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Drugs, money, sex add up to greed in Martin Scorcese's 'The Wolf of Wall Street'

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The Wolf of Wall Street

Rating:
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Release date: December 25, 2013

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Directed by: Martin Scorcese

Written by: Terence Winter

Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, Margot Robbie, Jon Bernthal, and Matthew McConaughey

Official website: TheWolfofWallStreet.com

Money. Sex. Drugs. Power...and more drugs. That pretty much sums up the life and ambition of Jordan Belfort, a former Wall Street stockbroker in the 80s and 90s, who eventually did time for his crimes -- but he enjoyed every moment of his lying and cheating ways up until the FBI finally popped him.

Based on a memoir by the Belfort himself, "The Wolf of Wall Street" is the story of a young Long Island stockbroker (played by Leonardo DiCaprio), who finds a way to make millions by selling penny stocks to desperate losers. None of it is legal, but he gets away with it, eventually building an empire of wanna be millionaires who join Belfort in pounding as many drugs as possible and sleeping with as many women as they can. For a while it works.

It's debauchery at its finest. DiCaprio plays Belfort as a delusional, vulgar playboy. He addresses his employees with grandiose speeches and entertains them with crazy stunts that involve tossing midgets at bulls eyes. His partner in crime is Donnie Azoffm, played by Jonah Hill with a stylin' curly fro and a set of teeth that would make a beaver jealous. Donnie wants out of his dead end life, one in which he is happily married to his cousin.

Together they are dangerous, enabling each other even when they should be laying low. Scamming people out of billions of dollars tends to get the attention of the law, and the hunt here is led by Kyle Chandler.

Kansas City Film Critics Circle names '12 Years a Slave' Best Film of 2013

Thankfully, there is a lot to be learned in this 3 hour opus. Keen viewers will receive handy tips on how to make millions by ripping people off on penny stocks, how to open a door to a Lamborghini when you're doped up on Quaaludes, and of course, how to snort coke off of a woman's -- but hey, it's all hilarious. A note to all filmmakers out there, having an editor is never a bad thing. Having a 180 minute running time does not guarantee a cinematic classic.

That being said, it's a crazy entertaining movie and yet another outstanding effort from legendary filmmaker Martin Scorcese, who is clearly having fun playing with such shallow and outlandish characters. Considering the movie is narrated by DiCaprio, and the movie already based on Belfort's version of the events, it's easy to see that no one is taking the material seriously...but it's a pretty wild ride.

"The Wolf of Wall Street" is going to be worthy of all awards and acclaims that comes its way. Leo is amazing. Margot Robbie is gorgeous. And it's a hell of a funny movie. But man, it's just way too long.

Rating: Rated R for sequences of strong sexual content, graphic nudity, drug use and language throughout, and for some violence

Running time: 3 hours

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