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'The Wolf' bears its claws

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The Wolf of Wall Street

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Martin Scorsese knows how to make a movie. He’s been making films since the late sixties/early seventies. In that vast expanse of time, he has crafted many absorbing and palpable tales. A few years ago, he completely stepped outside his wheelhouse and made a children’s film called “Hugo.” Despite not getting the audience it rightfully deserved, the film was a breathtaking story that stands as one of the most accomplished 3D movies in Hollywood’s recent renaissance of the gimmick.
This year, Scorsese shows a return to his greatest hits. Colorful criminals, a period piece, and New York ground his latest amongst his best work in years. Conquering a worry that the film would not be ready in time, the editing team managed to get it to the multiplex in time for the holidays. And thankfully, the final product is a wild ride.

Leonardo DiCaprio stars as Jordan Belfort, a young stockbroker who skyrockets to millionaire status by some questionable trading practices. By starting his own firm, Belfort hires a few of his cronies and rents out an old auto garage, but before long he’s staking a claim on Wall Street. But the higher he and his firm fly, the more attention they get from regulating agencies like the Security Exchange Commission and the FBI. Between the heavy drug use, the illegal deals, and his lavish lifestyle, Jordan becomes everything he wants and takes advantage of it.

When a film claims to be based on a true story, it’s important to remember that elements of what the script shows is either modified or completely fabricated. Taken as a whole, “The Wolf of Wall Street” is an absurdist tale of greed and conquest. DiCaprio plays Belfort with an energy and charisma that bleeds of the screen. He’s so unfiltered, that his character’s reckless abandon makes the movie more fun. Backed by Jonah Hill and a slew of recognizable actors, the film is filled with funny and interesting moments. Come Oscar season, it wouldn’t be shocking to see this film heavy in nominations. But regardless of its award pedigree, “The Wolf of Wall Street” is among the best films of the year. The film will likely have a long life both at the box office and on home video. 5 out of 5 stars.

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