Published on December 20th, 2013 | by gareth0
Review by Ryan Guerra
I am just going to come out and say it. This is the best movie I have seen this year. The story is intriguing enough to keep you riveted all the way through but does not try too hard to be smart for its own good. The cast delivers stellar performances across the board which keeps you interested in their characters and helps the story move. This is not an action movie, this is a thinking movie. It is possibly fifteen minutes too long for some, but I couldn’t help but be completely enamored with the characters and story because of the actors’ performances.
From the opening scene Christian Bale reminds us yet again why he is one of the best actors in Hollywood. I would not be surprised to see him get some Oscar consideration for his performance in this film. The only thing that may hurt his chances for an Oscar nod is that in this ensemble film, everyone else matches his performance and they all deliver perhaps their best performances as well, though Bale is clearly the star.
The first twenty-five minutes or so has us learning how Bale and his partner/mistress Amy Adams become a big time con operation. They are not good people, but not especially bad either. Their on screen chemistry is infectious and I could not help but be intrigued by them and their story. They both are looking for more and seem to find it with each other only they cannot seem to get out of the fictitious lives they have created for themselves.
Enter Bradley Cooper who delivers one of his best acting performances to date. He plays an ambitious FBI agent who is not overly likeable, but I found myself admiring his ambition and his desire to become something more. After busting Bale and Adams, Cooper decides to blackmail them in hopes of using their con skills to take down organized crime and political corruption.
After already having enough story and great performances to carry most films, we get introduced to Jennifer Lawrence who plays Bale’s young homebody but broken wife. She becomes the catalyst that may ruin everything. By the time she was introduced I had literally forgotten she was in this film because of the strong performances thus far. Yet Lawrence steals her scenes and shows yet again why she is a rising star and will probably win another well-deserved Oscar soon.
Add Jeremy Renner who also gives his best performance ever as a passionate politician of New Jersey. He is mostly an honest man who believes in family and community but does what he thinks is best to help deliver jobs and save his community. He rounds out this strong cast nicely and helps move the story.
If you are a fan of good film with great performances, be sure to watch this film. These actors deliver fantastic performances that bring their characters to life and constantly move the story. Add in an unexpected cameo from a film legend and you will not be disappointed.
4.5 stars out of 5