The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)

wolfofwallstreet_2013_poster
The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)
  • Time: 180 min
  • Genre: Biography | Comedy | Crime
  • Director: Martin Scorsese
  • Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, Margot Robbie

Storyline:

Martin Scorsese directs the story of New York stockbroker Jordan Belfort. From the American dream to corporate greed, Belfort goes from penny stocks and righteousness to IPOs and a life of corruption in the late 80s. Excess success and affluence in his early twenties as founder of the brokerage firm Stratton Oakmont warranted Belfort the title “The Wolf of Wall Street.”

10 reviews

  • The Wolf of Wall Street is one of the most anticipated movies of the year, mainly because it features the famous director-actor duo of Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio, who have previously worked on many good movies, like Shutter Island and The Departed. This movie is based on Jordan Belfort’s biographical book of the same name, and Belfort himself helped DiCaprio prepare for the main role. It’s important to point out that, because it was independently financed, the movie features lots of nudity, drug abuse and over-the-top sex scenes, which might make the viewing uncomfortable for some.

    Jordan Belfort (Leonardo DiCaprio) starts his career at Wall Street but is soon fired because of the stock market crash in 1987 (known as Black Monday). He manages to get a job in an investment center and, being the most successful broker, he teaches his colleagues how to sell. Soon, realising his potential and finding a partner – Donnie Azoff (Jonah Hill) – he opens a brokerage firm, Stratton Oakmont, where he and his colleagues start selling penny stocks and frauding people – all the while making more money than they ever imagined, and spending it on drugs and prostitutes.

    DiCaprio plays the perfect antihero: Belfort is a liar, he cheats on his wife, he steals money from people, he is constantly drugged out of his mind and so on. Still, it’s very difficult to hate him, and I think most people actually envy him: who wouldn’t want to have so much money, you can throw $100 bills in the trash without blinking? DiCaprio’s performance is wonderful, and I hope he’ll finally win the Oscar he deserves. The supporting actors find themselves somewhat in his shadow, but do a terrific work nonetheless – especially Jonah Hill, whose experience in comedies fits the dark humour of the movie perfectly. And because this movie is filled with humour, I had no problem with its length: you don’t even realise it’s 3 hours long because it’s so entertaining.

    Like I said, the movie features lots of drug abuse and sex scenes, which some people may consider pointless or whatever, but I feel it doesn’t make any sense (and is also hypocritical) to consider it bad just because of this – which is an attitude many people on the internet seem to have. Also, this movie does not promote immoral behaviour. It’s like saying slasher movies promote killing: it’s a ridiculous and ignorant way of bashing a movie when you have no solid arguments. Finally, if you go see this movie, you’re going to get sex, drugs, violence and lots of swearing, all of it wonderfully incorporated in a great biography. The Wolf of Wall Street is not for everyone, but it’s a great movie I recommend to everyone who isn’t easily scandalised.

    Rating: 8/10

    Read more reviews at http://passpopcorn.com/

  • Joe O'Loughlin

    “The Wolf Of Wall Street”: I wasn’t expecting to like it very much, but I did.

    It could have been titled “How To Be A ‘Telephone Terrorist’, Lose Your Moral Compass, And Make Millions”. I love the world of finance and brokers, with their Top Gun lifestyle in Turnbull & Asser suits. Reminds me of my first job after MBA school in the rock ‘em-sock ‘em late ‘70s, in the San Francisco Financial District, selling my own wares to obscenely rich young brokers and investment bankers along California Street, Bush Street, and Sansome Street, in raucous “bullpens” where white-shirted kids from Harvard and Wharton and Northwestern “banged the phones”, “dialed for dollars” and “moved paper” to rich widows on Nob Hill and captains of industry in Silicon Valley. I would wait in teak-paneled reception rooms in the sky that smelled like money, all around the Pacific Stock Exchange, looking at expensive paintings and model sailboats that cost more than my car, for my 15-minute pitch to young Masters of The Universe who absent-mindedly tossed wadded up pieces of paper into mini basketball hoops attached to their trash cans. Just like in the movie, their coda (and mine when I first started in the sales profession) was “keep ‘em on the phone until they buy, or they die”.

