Friday, November 6, 2015

Movie review: The Wolf of Wall Street

Based on the memoirs of stockbroker Jordan Belfort, Martin Scorcese brings to the big screen the life of a Wall Street high-roller whose career ended with a stint in federal prison.

Leonardo DiCaprio (Jordan), Jonah Hill (Donnie), Margot Robbie (Naomi), Matthew McConaughey (Mark), Kyle Chandler (Agent Denham), Rob Reiner (Max), Jon Bernthal (Brad), Jon Favreau (Manny), Jean Dujardin (Jean).

The Wolf of Wall Street launches with some mild background, slips quietly into character development, then slaps us upside the head as the main storyline is ignited. The film continues to build momentum and pace as Jordan's life comes unhinged in an avalanche of drugs, money, and excess. Finally tamed a bit when the government begins to question things, the film wraps nicely with a reasonable ending. Based on the true story of Jordan Belfort, this is a roller-coaster ride from start to finish.

Acting was very well done here with DiCaprio and Robbie delivering lovely performances and working well together. Hill and Reiner also did nicely with solid emotion. Chandler was good but felt a bit disconnected at times. The remainder of the cast was enjoyable and did well.

Camera work, sets, and backgrounds were good with nice use of natural scenery. Detail and fit were well done. Physical stunts were nicely done throughout. Dialogue was enjoyable with a nice mix of intelligence and sarcasm. Narrative moments by DiCaprio were enjoyable as well. Sound and soundtrack were both good.

The Wolf of Wall Street is a somewhat over-the-top film showcasing the over-the-top life of Belfort, and it is a nice success. Good technical work, well done acting, along with a good pace and high energy make this one entertaining film. Those who enjoy a good crime drama should like this a lot.

With plenty of strong sexual content, graphic nudity and explicit sexuality, persistent drug use and foul langue, and violence, save this for the oldest teens and above.

Released: 2013
Reviewed: 1.4.15
Star rating: 4 out of 5
Genre: Dramas based on Books, Crime Dramas, Biographical Dramas, Dramas, Dramas based on real life

copyright ©2015 Dave Riedel

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