Published on February 4, 2014 | by Julie Atto


Film review: The Wolf of Wall Street


Poster of Wolf of Wall Street at a London cinema

Wolf of Wall Street has been nominated for five Academy awards. [Bethe Dabbs]

Leonardo DiCaprio joins forces with director Martin Scorsese for a fifth time in this five-time Academy award–nominated hedonistic dark comedy set in ’80s New York.

Based on the memoirs of crooked stockbroker Jordan Belfort (DiCaprio), the film follows Belfort as he quickly makes a name for himself on Wall Street alongside his friend Donnie Azoff (Jonah Hill) and a group of equally money hungry and morally depraved salesmen.

Most of us already know the story and its ending, so why spend your time and £10+ on a film with the all too familiar ‘rise and fall’ concept?

The ride, of course.

And what a ride it is. Scorsese uses his signature fast paced, in-your-face style of direction to shove us into a debauched world of white–collar crime, cocaine, hookers and gambling.

Brilliant and twisted

There’s quality all around with Scorsese directing, DiCaprio starring and Terence Winter penning the Oscar nominated screenplay. The name might not ring a bell, but the equally brilliant and twisted dialogue between Belfort and his merry band of coked–up degenerates is thanks to Winter, the man behind the critically acclaimed HBO series Boardwalk Empire and The Sopranos.

There are scenes in the film that serve ice-cold humour of the foulest nature that as a decent human being you almost feel bad for laughing. Almost. But it’s such a pleasure watching actors of DiCaprio and Hill’s stature deliver such fearless and comedic performances, which has rightfully granted them an Oscar nod each, that you can’t help but join in, albeit from afar.

With movie tickets being at their most expensive, The Wolf of Wall Street’s epic three-hour long run definitely makes you feel like you get your money’s worth. However, that is also the movie’s downside as it sometimes feels like it gets too caught up in its own craziness and forgets to stick to the point and tell the tale.

However, what the film lacks in consistency, it more than makes up for in sheer entertainment of the most extreme and thrilling kind.

The Wolf of Wall Street is in cinemas now.




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2 Responses to Film review: The Wolf of Wall Street

  1. Carson says:

    My question is — is this movie doing anything new? At this point, “white Wall Street conmen experience meteoric rise and disgraceful plummet, as accompanied by prostitutes and drugs; cause us to question our own social values” isn’t new ground to tread. In a year where we had some pretty cool and unusual things happening in mainstream cinema (an animated “princess” movie where the most important relationship was between two sisters, a space thriller whose face was a middle-aged woman, a high-grossing action movie starring a young woman, a sci-fi blockbuster where 2/3 leads were NOT white men, a female buddy-cop movie), this just seems….tired. And honestly, nothing in this review is making me think the movie is going to ask any questions that haven’t been asked a million times, in similar explorations. Pass, sorry.

  2. Marissa Celinetti says:

    Nope, I wouldn’t recommend the film to anyone. The wolf of wall street is bad. Not because it’s provocative but because it’s disgusting and offensive for no reason. Its misogyny is not an exposure or a critique, it’s a display. The message it pretends to be sending is just an excuse for the provocation that will guarantee some eyeballs, it doesn’t really criticize what it is portraying in any meaningful way nor does it expose how harmful it is to the women surrounding its ahole protagonist, who is the only one that matters and the consequences for him are the only consequences that matter. All that stays with you are the images of women used as objects, like in porn and this guy having a good time until he is not. They simply make sure that the film leaves an impression to boost its oscar chances even if that impression is through meaningless, misogynistic, degrading imagery and language. Bothering to critique or expose the injustice of things must be too much for the dumb audience they assume they have I guess

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