    I don’t like the way the movie tries to make the audience feel about the sales profession in general. I think it gets the adrenaline rush of making a big sale right, just not the ethics, except for a small percentage of professional sales people who are sociopaths (trust me, I’ve known quite a few of those types).

    It was really, really funny, until it wasn’t: about 80% funny, and 20% serious. Most of the humor was about being high, f**ked up, chemically deranged, epic-ally wasted, which I normally wouldn’t think was funny for personal reasons, but I laughed my ass off, mainly I think because Leonardo DiCaprio was so very good in it! Better than ever.

    Great music, too. The crazy rhythm and increasingly frantic pacing, reflecting a hot-jammed nervous system accelerating on illicit meds, reminded me of “Goodfellas”. My kind of movie making. It was a long movie, too, but not too long.

    I didn’t realize it was apparently based on a true story until toward the end when real-life famous names started coming up.

    Hope you like it, too.

  • The story of Jordan Belfort is material that would be the envy of Oliver Stone, but we have here the worthy Martin Scorsese trying to do something like “Goodfellas” but without blood , without violence , without hyper – bloody deaths, without weapons… almost without Scorsese with which he conceived his best classics. This takes the fun and films, and does not forget his best tricks, but unfortunately it comes down to partying film

    One surprise is Jonah Hill, who ceases to be an anti-social to get a role in part matches with their popular nerd roles, but now acting as more adult than his age (at the beginning, he dresses and acts like an old man) and sloppily. It adds to the character of Belfort when presented the opportunity and has its good moments. In addition, DiCaprio is a all-road that may lose a bit of charm than “Django Unchained” (where was the villain) but it fits any type of situation and he is quite funny in a comedy. Also the brief appearance of Matthew McConaughey is a downer for its short duration and is strange compared to the excellent performance of “Killer Joe”. In this film McConaughey seems gesturing a little more, though undoubtedly he deserved a longer duration

    The case of Jordan Belfort is undoubtedly particular, but belongs to the echoes of the maelstrom of Wall Street in the ’80s, where President Reagan supported these frivolous trends (Have you seen the photo of the president with Frank Sinatra, or Michael Jackson?) while claiming a heavy materialism and conservative values. The next film makes it look Belfort as an illegal version of Donald Trump, and a politically correct film than “American Psycho”. In this universe, a moderately agile person could handle, sell junk and make millions, which is what happens in “The Wolf Of Wall Street”

    The film promises to narrate the rise and fall of this tycoon. Frankly, perhaps the best definition gave Matt Seitz (in his page “Roger Ebert”): “Imagine the last thirty minutes of Goodfellas stretched out to three hours” That is the virtue and the defect . Here Scorsese portrays Belfort with the charisma as which the director did their other productions, and providing a small group of gang. In the movie, Leonardo Di Caprio achieved (based on skillful leadership ) triumph over their poor and mediocre fellows, and then drag them to the same ball, getting an army of loyal followers that operate in the same way that he and live like him.

    Things work when approaching steps humor: all are eminently likeable, without annoying pretensions or ego swelling. There are excesses, but are not very visual, and in the background the protagonists are just a couple of dumbs but now with money and drugs and certain level of sophistication , so the comedy gears work great: just look at DiCaprio down stairs like babies (as he says) because the drugs do not allow him to walk, or in an exchange of thoughts with the owner of Swiss bank or one of the aunts of his girlfriend. Add up the directorial style with Off vooice, talking to the camera in an accomplice tone, collations of time, information, monologues, moderately competent soundtrack, etc. that add a touch on the mood or the general line

    While the film does not exactly qualify comedy but contains enough and kill you with laughter, on the other hand “The Wolf Of Wall Street” does not offer much more than that. For a narrative of the rise and fall of a tycoon, there is nothing we have not seen in director’s gangster movies (including a single scene of violence in this film, but not be even half savage than Pesci), with the aggravating its artificial extensions to three hours: too many situations or conversations extend time for the sole purpose of loading footage (eg long speeches of our protagonist with his microphone), even funny moments eg drugged DiCaprio fighting with Jonah Hill take a long run (so much so that a slight futile comparison between Popeye and Leonardo DiCaprio, simply because the director does not have trouble in finishing fast the film)

