The Wolf of Wall Street review

Martin Scorsese
Leonardo DiCaprio
Jonah Hill
Kyle Chandler
Margot Robbie

Wall Street execs throw crazier parties than the guys from “Old School” and “Animal House” combined according to Scorsese’s latest flick.

“The Wolf of Wall Street” is based on the true story of stockbroker Jordan Belfort (DiCaprio). Belfort, with the assistance of his eventual friend and business partner Donnie (Hill), open a firm called Stratton Oakmont. The firm becomes a billion-dollar company quickly and with that Belfort has easy access to drugs, alcohol and everything in between.

As the movie progresses, Belfort, Donnie and the firm gets richer and richer and the lifestyles become grander and more outrageous. The only problem is that what Belfort is doing at the firm isn’t considered legal and it doesn’t take long for the FBI to start an investigation.

This film comes in at a total of three hours. With that type of run time, the film has to offer some kind of excitement, and Scorsese does provide for entertainment value. The film is like one big party that never ends.

Unfortunately, this works against the movie sometimes.

Because the entire focus of the film is all on Belfort’s excessive lifestyle, it becomes a bit exhausting after a while. The film could have used some more trimming in the editing room or focused on some other aspects.

In terms of acting, DiCaprio gives one of his best performances of his career. He is so powerful on screen which gives the character he is portraying a ton of energy which fits the film perfectly. From start to finish DiCaprio really carries the whole thing.

Jonah Hill is also fantastic. He completely becomes the character he is playing and is nearly unrecognizable in the film. Hill shows how versatile of an actor he can be here and it’s apparent that he has a very bright future as an actor ahead of him.

As stated before, I do believe the film could have provided more focus on other aspects. One character who I was hoping would have more screen time was Matthew McConaughey. The guy is having a career resurgence right now and I feel he was sorely underused.

Another character who I really think could have used more focus, was Agent Denham played by Kyle Chandler. I think it would have helped the movie if the film would have explored this character more in depth, similar to how Russell Crowe’s character in “American Gangster” was.

There is a scene that takes place on a yacht where Denham and Belfort verbally square off and it is easily the best scene in the movie. For the three hours this movie ran, it could have benefited from leaving the party for some time to explore this character Denham who is on the opposite side of the spectrum.

“The Wolf of Wall Street” is shot very well, Scorsese shows what a great filmmaker he is by capturing this insane true story and keeping it interesting. The acting is also fantastic, with everyone bringing their “A” games.

The film still has flaws, though, which keep it from being perfect. The constant partying is just too much at times and could have simply been cut down a bit, or as stated, other characters could have used some more of those three hours. Low 4 out of 5.

Author: Matthew Liedke

Journalist and film critic in Minnesota. Graduate of Rainy River College and Minnesota State University in Moorhead. Outside of movies I also enjoy sports, craft beers and the occasional video game.

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