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    American Hustle Review Roundup: Critics Are Jazzed Over Jennifer Lawrence, Christian Bale's Crime Drama

    American Hustle, Jennifer Lawrence, Amy Adams Sony Pictures

    As if we weren't already excited enough for American Hustle to hit theaters, thanks to director David O. Russell reuniting acting dream team Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper, the flick is already shaping up to be a major contender during this awards' show season.

    The crime drama scored both a Screen Actors Guild Nomination for Best Cast in a Motion Picture and a Golden Globe nom for Best Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy, in addition to individual nods for castmembers such as Jennifer Lawrence, who was nominated for both a SAG and a Golden Globe for her work in the film, as well as Amy Adams and Christian Bale, who received Best Actor and Actress in a Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy Golden Globe nods, respectively.

    The early accolades should come as no surprise, as critics are equally excited for the highly-anticipated film, which centers on con artist Irving Rosenfeld (Bale) and his partner Sydney Prosser (Adams) who are forced to work for a wild FBI agent (Bradley Cooper) in order to expose corruption in the late 1970s (the film is  a fictionalized account of the Abscam scandal).

    Written by Russell and Eric Singer and also starring Jeremy Renner and Louis C.K., the film hits theaters Dec. 20. Here's what a few critics are saying...

    NEWS: Complete list of SAG Nominations

    American Hustle, Holiday Movie Guide Sony Pictures

    •David Rooney from The Hollywood Reporter wrote, "He [David O. Russell] continues on that roll of refreshing character-driven storytelling with the outrageously entertaining American Hustle, a twisty con-job chronicle that combines heightened dramatic stakes with playful humor, subversive sexiness and fabulous 1970s style. Fueled by invigorating performances from a zesty ensemble often cast against type, this looks like a winner for Sony...An infectious blast of funky jazz played by a terrific cast and a director at the top of their respective games."

    •David Denby of The New Yorker said, "Jennifer Lawrence's needy stay-at-home wife has buttery golden looks and piled-up blond hair—she's a vulgar beauty with a bedroom voice. Lawrence doesn't project; she pours, passing without hesitation from teasing sensuality to strident bitchiness and abject anger. Amy Adams has played nice ("Junebug," "Doubt"), and she has played hard ("The Master"); this movie allows her to pull the two together, and she's remarkably vivid in scene after scene."

    •Time's Richard Corliss said, "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."

    PHOTO: Jennifer Lawrence stuns at American Hustle photocall

    American Hustle Columbia Pictures

    •Variety's Justin Chang wrote, "Deliriously funny and brilliantly acted by a cast of Russell returnees, the film is also overlong, undisciplined and absent the sort of emotional payoff that made "Silver Linings Playbook" so satisfying, which could affect its otherwise solid theatrical prospects. Still, this star-studded Sony prestige release is a near-continual pleasure to spend 135 minutes with, repeatedly hitting that comic sweet spot where corruption and buffoonery collide."

    •The Wrap's Alonso Duralde wrote, "As with his previous gem, Silver Linings Playbook Russell takes an idea that on paper absolutely shouldn't work—four different unreliable narrators guide us through a funhouse version of the ABSCAM entrapment scheme — and makes it fly. More than that, actually, he makes it loop-de-loop and zoom to the clouds and buzz the tops of trees."

    •Screencrush's Jordan Huffman said, "American Hustle is one of those extremely watchable movies that will suck you into a cable tractor beam when you come across it for the next ten years."

    PHOTOS: 2014 Golden Globes: Notable Nominees

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