    For a comedy, need more funniest moments to approve in this genre. “The Wolf Of Wall Street” may not want to emulate the footsteps of Oliver Stone (Wall Street), but needed something bigger than a joyful chronicle of partiying: a message, a purpose. What was the intention of films this redoubt of “Goodfellas” or “Casino”? There is nothing extravagant and pompous tragedies like the end of the jarring “Scarface” (1983); Scorsese’s most tragic thing that can happen to a gangster (in this case, a tycoon) is back to normal, again be a rat. “The Wolf Of Wall Street” applies this great postulate, but as you will see is always the same end, and does not contribute to a message or purpose. What conclusion we draw from this? If the United States is a country of opportunities for vices is not new, and the film only seems to work out at that point, without pushing a new side. Perhaps, as one reviewer said, Scorsese’s heart is in the police genre (gangsters, very graphic violence, etc.), and here we have a very good story, but it is projects like “No Direction Home” or a drama: very good movies, but is away from the best place for Scorsese. there are dialogues and humor and too much air ball, ie nothing to go to a fixed course

    Rating: 4 / 5

  • This movie is a modern rags to riches story about a decent guy turned into scumbag, stockbroker, drug addict who becomes filthy rich, and I loved it. It portrays the main character’s lifestyle as a debaucherous, decadent indulgence that rivals that of Ancient Rome. Overall the acting is great but I think Leo’s performance starts out a little hokey when he first puts on the New York accent, but it improves after the first twenty minutes. I thought the most amazing performance was Jonah Hill’s, and in my opinion he definitely deserves the Academy Award. Martin Scorcese never disappoints me and if your a fan of his you will love this movie, but it’s not for everyone. If you are offended by movies that contain copious amounts of sex, drugs, and greed, do not see this movie. Otherwise, this is a must see !!

  • The beginning of this film appealed to the adolescent in me with the break the rules, crazy behavior of the wall street swindlers but soon it became so clear that this film was glorifying amoral, unrepentant thieves who stole millions of dollars from unsuspecting hard working people. They haven’t paid back their victims and are now out of jail continuing to make money off of their illegal/amoral behavior. The acting was OK but hard to enjoy in the context of the real story and the thought that I was contributing to their wealth and probably boosting their pathological egos, not something I want to spend my money on. Mr Scorsese may have thought he was creating a social statement on Wall Street greed and crime but I had a hard time finding any value in sitting through this disappointing movie.

  • Director Martin Scorsese redoes “Goodfellas” in the financial sector. I’ve always been a fan of Scorsese’s since I was young, some of most memorable cinematic moments come from his earlier works but for me, when he teams with DiCaprio, it’s a match made in the highest reaches of movie-making heaven. Leonardo DiCaprio gives one of his best performances, but I was most amused by Jonah Hill. Many will despise his abrasive character, but I thought he was hilarious. The story is good & well told and certainly entertaining on most parts! But the film has an epic runtime, which isn’t really deserved. I wasn’t exactly bored with it like I said, but it could have been shortened. Three hours was way too long for me. A lot of the times I thought the movie plot had reached its end and that the credits were going to roll, yet I was shocked to find I was only half way through and there was still an hour and a half to go.

  • Based on the novel, The Wolf of Wall Street is based on Jordan Belfort and his rise as a stockbroker and his involved me in crime and corruption. I made a massive mistake not including this film for my films to watch out for 2014. I should never doubt Leonardo DiCaprio and especially Martin Scorsese.

    Positives

    I love a true story film and usually when you make a true story into a comedy it either turns weird or just plain sucks. Pain & Gain, while I enjoyed it, got very strange. This film on the other hand doesn’t try to make you laugh; it’s just generally funny, but not the whole way through. It has a great balance of comedy and dramatic moments and sometimes both together. The characters are…
    To read the full review click here.

