Movie Review: American Hustle

american-hustle-poster-2David O. Russell’s comedic crime caper American Hustle (B) is sometimes an undisciplined mess, and this hurly-burly quality gives the enterprise both its frustrations and its charms. The con-women, played outrageously by Amy Adams and Jennifer Lawrence, steal the show. Other Russell repertory actors including Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper and others don’t quite nail indelible characters. At its best, there were flashes of wily wit suggesting a Goodfellas/Fish Called Wanda hybrid. At its worst, it was often tough to pinpoint the protagonist, diminishing empathy for the entire ensemble. Still, it’s creative and often compelling but hardly a classic.