180 Min | Biography – Comedy – Crime | January 2014
IMDB Rating: 8.7
Director: Martin Scorsese
Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, Margot Robbie
The Wolf of Wall Street Review: If you’ve seen The Goodfellas or Casino, then you’ll know the story of The Wolf of Wall Street. This is another tale of a criminal whose ambitions sweep him away into a debauched world of dirty money, out-of-control substance abuse, endless lies, a troubled family life, and a downward spiral of corruption that inevitably leads to his own undoing. Only thing is, this is less about the gangsters and mafia, and more about white-collar crime. The guys wear suits, work in proper offices, and everything they do is just business; funnily enough, this whole movie still plays out like a kind of gangster film.
Based on the memoirs of Jordan Belfort – the real-life stock broker who made millions by selling shoddy stocks to average joes – The Wolf of Wall Street showcases one seriously messed-up slimeball of a man. If his scheme sounds familiar, it’s because it’s been the inspiration behind the 2000 film Boiler Room, and this film covers much of the same concepts, albeit with better structure. TThe Wolf of Wall Street maintains a close and intimate focus on the man as he rises to power, suckers thousands into his schemes, and then lives a life of extreme excess. And it is extreme: the whole film becomes laden with drugs, sex, superficial luxuries, material things, and characters who want nothing more than to take and consume everything.
This film features good-looking photography and editing. Acting is great: Leonardo DiCaprio is practically perfect as the titular character, and the rest of the cast pulls their weight really well (including Jonah Hill, who seems to fit into his character’s archetype very comfortably). Writing is really sharp and good. The Wolf of Wall Street is full of great lines and great speeches. There are some great-looking sets, props, and costumes on display in this film. Music has a varied mix of songs, and they’re all used really well for their intended effect. The Wolf of Wall Street is every bit as good as Martin Scorsese’s previous work with The Goodfellas and Casino. All these films work with similar plots and themes, but TWOWS is like a gangster film masked by the thin veil of upper-class corporate swindling. It is a film that candidly shows the crimes and excesses in full, before proving that, even for the super-rich, crime still doesn’t pay.
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