The Hustle

The Hustle

2019, PG-13, 94 min. Directed by Chris Addison. Starring Anne Hathaway, Rebel Wilson, Tim Blake Nelson.

REVIEWED By Matthew Monagle, Fri., May 17, 2019

How closely does The Hustle hew to its predecessor, the 1988 Frank Oz-directed Dirty Rotten Scoundrels? Closely enough that the latter's three screenwriters are given both a story and a screenplay credit in the new film. Fans of classic heist comedies may be inspired to seek this one out, but that's an urge you may want to resist. There's a lot to like about the film's two stars, but The Hustle doesn't have much to say worth hearing.

Penny (Wilson) is a small-time hustler who, after being chased from every bar in New York City, decides to take a vacation in the French countryside. There she meets Josephine (Hathaway), a practiced con artist with a bankroll that makes Penny's meager savings look like chump change. Jockeying for the opportunity to rob the rich men of Josephine's village blind, the two women strike a deal: Whoever swindles a vacationing tech magnate first gets to stay; the other will depart the French villa they share forever.

For years, Hathaway has been the subject of ill-defined criticisms centered around her likability. Her main problem, or so the prevailing wisdom goes, is that she tries too hard; she's the adult version of that theatre kid we all knew in high school and never quite warmed to. This criticism is sexist nonsense, of course, but between The Hustle, Colossal, and Ocean's 8, it can't be a coincidence that her best work in years is also her least restrained. Nothing could be more attention-grabbing than her performance here, where the American actor spends the entire film bouncing between European accents and practicing the most precise forms of elocution. The results are goddamn delightful. Hathaway is charming and funny and hotheaded all at once, allowing her to be the perfect foil for Wilson's brand of profane comedy.

In fact, nobody should blame the film's middling appeal on its two stars. With talents like them –  and a script that draws inspiration from the antics of Michael Caine and Steve Martin (and before them David Niven and Marlon Brando in 1964's Bedtime Story, the root source of the con) – there should be plenty of room for acidic dialogue and visual gags. Instead, most of the jokes feel improvised. Wilson scores on volume alone, of course, but with so much of the humor feeling Apatow-lite, the film lacks a fresh coat of paint to make up for its conventional plot devices. It's only when the movie abandons formlessness for absurd set-pieces  –  such as Josephine's Silence of the Lambs-esque con –  that the laughs flow free and easy.

The moments that work best are also the ones where Hathaway and Wilson's characters work off, not against, their counterpart. The Hustle wants to say something about the inherent sexism of the rich – and why women like Josephine and Penny, despite their wildly different backgrounds, are positioned to take advantage of those egos – but it never manages to overcome its weak jokes and tired plot points. Here's hoping that Hathaway eventually finds a filmmaker who leans into her instinct for the grandiose.

Showtimes

Wed., May 22

2:10, 4:55, 7:35, 11:00

Fri., May 24

10:00am, 12:40, 3:30, 6:25, 9:05

Sat., May 25

9:55am, 12:35, 3:40, 6:30, 9:10

Sun., May 26

10:00am, 12:55, 3:50, 6:40, 9:20

Mon., May 27

10:00am, 1:00, 3:55, 6:40, 9:20

Tue., May 28

11:50am, 2:35, 5:30, 8:15, 11:15

Alamo Drafthouse Slaughter Lane

5701 W. Slaughter, 512/861-7060, drafthouse.com/austin/theater/slaughter-lane

Showtimes at this venue are subject to frequent change. Please confirm daily times by phone or website.

Wed., May 22

12:20, 2:20, 5:00, 7:45, 10:25

Barton Creek Square (AMC)

2901 South Capital of Texas Hwy, 512/306-1991, www.amctheatres.com

Matinee discounts available before 4pm daily. Bring Your Baby matinees the first Tuesday of every month.

Wed., May 22

CC/DVS 12:10, 2:30, 4:50, 7:20

Fri., May 24

CC/DVS 10:30am, 1:10, 4:20, 6:50, 9:20

Sat., May 25

CC/DVS 10:30am, 1:10, 4:20, 6:50, 9:20

Sun., May 26

CC/DVS 10:30am, 1:10, 4:20, 6:50, 9:20

Mon., May 27

CC/DVS 10:30am, 1:10, 4:00, 6:50, 9:20

Tue., May 28

CC/DVS 10:30am, 1:10, 4:20, 6:50, 9:20

Cinemark 20 and XD

N. I-35 & FM 1825, 512/989-8535

Cost for 3-D and XD shows is regular ticket price plus a premium.

