In what’s easily the most engaging film performance she’s given since the ‘90s, J-Lo scorches the screen as a business-savvy stripper who, along with a group of her closest friends and co-workers, set out to scam money off of the Wall Street douchebags that regularly frequent the club.
Inspired by the true-life New York Magazine article written in 2015 by Jessica Pressler, Hustlers follows a quartet of women (Lopez, Constance Wu, Keke Palmer, and Lili Reinhart) fed up with dancing for peanuts in front of uber-wealthy dudes who treat them as nothing but disposable sex objects. So they turn the tables, creating a scheme where they target certain clients, secretly drug their drinks and then run up massive charges on their credit cards, banking on the fact that they won’t report it to the police for fear of the shame it’ll bring to their lives. To their delight, it works miraculously well. And while what they’re doing is clearly illegal, is it really any different than the gross victimization that their wealthy targets commit on a daily basis?
Unfortunately, Hustlers doesn’t dig as deep into these ideas as it could. At the end of the day, it’s a slick Hollywood crowd pleaser, telling its energetic story in a tidy Goodfellas-lite arc. But with a game cast and a backdrop of neon lights and 2000’s club hits, it’s still a hell of a lot of fun.
Definitely could have used more Cardi B, though.
- Rated: 14A
- Genre: Comedy, Crime, Drama
- Release Date: 9/7/2019
- Directed by: Lorene Scafaria
- Starring: Cardi B, Constance Wu, Jennifer Lopez, Julia Stiles, Keke Palmer, Lili Reinhart, Lizzo, Mercedes Ruehl
- Produced by: Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas, Jessica Elbaum, Megan Ellison, Robert Simonds, Will Ferrell
- Written by: Lorene Scafaria
- Studio: STX Films