Time Entertainment has a review on American Hustle:
American Hustle: Sex, Scandal and Flat-Out Fun
Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence form a fabulous ensemble cast in David O. Russell’s dramatic comedy about the Abscam scandal
Irving Rosenfeld approaches the bathroom mirror without bothering to ask who’s the fairest of them all. Paunchy of gut and bald on top, he knows he has work to do. Like a surgeon of sleaze, he glues a toupee thatch to his pate, arranges the lank hair on his temples across his skull and shellacs the whole mop with hair spray. Now he just needs to suck in his gut and don a three-piece suit and — voilà! — he’s 1970s New Jersey’s idea of a presentable businessman. Or con man, that is: Irving sells art forgeries and takes money for investments in fantasy companies. Charles Ponzi might say, with a connoisseur’s appreciation, “Now that’s a schemer.”
You watch the first scene of American Hustle and think, That’s Christian Bale doing another of his life-imperiling body transformations. Bale lost 62 lb., from a muscular 182 to an emaciated 120, for the lead role in The Machinist; somehow he survived. This time he gained 40 lb. and walked with an older man’s slouch. For his trouble, he herniated two discs. He also crept inside Irving’s body and spirit to play — no, to convincingly be — a grifter working the long con. Doesn’t everybody, really, through white lies and easy evasions? “We’re all conning ourselves one way or another,” Irving-Bale says, “just to get through life.”
The best way we can think of to get through 140 minutes of your life would be to see American Hustle, a balls-out story about political corruption that director and co-writer David O. Russell turned into a crazy, conniving comedy: history replayed as sparkling farce. Russell reunited the star pairs from his last two films — Bale and Amy Adams from The Fighter, Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence from Silver Linings Playbook — then Cuisinarted the romantic alliances until everyone had a chance to get screwed in one way or another. The New York Film Critics Circle recently acknowledged the toxic, tonic splendor of American Hustle by giving it awards for Best Film, Best Supporting Actress (Lawrence) and Best Screenplay (Eric Warren Singer and Russell). These should be the first of many awards from now until Oscar night.