  • West: The Wolf of Wall Street 9/10- Think of the best Leonardo DiCaprio movie you have ever seen, now multiply it by infinite and take it to the depths of forever. Now you have a glimpse at how this movie will play out. I have never seen a movie like this before, it is the most dynamic and energetic movie I have ever seen.

    I do not understand why this movie did not get better reviews. Some people may have thought that it had no class and was vulgar with unnecessary language, but they should know that Martin Scorsese films have never just tried to be good while staying on the same line that all other movies do so that it is deemed acceptable to all. No, Scorsese sees that line and says the hell with you line, I will do what I want. He achieved greatness with this movie by doing so.

    I guarantee that no one in this movie was playing themselves, but they fooled everyone. They could fool themselves to believing that they were these unpredictable, drug addicted stock brokers who broke every financial law in America. Leonardo DiCaprio is probably the one of the few actors in Hollywood right now who has been great in every movie he has been in. He just has the raw talent that is necessary to be number one. He delivered the best performance of his magnificent career in this film playing the once legendary stockbroker Jordan Belfort. He delivered a perfect New York accent and the way he was able to show all of the different versions of the character he had was truly amazing. I honestly feel bad for Jonah Hill because he gave the best performance of his career as well but when you put him right next to Leo, Jonah Hill’s performance looks like a first grade school play. Still, credit should be given to Jonah Hill because I firmly believe that only a few people could play this role as well as he did. Jonah’s performance in The Wolf of Wall Street is a million times better than his performance in Moneyball. Aside from those two, who were really the only people who were in the movie consistently, the acting’s decent.

    For full review and more, http://reviewsbywest.com/the-wolf-of-wall-street.html

  • The Wolf of Wall Street marks number five as the amount of collaborative stints between star Leonardo DiCaprio and famed director Martin Scorsese. In my opinion, it’s not as Oscar worthy as their first tryst in Gangs of New York nor is it as intelligent and verbose as their 2nd actor/director marriage in 2004’s The Aviator. No this is one outlandish, messy, but oddly entertaining picture that takes something like 2000’s stock broker drama Boiler Room, and exceeds it profusely in scope and edginess. Granted, this movie equivalent of an illegal frat house party is in serious need of editing. And it’s about as adult themed as any film as you could ever imagine. In fact, I found it odd that “Wolf” didn’t garner an NC-17 rating. I’m thinking that the whole box office/finding an audience thing kinda came into play courtesy of Scorsese who at the helm, means that studio heads will likely bow down to his requests for a normal R rated, wide release.

    Anyway, if The Wolf of Wall Street has any chance of wowing the Academy, it has to cater to the volcanic, ballsy performance of one Leonardo DiCaprio. As always, he puts so much emotion and fire into everything he does. His Jordan Belfort is a despicable, drugged out entrepreneur that is actually made to be likable and rallied upon. This is because of DiCaprio’s effortless charisma and shattering intensity. Watch out Gordon Gekko, you’ve got some serious competition!

    Taking place in I guess, the late 80’s and early 90’s (there are no title cards in this flick, a rare Scorsese holdover) and sort of resembling the legendary director’s panoramic arc from his 1995 epic Casino, “Wolf” chronicles the life of one Jordan Belfort (DiCaprio). He’s an up and coming stockbroker who with the intuition and oddball advice of colleague Mark Hanna (played by Matthew McConaughey who shows up for just two scenes and it’s a shame he didn’t stick around for the whole movie), decides to start his own firm in order to illegally rob clients by selling them “penny” stocks. He’s helped by his goofy sidekick Donnie Azzof (played by a buck toothed Johah Hill). The two of them build an empire only to succumb to the long arm of the law in the form of a staunch FBI agent (Patrick Denham played by Kyle Chandler). Throughout the proceedings, Azzok, Belfort, and their 100+ employees dabble in drugs, sex, and ignored corruption. One word describes this exercise: bloated. These are Wall Street degenerates who don’t want to think about tomorrow. They all hinge on Belfort who assures them that “money makes you smile!.” Granted, the speeches DiCaprio’s character gives in the war room are a tribute to his brutal nature as a hopped up thespian that is in complete control of his craft. He takes this role and confidently runs with it. I’d like to call his performance a full on sprint as opposed to an underplayed marathon. Next to The Aviator and 2006’s Blood Diamond, this might be the best work he’s ever done.