Wed., May 22

digital 12:15, 2:50, 5:25, 8:00, 10:50

Fri., May 24

digital 10:00am, 12:30, 3:00, 5:40, 8:15, 10:50

Sat., May 25

digital 10:00am, 12:30, 3:00, 5:40, 8:15, 10:50

Sun., May 26

digital 10:00am, 12:30, 3:00, 5:40, 8:15, 10:50

Mon., May 27

digital 10:00am, 12:30, 3:00, 5:40, 8:15, 10:50

Tue., May 28

digital 10:00am, 12:30, 3:00, 5:40, 8:15, 10:50

Cinemark Cedar Park

1335 E. Whitestone, Cedar Park, 800/326-3264

Call theatre for complete list of movies and showtimes.

Wed., May 22

digital 12:00, 2:30, 5:00, 7:30, 10:00

Fri., May 24

digital 9:40am, 12:05, 2:30, 4:55, 7:30, 9:55

Sat., May 25

digital 9:40am, 12:05, 2:30, 4:55, 7:30, 9:55

Sun., May 26

digital 9:40am, 12:05, 2:30, 4:55, 7:30, 9:55

Mon., May 27

digital 9:40am, 12:05, 2:30, 4:55, 7:30, 9:55

Tue., May 28

digital 11:55am, 2:20, 4:55, 7:30, 9:55

Wed., May 22

digital 10:05am, 12:35, 3:05, 5:35, 8:05, 10:35

Fri., May 24

digital 9:55am, 12:25, 2:55, 5:25, 7:55, 10:25

Sat., May 25

digital 9:55am, 12:25, 2:55, 5:25, 7:55, 10:25

Sun., May 26

digital 9:55am, 12:25, 2:55, 5:25, 7:55, 10:25

Mon., May 27

digital 9:55am, 12:25, 2:55, 5:25, 7:55, 10:25

Tue., May 28

digital 9:55am, 12:25, 2:55, 5:25, 7:55, 10:25

Cinemark Round Rock

4401 N. I-35, Round Rock, 800/326-3264

Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium. Call theatre for complete March 26-28 showtimes.

Wed., May 22

digital 11:35am, 2:25, 5:15, 8:05, 10:40

Thu., May 23

digital 11:35am, 2:25

Fri., May 24

digital 11:25am, 2:05, 4:45, 7:25, 10:10

Sat., May 25

digital 11:25am, 2:05, 4:45, 7:25, 10:10

Sun., May 26

digital 11:25am, 2:05, 4:45, 7:25, 10:10

Mon., May 27

digital 11:25am, 2:05, 4:45, 7:25, 10:10

Tue., May 28

digital 11:25am, 2:05, 4:45, 7:25, 10:10

Cinemark Southpark Meadows

9900 S. I-35, 800/326-3264

Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium.

