Nine Things about “The Wolf of Wall Street”
1. This is a raunchy, foul-mouthed tale of American greed based on the memoirs of Jordan Belfort, a stockbroker convicted of market manipulation.
2. I think this movie contains more drugs, sex, and swearing than all the other movies I saw this year put together. Of course it’s gratuitous – this guy’s whole lifestyle was gratuitous. So it works.
3. This movie is also an acidly funny satire on Wall Street.
4. Leonardo DiCaprio stars as Jordan, a money-hungry young man with more ambition than brains.
5. Jordan hires his knucklehead weed dealer friends to start a small semi-legal stockbroker firm. As they get more successful, they get less legal.
6. DiCaprio has always been an excellent actor – but this may be his best performance ever. And Jonah Hill is also great as the douchebag friend.
7. Jordan’s schemes were complicated and hard to understand for us regular folk, but the movie does a good job of dumbing it down – mostly by telling us that all we need to know is that he’s doing really illegal things.
8. The scene where Jordan overdoses on Quaaludes is a minor masterpiece of physical comedy and is one of the single best scenes of the year. I didn’t know DiCaprio had it in him.
9. The movie is three hours long, so, like the stock market, this movie is an investment of your time. But it’s worth it.
on February 17, 2014
I think the treatment of this film is very unfair.
Yes, the film is vulgar, it is shocking, and it is offensive, but guess what......so are the characters. They are greedy, morally reprehensible characters, but this film does not reward them. In this film, they are the butt of the joke. A very angry joke. If you can't see that, and only see the cussing, the drug use, and the sex, then maybe this is not a film for you. I found it wildly funny, and I for one am happy Mr. Belfort, while not dismissing the film, is unhappy with various ways in which he was depicted (even though he still tries to get publicity from it). Unlike the system, this film does not let him off the hook.
I do think it's fair to say this film should be NC 17 though. How it got an R, I'll never know. That being said, any ad or poster for this film clearly states the following: This movie is rated R for "sequences of strong sexual content, graphic nudity, drug use and language throughout, and for some violence." If you like angry, bitter satire, give it a shot. If you are part of the easily offended, and can't tolerate any of the content listed above, then do us all a favor, and don't watch. Don't even try. Don't put it on , only to take it out after an hour or less, and get on the website to write a review. If you can't watch the whole film, don't write a review. No one is brilliant enough to watch an hour or less of a 3 hour movie and completely judge it.
Had to chime a review because there are tons of people out there who just don't get it.
on March 30, 2014
Not for the faint of heart by any means. DiCaprio and Hill are amazing in this film. Throughout the film my husband and I were laughing out loud over the sheer ridiculousness and over the top-ness of the characters' behavior. We have sick senses of humor but you just can't help it with some of the conversations with these guys.
While I thought it was a little long at 3 hours but that's my only gripe. For those who have given 1 or 2 stars because it's "porn" and non-stop debauchery- THAT'S THE WHOLE POINT! This movie wasn't created to make you actually LIKE these people, it's to show how greed, fortune, and success completely warps your morality and sense of self so far from what is "normal" that it's vile, disgusting, and corrupt. As the film goes on you can see the progression (or regression) of the characters. Think of it like Lord of the Flies- your perception of reality and right and wrong will warp based on your surroundings. About 2/3rds of the way into the film, DiCaprio says something along the lines of "Of course this is disgusting and wrong to the normal person. But we're not normal people and in our world we only want more at any cost."
If you've ever seen "The Smartest Guys in the Room" (the documentary on Enron), it hints at a lot of this type of behavior that is actually shown (rather than implied) in "Wolf of Wall Street." There's no warm up or "easing into" the raucous of this film, if you're offended in the first 5 minutes then you probably should turn it off. But don't just rate it low based on the first 5 minutes, you sissy. And FFS, don't let the kids watch this. I've known folks who have worked in the financial industry and even off of Wall Street they have described that the behavior in the film is common place (the term they used was, "you're compensated in hookers & blow"). That pretty much sums it up and this film is true to that.
Overall, I thought the film was fantastic. You have to look beyond what they're showing on the surface to truly appreciate it. The performances were well done and had Jordan Belfort not made a few missteps due to greed, he probably would not have been busted at all.
on March 1, 2014
Director Martin Scorsese’s ongoing collaboration with actor Leonardo DiCaprio has yielded highly entertaining, prestigious films (The Departed, The Aviator). Their latest venture is the true, astonishing tale of Wall Street crook Jordan Belfort whose appetites for money, sex and drugs are a detailed observation on greed and temptation.
