Dec 082019

Hustlers had some potential and the story its inspired by was interesting, however in spite of an impressive performance from Jennifer Lopez, everything else was pretty much a letdown.




Genre(s): Drama, Crime
Universal | R – 110 min. – $44.98 | December 10, 2019

Date Published: 12/08/2019 | Author: The Movieman

Directed by: Lorene Scafaria
Writer(s): Jessica Pressler (article “The Hustlers at Scores”); Lorene Scafaria (written by)
Cast: Constance Wu, Jennifer Lopez, Julia Stiles, Keke Palmer, Lili Reinhart, Lizzo, Cardi B

Features: Commentary, Trailers
Slip Cover: Yes
Digital Copy: Yes
Formats Included: 4K, Blu-ray
Number of Discs: 2

Audio: (4K/BD) English (Dolby Atmos), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1)
Video (4K): 2160p/Widescreen 2.39
Video (BD): 2160p/Widescreen 2.39
Dynamic Range: HDR10, Dolby Vision
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Codecs: HEVC / H.265 (4K), MPEG-4 AVC (BD)
Region(s): A, B, C

Universal Pictures Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Blog Post.
The opinions I share are my own.

Note: The screen captures were taken from the Blu-ray disc and do not represent the 4K Ultra HD transfer.

THE MOVIE — 2.25/5

Plot Synopsis: Inspired by a true story, Hustlers follows Destiny (CONSTANCE WU), a young stripper struggling to make ends meet. That is, until she meets Ramona (JENNIFER LOPEZ), the club’s savvy top earner, who shows her the way forward making big bucks. But when the 2008 economic collapse hits their Wall Street clientele hard, Destiny and Ramona concoct a plan with their fellow strippers to turn the tables on the greedy power players.

Review: The opinions from the professional critics don’t usually sway me one or the other, but Hustlers is a movie that was a surprise box office success ($150 million worldwide) as well as with the critics (88%, 7.3/10; even the user’s rating of a 3.69/5 was respectable). So with some momentum, I had interest in this movie, and doesn’t hurt that the trailer I did see make it seem like an interesting, even unique crime-drama. Unfortunately the final product nowhere near lived up to expectations and instead I found Hustlers to be a middling film at best.

There’s not a whole lot that really works for Hustlers, not the narrative — which they hammer the message over the head with via actual narration at the end (about America being one big strip club) — nor the dialogue and even the “heist” element (it’s more of a con game) quickly loses steam and begins feeling more repetitive rather than anything approaching dramatic or suspenseful. Even Constance Wu, whom I’ve heard of but don’t recall seeing her anything else, doesn’t quite have that on-screen charisma to carry a film. Same goes for a supporting cast I generally like, including Keke Palmer and Julia Stiles, in a smallish role as the reporter whose work this film is based upon (article entitled “The Hustlers at Scores”).

However, the movie does pretty much hinge on Jennifer Lopez who looks absolutely amazing, and apparently did her homework to play a stripper going so far as visiting a club with her husband, Alex Rodriguez. As an added honor, she’s hit the big 5-0, but also gives a solid performance; I won’t go so far to say it’s worthy of an Academy Award nomination, yet easily was the brightest spot in an otherwise mundane and forgettable flick.

The movie has many issues, but perhaps the biggest one is it was hard to have empathy for any of these characters. No the ladies or the dudes they target, not even the one or two innocent bastards who, the brief scenes they have, are just okay guys, not married nor insanely rich; one of them, recently divorced, gets fired from their job as his corporate credit card was maxed out and is about to lose his home. Yet even then, it didn’t sway my feelings on the ladies either way.

The messaging also isn’t anything all that new, men or pigs (and here they are mostly caricatures), exotic dancers are used and abused. Got it. I actually think this would’ve been a more socially impactful film if they focused more on the industry and what the sex workers encounter but instead we get characters that are difficult to root for.

Hustlers was written and directed by Lorene Scafaria, marking her third feature film following 2012’s apocalyptic drama-comedy Seeking a Friend for the End of the World and 2015’s The Meddler. Having seen neither of those movies, I can’t say what kind of a filmmaker she is, but based on this, and while she does attempt some long takes, the pacing did feel off, a bit slow at times.



This release comes with a glossy slip cover and inside is a redemption code for the Digital HD copy.

I can only guess the studio never anticipated the film’s success as we get an Audio Commentary with Writer-Director Lorene Scafaria, which I found to be interesting guiding viewers through the source material and working with the actors, and 2 Theatrical Trailers. And that’s it, no featurettes, not even a promotional one…


4K ULTRA HD VIDEO – 5.0/5, BLU-RAY VIDEO — 5.0/5

Universal Pictures releases Hustlers onto 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray where its presented in the original 2.39 widescreen aspect ratio and given a 2160p and 1080p high-definition transfers, respectively. Although the movie takes place in the early/mid 2000s, the production designer did not shy away from the neon colors which really do pop off the screen on both formats, but especially the 4K aided by the HDR. Outside of that, the rest looks great, detail is sharp and the natural noise does shine through. While I did notice a slight difference between the 4K and Blu-ray, the latter still looks wonderful.

AUDIO – 5.0/5

The disc comes equipped with a Dolby Atmos track which really comes to life during the numerous scenes inside the strip club with some banging 2000s music the dancers strip to (this is a no-nudity for the dancers who look like Constance Wu or Jennifer Lopez type of strip club I think) with dialogue coming through the central channel with nice clarity and some great depth for the front and rear speakers outside the club, being able to hear the ambient noises while on the streets of NYC.


OVERALL – 3.5/5

Hustlers had some potential and the story its inspired by was interesting, however in spite of an impressive performance from Jennifer Lopez, everything else was pretty much a letdown from the writing, direction and even unremarkable performances. This 4K/Blu-ray combo pack offers up fantastic video and audio transfers and the bonus features were lackluster other than the commentary track.




The screen captures came from the Blu-ray copy and are here to add visuals to the review and do not represent the 4K video.

 Leave a Reply

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>