“The Wolf of Wall Street” (2013) – Review by Jake Peffer

Wolf of Wall Street flex

 

Every time Martin Scorsese directs a film, no matter what it’s about, it is something to be on the lookout for. Same can be said for Leonardo DiCaprio as well, and when the two collaborate on a film together the chances of it being a great film are even higher. With The Wolf of Wall Street, Scorsese and company put together one of the most rambunctious and off-the-wall comedies in recent years. The story, which is based on a book of the same name, follows Jordan Belfort (Leonardo DiCaprio) as we watch his rise to a wealthy stockbroker to his fall involving crime, drugs and corruption.

This marks the fifth time Scorsese and DiCaprio have worked together on the same film and this one is certainly different than the rest. We usually don’t see comedies from Scorsese, or DiCaprio for that matter, but they manage to put together the best comedy of 2013. Clocking in at just under three hours the film does overstay it’s welcome by about fifteen minutes but that really is the only gripe I had with this film. The sheer absurdity throughout each scene along with the great performances and brilliant direction are what make this so entertaining.

To my surprise I found myself laughing throughout the majority of the film. So many memorable scenes are still stuck in my head from Matthew McConaughey’s humming song to the discussion of a midget toss to DiCaprio and Jonah Hill’s reaction to a strong drug they take that is easily one of the funniest scenes I’ve ever watched on film. Much of the zaniness is due in part to some great comedic performances by almost everyone involved. Leonardo DiCaprio not only proves once again how great of an actor he is but also how great he is at being a comedic actor as well. Jonah Hill once again shows more acting range here as DiCaprio’s right hand man. Margot Robbie, Kyle Chandler and Jon Bernthal all turn in some good performances as well. We also get some hilarious performances from Matthew McConaughey and Rob Reiner in smaller roles.

There really isn’t much else I can say about the film other than it’s fantastic. It’s always great to see a director do something a little outside of what he normally does. Sure we’ve gotten plenty of rise and fall films from Martin Scorsese but hardly any of those were comedies so it’s great to see him step a little out of his comfort zone. You’ve got to give the man props for making something so completely over-the-top and downright hysterical.

Verdict: It goes without saying that The Wolf of Wall Street is a fantastic film. Great direction as usual from Martin Scorsese, great performances all around, especially from Leonardo DiCaprio, and the constant hilarity made this what I would call the best film of 2013.

Grade: A

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