Wed., May 22

digital 10:00am, 12:20, 2:40, 5:00, 7:35, 10:10

Fri., May 24

digital 9:50am, 12:15, 2:35, 4:55, 7:35, 10:10

Sat., May 25

digital 9:50am, 12:15, 2:35, 4:55, 7:35, 10:10

Sun., May 26

digital 9:50am, 12:15, 2:35, 4:55, 7:35, 10:10

Mon., May 27

digital 9:50am, 12:15, 2:35, 4:55, 7:35, 10:10

Tue., May 28

digital 9:50am, 12:15, 2:35, 4:55, 7:35, 10:10

Cinemark Stone Hill Town Center

18820 Hilltop Commercial Dr., 512/251-0938, www.cinemark.com

Wed., May 22

digital 12:30, 2:55, 5:20, 7:45, 10:00

Fri., May 24

digital 10:00am, 12:30, 2:55, 5:20, 7:45, 10:00

Sat., May 25

digital 10:00am, 12:30, 2:55, 5:20, 7:45, 10:00

Sun., May 26

digital 10:00am, 12:30, 2:55, 5:20, 7:45, 10:00

Mon., May 27

digital 10:00am, 12:30, 2:55, 5:20, 7:45, 10:00

Tue., May 28

digital 12:30, 2:55, 5:20, 7:45, 10:00

City Lights Theatre

420 Wolf Ranch Parkway, Georgetown, 512/868-9922

Wed., May 22

1:15, 4:15, 7:15, 9:55

Fri., May 24

10:40am, 1:40, 4:40, 7:40, 10:15

Sat., May 25

10:40am, 1:40, 4:40, 7:40, 10:15

Sun., May 26

1:40, 4:40, 7:40, 10:15

Mon., May 27

1:40, 4:40, 7:40, 10:15

Tue., May 28

1:40, 4:40, 7:40, 10:15

EVO Entertainment

3200 Kyle Crossing, Kyle, 512/523-9009, www.evo-entertainment.com

Wed., May 22

12:20, 2:35, 4:55, 7:25, 9:45

Flix Brewhouse

2200 S. I-35, Round Rock, 512/244-3549, www.flixbrewhouse.com/round-rock

Wed., May 22

CC 11:15am, 4:00, 6:00, 10:30

Thu., May 23

CC 12:00, 3:30, 6:00, 10:30

Fri., May 24

CC 1:30, 3:45, 6:45, 9:30

Sat., May 25

CC 1:30, 3:45, 6:45, 9:30

Sun., May 26

CC 1:30, 3:45, 6:45, 9:30

Mon., May 27

CC 1:30, 3:45, 6:45, 9:30

Tue., May 28

CC 1:00, 3:45, 6:45, 9:30

Galaxy Highland 10

6700 Middle Fiskville, 512/467-7305, www.galaxytheatres.com

No one under 18 will be allowed in the theatre on Friday or Saturday after 7pm without an adult.

Wed., May 22

CC 10:30am, 1:40, 4:15, 7:05, 9:40

Thu., May 23

CC 10:30am, 1:40, 4:15, 7:05, 9:40

Fri., May 24

CC 10:30am, 1:40, 4:15, 7:15, 9:50

Sat., May 25

CC 10:30am, 1:40, 4:15, 7:15, 9:50

Sun., May 26

CC 10:00am, 12:55, 3:30, 7:15, 9:50

Mon., May 27

CC 10:30am, 1:40, 4:15, 7:15, 9:50

Tue., May 28

CC 10:30am, 1:40, 4:15, 7:15, 9:50

Gateway Theatre

9700 Stonelake, 512/416-5700

Discounts daily before 6pm. Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium.

Wed., May 22

CC/DVS 12:10, 2:40, 5:15, 7:50, 10:25

Fri., May 24

CC/DVS 12:05, 2:35, 5:00, 7:50, 10:25

Sat., May 25

CC/DVS 12:05, 2:35, 5:00, 7:50, 10:25

Sun., May 26

CC/DVS 12:05, 2:35, 5:00, 7:50, 10:25

Mon., May 27

CC/DVS 12:05, 2:35, 5:00, 7:50, 10:25

Tue., May 28

CC/DVS 12:05, 2:35, 5:00, 7:50, 10:25

iPic Theaters Austin

3225 Amy Donovan Plaza, 512/568-3400, www.ipic.com

Wed., May 22

1:30, 4:30, 10:30

Fri., May 24

11:15am, 3:00, 6:30, 11:00

Sat., May 25

11:15am, 3:00, 6:30, 11:00

Sun., May 26

11:30am, 3:00, 6:30, 11:00

Mon., May 27

11:15am, 3:00, 6:30, 11:00

Tue., May 28

11:15am, 3:00, 6:30, 11:00

AMC Lakeline 9

11200 Lakeline Mall Dr., Cedar Park, 512/335-4793

Discounts daily before 6pm.

Wed., May 22

CC/DVS 3:00, 5:30, 8:15

Fri., May 24

CC/DVS 1:45, 5:45, 8:15, 10:45

Sat., May 25

CC/DVS 11:15am, 1:45, 5:45, 8:15, 10:45

Sun., May 26

CC/DVS 11:15am, 1:45, 5:45, 8:15

Mon., May 27

CC/DVS 12:15, 2:45, 5:30, 8:15

Tue., May 28

CC/DVS 4:00, 7:50

Metropolitan

901 Little Texas, 512/447-0101

Discounts daily before 6pm. Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium.

