Hustlers early reactions: Jennifer Lopez gives 'career-best performance' in 'a welcome twist on the crime thriller genre'

FP Staff

Sep 08, 2019 10:15:41 IST

The Jennifer Lopez-fronted Hustlers premiered at Toronto International Film Festival 2019 (TIFF) on 7 September. Based on Jessica Pressler's New York Magazine article titled 'The Hustlers at Scores', the film follows a group of former strip club employees who band together to scam their Wall Street clients.

 Hustlers early reactions: Jennifer Lopez gives career-best performance in a welcome twist on the crime thriller genre

A still from Hustlers. YouTube screengrab

Written and directed by Lorene Scafaria, the film stars Constance Wu, Jennifer Lopez, Cardi B, Keke Palmer, Julia Stiles, Lili Reinhart, and Lizzo. Scafaria's script is set in the late 2000s in New York City in the wake of the financial crisis and explores the toll it took on the livelihood of the dancers who relied on Wall Street clientele.

Here are the first reactions to the film.

The Guardian: "Even when films have focused on strippers as something other than window dressing, they’ve still been written and directed by men and have smoothed over rougher edges, turning them all into titillating one-note archetypes. Instead, Scafaria views the strip club like any other workplace, filled with internal politics and an ever-changing hierarchy of power. It can be intimidating for sure, but there’s also a genuine camaraderie between a group of women who realise that combining their talents makes them that much more powerful."

The Hollywood Reporter: "Although the women of Hustlers are clearly stepping over a very thin, dark line between working the system and criminal behavior, you can’t help but root for them and all women who are tired of struggling financially and decide to use what they know to get ahead. It’s a classic underdog story about the kind of Americans people don’t often think of as self-made. With so much talk about the “forgotten working class” since the 2016 presidential election, Hustlers makes clear that women of color in cities are also a part of that group."

IndieWire: "It’s not only Scafaria’s best film, it’s also a welcome twist on the crime thriller genre (if we must apply genre distinctions here) and the ripped-from-the-headlines, can-you-believe-this-is real drama. And, yes, it’s also a film about strippers, but more than that, it’s about women doing the best they can in a broken system."

Screen Daily: "Given a story about a gang of larcenous strippers, audiences might expect little more than dirty jokes and steamy sex. But this slyly feminist movie pushes empowerment, too; it’s a film about being in control, not losing it. That makes it less of a giddily guilty pleasure than it could be, but aided by Jennifer Lopez’ career-best performance as a duplicitous diva, its celebration of female force and friendship is likely to draw and delight fans – particularly if they’ve first fortified themselves with a few frozen margaritas."

Here are some more reactions.

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Updated Date: Sep 08, 2019 10:15:41 IST