10 Must-See Movies of the Holiday Season

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American Hustle

By DAVID WEINER

December 09, 2013

David O. Russell's highly anticipated follow-up to Oscar-bait Silver Linings Playbook is a force to be reckoned with, given its all-star cast and irresistible late '70s/early '80s setting. The film is based on the true story of Irving Rosenfeld (played by a barely recognizable Christian Bale), a notorious financial con artist from the Bronx who, along and his Brit mistress/partner-in-crime Sydney (Amy Adams), was forced to work with out-of-control FBI agent Richie DiMaso (Bradley Cooper) to expose other con artists, mobsters and politicians -- including volatile New Jersey mayor Carmine Polito (Jeremy Renner), who manages to keep his community afloat despite a recession. The tale of corruption is highlighted by Jennifer Lawrence as Rosenfeld's Long Island housewife, flaunting a loose-cannon demeanor that threatens to derail the entire operation.

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