If you're one of those Martin Scorsese fans who have been waiting 20 years for another Goodfellas, your ship has come in: from the incessant, conspiratorial voice-over narration to the grotesque freeze frames to the balls-out celebration of money and power, this giddy biopic of stock-market hustler Jordan Belfort is almost a carbon copy of the director's gangland classic. Leonardo DiCaprio plays the title character, and a tour de force sequence in which he tries to drag himself to his sports car while sloppy on Quaaludes reveals the actor's mostly untapped comic skill. In fact, the whole thing plays more like farce than drama: aside from Belfort, the characters are broad and flat, and there's little regard for the countless middle-class investors he bilked. As with Goodfellas, Scorsese's helpless attraction to the very behavior he wants to indict becomes the movie's serrated edge. With Jonah Hill, Kyle Chandler, Rob Reiner, Matthew McConaughey, and various two-dimensional women characters who get coke snorted off their chests.
By J.R. Jones