The female-centric crime movie The Kitchen bombed with critics. Not so Hustlers, starring Jennifer Lopez and Constance Wu as strippers who set out to rip off their rich clientele. The film has a 90% positive rating at Rotten Tomatoes, with both the cast—plus writer/director Lorene Scafaria—and the story itself drawing plenty of praise. Four takes:
- Chicago Sun-Times: Lopez "is getting Oscar buzz for her fierce and foul-mouthed and screen-commanding work here, and indeed it’s her strongest performance (and the best role she’s been given) since Out of Sight some two decades ago," writes Richard Roeper. "But Constance Wu is the true lead in this film," and she delivers, too.
- The Washington Post: The year has seen some memorable comebacks among actors, including Brad Pitt and Renee Zellweger, but "none is as purely, sensationally pleasurable as Jennifer Lopez’s commanding lead performance" here, writes Ann Hornaday. "In this raunchy, gloriously liberated revenge fantasy, Lopez rules with seductive, triumphant authority. Not only do we climb into her fur, we'll happily follow her anywhere."
- Rolling Stone: Peter Travers also sings Lopez's praises. "If you want to know what a star’s entrance is—watch Lopez take the screen as if by divine right." In this case, the Oscar buzz is right on the money.
- The New York Times: AO Scott is one of the naysayers. The movie is a little too "semisweet" in his view. "The spirit of Hustlers is so insistently affirmative and celebratory that all kinds of interesting matters are left unexplored."
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