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The Wolf of Wall Street

“Sharp humor accentuates the free-wheeling energy of Scorsese's latest film, focused on unscrupulous stockbrokers. It's rambunctious and unruly, but mesmerizing. Based on the memoir of multimillionaire Jordan Belfort, Wolf's lens is trained on the ubiquity of greed.
“The story traces the rise and fall of abhorrent market wiz Belfort (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his retinue of debauched fellow traders. Belfort's all-consuming avarice captures the essence of '90s excess. The company that Belfort builds is essentially a cross between a frat and a cult, complete with chest-pounding and chanting. He and his closest henchman Donnie Azoff (Jonah Hill) ingest insane amounts of controlled substances and bed countless women. They're rock stars in the financial world, and such indulgence is expected.
“Belfort begins his Wall Street career as a decent guy, but, tutored by a smarmy honcho (Matthew McConaughey), he quickly acquires a sense of entitlement. The stock market crash of 1987 rocks Belfort's world, but in short order he applies his Wall Street tricks to penny stocks and wields his charm to fleece gullible folks out of their savings. When he's indicted for securities fraud and money laundering, Belfort only serves three years at a country club prison, easily manipulating fellow prisoners.
“Scorsese has made DiCaprio his latter-day muse: This is their fifth collaboration. The actor's swaggering master-of-the-universe portrayal here is his best performance.
“The Wolf of Wall Street examines the twin demons of insatiable desire and corruption in a thoroughly entertaining fashion. Its cynical script is razor-sharp, but Scorsese doesn't delve too deeply into the psyches of these vulgar swindlers. He just offers them up to the audience relentlessly. The Wolf of Wall Street is epic in scope, intoxicating and brimming with vitality — often disturbingly so.”
- Claudia Puig, USA Today

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