    With the exception of gratuitous violence (“Wolf” has only two or three scenes parlaying this and it’s mild at best), The Wolf of Wall Street still has a lot of its director’s veritable trademarks. As usual, he concentrates on the unlikable, guilt ridden character who vies for the starstruck American dream. He also, as in Goodfellas and other films, depicts the rise and fall of said dream. DiCaprio plays Belfort as a sort of hyperactive version of Ray Liotta (Henry Hill). He does most of the narration and talking to the camera (like Liotta did toward the end of “Fellas”). Leo, using his hands regularly along with his off-the-wall facial expressions, is nudged by Scorsese’s sledgehammer camera movement being similar to almost every film he’s done. Marty throws in the usual aggression, fast editing, and whip around smarts with his keen eye for slack jaw imagery. However, he overdoes it completely on “Wolf” by throwing everything in it but the kitchen sink. He directs this flick as if it was the last cinematic squall that would ever be put into theaters. He’s already won his Oscar so I don’t think he cares what end of the year voters are focusing on. With all the orgies, coke snorting (oh and quaalude popping), profanity laden arguments, character vulgarity, and theft of human lives, the world’s greatest director simply wears you out. It’s obvious that Scorsese shows his dirty old man side here with his perverse, ostracized style of film making. Is it entertaining? Yes. Did I feel bad about laughing nervously during certain scenes? You betcha.

    When it’s all said and done though, The Wolf of Wall Street doesn’t say a whole lot about stockbrokers and the fake art of their salesmanship. It’s more about the characters who are unlikable, snarling jerks. The name of the game here in terms of its large cast, is excess and there is simply too much movie in this movie. “Wolf” is sprawling to the point of absurdity. Scenes are never ending with dialogue that takes the F word to stratospheric proportions (this is the most potty mouthed film of all time, trust me). The acting, while decent, has everyone following a thin script that from what I understand, was written from the memoirs of the real life Belfort (he must have been too wasted to remember what happened). Despite these flaws, I still liked this vehicle. It entertains you in a sort of giddy, unsafe way. It’s ambitious, extravagant, train wreck bliss. Dare I say that I actually want to see it again. During the first half of The Wolf of Wall Street, Jonah Hill’s Donnie says, “I love three things. I love my country, I love Jesus Christ, and I love making people money.” Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio love making movies together. This one is good but not entirely great. And unfortunately it might be their Ritalin-starved lovechild instead of their advertised “critical darling.” See it for DiCaprio. Be entertained. But be warned, this is one “wolf” with way too many teeth.

    Check out other reviews on my blog: http://www.viewsonfilm.com

  • “Money is the best drug. It makes you a better person.”

    Director Martin Scorsese takes a stab at unveiling modern day human nature and our corrupted vision of the American dream in The Wolf of Wall Street.

    Infused with Lamborghinis, yachts, drugs, sex, unimaginable amounts of cash, more drugs and more sex; the moral message of excess in America isn’t boding well with critics. According to screenwriter Terence Winter, “We never learn anything and things don’t change” and this unfavorable look at our economy doesn’t bode well with viewers. Cinemascore, a service that polls audience members during opening weekend, stamped Wolf with a C-grade ultimately questioning the intentions of the movie. Whether or not the film glorified corruption remains debatable, yet ultimately left patrons in disgust with the final product. “Shame on you” was in ear shot of Scorsese the night of the film’s opening screening.

    Too conservative, misinformed or oblivious to the greater message that Scorsese meant to unveil, most critics missed the boat for the racy stock-broker film. 75-year-old Academy member Hope Holiday (who starred in 1960’s The Apartment), openly expressed his disgust on her Facebook page. It’s unlikely that Hope will be viewing Blue is the Warmest Color nor Nymphomaniac.

