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'The Wolf of Wall Street' review: Darkly comical with a heavy R-rating

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The Wolf of Wall Street (movie)


Re-teaming with latest muse Leonardo DiCaprio, Martin Scorsese takes on a different side of New York in his latest film, “The Wolf of Wall Street.” An exposure of Wall Street, “The Wolf of Wall Street” feels like satire, but it’s based on the book from one of Wall Street’s former leaders, Jordan Belfort. Based on events of the 1990s, this dark comedy is frighteningly very current.

Jordan Belfort (Leonardo DiCaprio) aims high in life and is eager to prove himself on Wall Street working for Mark Hanna (Matthew McConaughey) and wanting to earn a good life for his family. After a bad day at the market, Jordan and many others lose their jobs. Starting new in penny stocks, Jordan revolutionizes the market by finding a way to cheat the system. As his new company grows and grows, Jordan embraces the vices of the trade: sex, drugs, and money. Meanwhile, the company is being investigated by Agent Patrick Denham (Kyle Chandler), but Jordan and associate Donnie Azoff (Jonah Hill) continue to recklessly live off of Quaaludes and other drugs. Jordan’s new wife, Naomi (Margot Robbie), and his father, Max (Rob Reiner), try to reign in Jordan’s lifestyle, but Jordan’s ambition knows no bounds, and his sense of entitlement doesn’t falter.

Energetic and fast paced, this three hour film flies by with its over-the-top debauchery and shenanigans. The film practically begins with a shot of Leonardo DiCaprio doing drugs off a woman’s bare bottom, so many people are walking out of the film. Jordan’s behavior and actions are appalling, the point of the film. You are not supposed to condone his behavior, so expect to be shocked. Not the least of which involves a film full of naked women. This is a fable of American greed and addiction to money, but the moral, unfortunately, is that these people never learn because there are no serious consequences.

Leonardo DiCaprio impresses with quite possibly his best performance in this mocking, extremely negative biopic. He has proven again and again that he has dramatic chops, but DiCaprio scores exposing his sense of humor. Aided by Jonah Hill (proving that he is not a one hit wonder after “Moneyball”), DiCaprio is extremely funny. His character has loose morals and does massive amounts of drugs, but DiCaprio keeps him from ever glamorizing the vices.

Talent abounds in “The Wolf of Wall Street.” Emmy Award-winner Terence Winter, writer of episodes of “The Sopranos” and “Boardwalk Empire,” penned the screenplay. All of the acting is superb. Martin Scorsese has created another classic with this uncomfortable, exposing tale of absurd reality.

Rating for “The Wolf of Wall Street:” A

For more information on this film or to view its trailer, click here.

“The Wolf of Wall Street” is playing across Columbus, including at AMC Lennox and Easton and Rave Polaris. For showtimes, click here.


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