hollywood screwball comedies with high praise for the entire ensemble, but Jennifer Lawrence and Amy Adams in particular. David O. Russell's clearly got another heavy hitter on his hands, possibly a major threat for Best Picture, proving exactly the kind of "light" alternative the voters tend to look for recently in place of the darker dramas. We'll see, but something tells me it could mount a serious challenge to something like 12 Years a Slave.
"The film's masterly organization of chaos and intelligence is a reminder that comedy is just tragedy, but faster, and it underlines the slick timidity of what passes for movie comedy today." (Time)
"The movie evokes such classics as 'Married to the Mob,' 'Goodfellas,' and 'Prizzi's Honor,' but it has a fizziness all its own and a pell-mell but lucid storytelling strategy that is one of the most impressive achievements in recent filmmaking." (The New Yorker)
"'American Hustle' is, among other thing, a heartfelt inquiry into the allure of false fronts and the universal need to be loved for one's true self. In that respect, there's a dash of Preston Sturges's 'The Lady Eve,' in a picture that otherwise suggests an Altman-esque spin on 'The Sting.' (Variety)
"Russell has made a rangy, exuberant caper movie set in late 1970s New Jersey, with heavy overtones of the two great Martin Scorsese-Nicholas Pileggi collaborations, 'Goodfellas' and 'Casino.'" (The Telegraph)
"There is something unmistakeably Russell-esque in the neurotic, shrill, and often very funny drama: a kind of neo-noir farce. Russell distills his own toxic kind of nitrous oxide and pipes it into the cinema." (The Guardian)