    Is The Wolf of Wall Street disgusting? Absolutely! Is it too flashy and over-the-top? Rightfully so! What these swindlers did to the unsuspecting middle class (not just the 1% like the movie says), by taking from the rich and putting in their pockets incinerated the bank accounts of many unsuspecting victims. Ironically receiving wide release in theaters on Christmas Day (Merry Christmas, ya filthy animals), Scorsese is really pointing his finger at all of us. Although the events surrounding Jordan Belfort (Leonardo Dicaprio) occurred during the 80s and early 90s, the film’s reflection on present day hasn’t faltered. If this is the year of the corrupted American dream (The Great Gatsby, Spring Breakers, The Bling Ring), then The Wolf of Wall Street’s message reigns supreme regarding the greed of human nature—always wanting more, but never fully satisfied.

    And guess what? Members of the Academy aren’t swallowing this reality pill well at all, and why would they? They’re pissed! Critics seem to get in an uncomfortable huff when a film isn’t told the way they want audiences to see it by adorning ourselves in a favorable light (last year’s Zero Dark Thirty, anyone?).

    While The Wolf of Wall Street’s debauchery seems too unbelievable and more creatively scripted by Scorsese, the script actually closely follows Belfort’s own memoir, also titled The Wolf of Wall Street; so everything too flashy to be factual actually happened, apparently. Although Belfort didn’t make the cover, Forbes did print a damning article labeling him a “twisted version of Robin Hood who robs from the rich and gives to himself and his merry band of brokers.” But despite Belfort’s dissatisfaction toward the article, the theory of ‘all press is good press’ rang true. The offices of Stratton Oakmont became flooded with hopeful job applicants and Belfort’s empire continued to expand exponentially.

    The rise and the fall of Belfort isn’t what’s rustling the feathers in the aging critic pool; it’s whether or not using Belfort’s memoir as the backbone of the story was an ethical decision? The film in a sense glorifies the antics and obscenities of how far Belfort and his cronies could really go into the immoral cesspool they created. But Belfort isn’t the hero; he’s the anti-hero in Scorsese’s cautionary tale. Who are we to question how the great Marty should tell a story? Similarly, with Scorsese’s Goodfellas and Casino critics questioned whether the sympathy given toward those characters led to the glorification of crime in each film.

    The theme surrounding the corrupted American dream has been heavily intertwined in Leonardo Dicaprio’s past two films—The Great Gatsby and Django Unchained— both receiving their fair amount of criticism. The over-examination of Wolf left Dicrapio disappointed knowing that those who didn’t get Marty’s intentions missed the boat entirely.

    The debate rages on, and while nominations (particularly for Dicaprio and Jonah Hill) will likely pour in for the film, it’ll be no surprise when old, conservative Academy members ultimately sweep this one under the red carpet. Dicaprio delivers one of the best performances of his career while exploring a dark comedic side of his acting chops that we rarely see. Comparably, Hill embodies the smarmy, corrupt Donnie Azoff in a performance easily considered the best of his career.

    What critics fail to understand is that beyond the prostitutes, Quaaludes, excessive profanity and the ski slopes of cocaine, The Wolf of Wall Street is bigger than Jordan Belfort. I never found the film to be endorsing his outlandish behavior, but more as a warning that this wolf who represents greed and excess is still alive and well in our society decades later. The story has a greater purpose than to be a people-pleaser—if critics believe the film should be told from other perspectives (like the victims), then please don’t see this movie. It’ll go above and beyond your comprehension.

    Top 6 Things You Can Learn from The Wolf of Wall Street

    1. I’ve been rich and I’ve been poor, and it’s better to be rich, because at least you have money to deal with problems.
    2. Surround yourself with loyal people over smart people.
    3. There are some short cuts to get rich, but most of them end up like crashing a Lambo on Quaaludes.
    4. Learn how to mold people and pull out their talent that other people would have rejected.
    5. If you can’t be charismatic, then know more then everyone else in the room.
    6. Work hard and play really hard.

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