Wed., May 22

CC/DVS 11:00am, 3:05, 5:30, 8:10, 10:40

Thu., May 23

CC/DVS 11:00am, 3:05, 5:30, 8:10, 10:40

Moviehouse & Eatery

8300 N. FM 620, Bldg. B, 512/501-3520, www.themoviehouse.com/trails/

Wed., May 22

11:30am, 2:25, 5:15, 8:00, 10:45

Thu., May 23

11:30am, 2:25, 5:15, 8:00, 10:45

Fri., May 24

10:00am, 3:20, 5:15, 8:00, 10:45

Sat., May 25

10:00am, 3:20, 5:15, 8:00, 10:45

Sun., May 26

10:00am, 3:20, 5:15, 8:00, 10:45

Mon., May 27

10:00am, 3:20, 5:15, 8:00, 10:45

Tue., May 28

10:00am, 3:20, 5:15, 8:00, 10:45

Moviehouse & Eatery - Lantana Place

7415 Southwest Parkway, Building 7, 512/572-0770, www.themoviehouse.com/lantana/

Wed., May 22

1:25, 4:40, 7:30, 10:50

Thu., May 23

1:25, 4:40, 7:30, 10:50

Fri., May 24

10:00am, 5:10, 8:00, 11:20

Sat., May 25

10:00am, 5:10, 8:00, 11:20

Sun., May 26

10:00am, 5:10, 8:00, 11:20

Mon., May 27

10:00am, 5:10, 8:00, 11:20

Tue., May 28

10:00am, 5:10, 8:00, 11:20

ShowBiz Cinemas 8 Marble Falls

2600 Hwy 281 North, Marble Falls

Call theatre for August 22-23 showtimes.

Wed., May 22

1:30, 4:40, 7:30

Thu., May 23

1:30, 4:40

Sky Cinemas

13201 US-290, 512/457-0700, www.skycinemas.com

Wed., May 22

12:00, 2:15, 7:30, 9:45

Fri., May 24

10:30am, 12:45, 3:00, 5:15, 7:30, 9:45

Sat., May 25

10:30am, 12:45, 3:00, 5:15, 7:30, 9:45

Sun., May 26

10:30am, 12:45, 3:00, 5:15, 7:30, 9:45

Mon., May 27

10:30am, 12:45, 3:00, 5:15, 7:30, 9:45

Tue., May 28

11:00am, 12:15, 2:30, 4:45, 7:00, 9:15

Starplex 12 San Marcos

1250 Wonder World Drive, San Marcos, 512/805-8000

Wed., May 22

11:45am, 2:15, 4:45, 7:15, 9:45

Thu., May 23

11:45am, 2:15, 4:45, 7:15, 9:45

Fri., May 24

11:15am, 1:40, 4:05, 6:30, 9:00

Sat., May 25

11:15am, 1:40, 4:05, 6:30, 9:00

Sun., May 26

11:15am, 1:40, 4:05, 6:30, 9:00

Mon., May 27

12:00, 2:20, 4:40, 7:00, 9:30

Tue., May 28

12:00, 2:20, 4:40, 7:00, 9:30

Westgate 11

4477 S. Lamar, 512/899-2717

Discounts daily before 6pm. Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium.

Wed., May 22

CC/DVS 11:10am, 1:25, 5:15, 7:45, 9:30

Thu., May 23

CC/DVS 11:10am, 1:25, 4:45, 7:15, 10:20

Fri., May 24

CC/DVS 10:15am, 1:30, 3:45, 6:00, 8:25

Sat., May 25

CC/DVS 10:15am, 1:30, 3:45, 6:00, 8:25

Sun., May 26

CC/DVS 11:15am, 1:30, 3:45, 6:00, 8:25

Mon., May 27

CC/DVS 11:15am, 1:30, 3:45, 6:00, 8:25

Tue., May 28

CC/DVS 11:15am, 1:30, 3:45, 6:00, 8:15

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS FILM

The Hustle, Chris Addison, Anne Hathaway, Rebel Wilson, Tim Blake Nelson

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