Irving Rosenfeld (Christian Bale with some extra pounds and an outrageous haircut) and Sydney Prosser (Amy Adams) are con artists who have a good thing going until they get set up by FBI agent Richie DiMaso (Bradley Cooper). DiMaso offers them a deal: he’s prepared to let them go if they help him catch a couple of bigger guys. Sounds good until the two of them get caught up in a web with corrupt politicians, mobsters, Arabian sheiks and meddling women that was a lot more than they bargained for.
At first Irving and Sydney simply find congressmen as well as a well-meaning New Jersey mayor (Jeremy Renner) ready to make a little extra money on the side but when the mafia comes into play, things take a turn for the worse. Meanwhile Irving’s wife Rosalyn (Jennifer Lawrence) doesn’t like what’s going on between Sydney and her husband and wants in.
Loosely based on the AbScam scandal from the late seventies/early eighties, director David O. Russell and writer Eric Warren Singer really lit it rip with this one… eccentric characters, an era-appropriate soundtrack, sparkling dialogues and a solid cast (hell, even Robert De Niro does his first good job in years), it is all here. Russell and Singer may not stick to the facts much, instead focusing on our need to reinvent ourselves but hey, it makes for one helluva entertaining movie that demands your full attention and lingers somewhere between Goodfellas and Boogie Nights.