An eager, young executive, Jordan Belfort (Leonardo DiCaprio), experiences the Wall Street disaster of 1987 which wipes out investors and costs him a job. Anxious to bounce back, he discovers the art of selling unregulated penny stocks and starts his own brokerage. Soon he is making a lot of money often at the expense of low income earners but also wealthy clients, and with the help of some cronies including new follower, Donnie Azoff (Jonah Hill), begins to expand exponentially into a major force in the financial world. The emotional stress and pressure heighten his need for women, sex, drugs and then drugs upon drugs. As his excessive lifestyle spirals out of control, the FBI and Securities and Exchange Commission begin investigating his company’s illegal activities that signals the beginning of the end.
DiCaprio (Inception) gives his all as the out-of-control executive whose wealth is surpassed only by his defiance and greed. It is interesting to contrast his younger, innocent broker with his later, drug addicted shark. With maniacal fervor, he inspires and rallies a company’s corporate culture. You are mesmerized by his bold, flamboyant salesman and yet, you look for any semblance of redeeming qualities. In a sense, Jordan is a metaphor for our corporate society’s love of money and its ultimate corruption.
Hill (Moneyball) really shows a good range as Belfort’s second in command. Can this be the same Jonah Hill who had a supporting role in Knocked Up? Matthew McConaughey has a memorable supporting role as a mentor to Belfort, and their scene together at a rooftop restaurant where McConaughey shows a ritual of self motivation is a hoot.
Margot Robbie is well cast as the beautiful woman who captures Jordan’s heart and more. Rob Reiner has an amusing supporting role as Jordan’s dad who sees the company as a sinking ship. In fact two other directors, Jon Favreau and Spike Jonze, have bit parts or cameos. Playing an FBI agent, Kyle Chandler, who has become the go-to actor for government types, is a good foil in his scenes with Jordan aboard a yacht.
There are some memorable vignettes such as the outrageous attempts to smuggle millions in cash to Europe, the crazy office parties, and an especially hilariously pathetic attempt by Jordan to drive home at the same moment he has a very bad drug reaction. When the justice system corners him, Jordan faces a decision not unlike the protagonist in Prince of the City. You know how this is going to go down, and when it does, it is an astonishing reversal of fortune.
At three hours, it is constantly engaging and well paced from start to finish courtesy of veteran editor Thelma Schoonmaker. The sweeping camera shots and rapid cuts show Scorsese at the top of his craft. He tells much of the film through DiCaprio as narrator and voiceover. In fact much of this film will remind you of the style and structure of his Good Fellas and Casino, and the ending recalls another Scorsese classic, The King of Comedy.
Make no mistake, despite excellent performances and a strong narrative, this film has scenes that are bordering on NC17; some scenes are so over the top in suggestiveness and explicitness that it would be hard to believe if it wasn’t true. The film’s depictions may lead some to question the filmmakers’ intent, but Scorsese, without passing judgment, wanted to honestly show greed and power at its worst in the boardroom and the bedroom. Consider The Wolf of Wall Street as a supremely effective, cautionary tale of abuse of wealth at a time when such behavior flourished unchecked. You might not like the passengers on this flight, but it is a fascinating ride.
on July 11, 2015
I met Jordan Belfort at a conference I was attending at which he was one of the speakers and I have a signed copy of 'The Wolf.." I do not think I would have found this story/movie all that interesting if I had not met him and read the book-which is a good/entertaining read. The book actually details more of his shenanigans and people that he hurt. I will say that he "seems" contrite and it is a fact that profits from both the book and the movie are directed to restitution for the victims-but I really don't know how that all works out in real life. Although he is interesting-he is hardly a sympathetic character.
This movie is entertaining in the way that action flicks are entertaining. The actress that plays "The Duchess" is the very definition of HOT. The graphic debauchery is well presented and entertaining much like the the action segments of an "Arnold" flick. However this movie is 3 hours long and I became fatigued and it all started to run together. One inside note is that Belfort himself appears in the movie-in the last scene he introduces his character to a crowd attending a sales seminar. There is plenty of shock and awe and a great deal of humor and that is the appeal
on July 5, 2015
Well, what can I say, Scorsese is a master filmmaker whose films always offer something extraordinary in style, if not necessarily in content. The story is a familiar rehash of a few others like it about the evils of the financial industry since Oliver Stone's "Wall Street" and his narrative is a lot like "Good Fellows"; the voiceover narration, the development of the main character, and how he gets his comeuppance. I've seen the movie now three times from beginning to end and every time it feels like it should have ended twenty or thirty minutes earlier but it just kept on going like the Energizer Bunny. However, I just go with it every time because Jonah Hill's performance is truly his best that I've seen and DiCaprio holds his own. I would recommend the movie simply because it's well made in every aspect except story originality, but then again it's been a while since I saw a movie with an original storyline.
on July 25, 2015
While the movie was riveting, and gave me plenty of food for thought about Wall Street and all the shenanigans that go on there, I felt some of the scenes were excessive and pandering. Did we need Leonardo and team in so many gratuitous sex scenes? Were all the histrionics necessary? Sure, the author said things were a lot worse, and I shudder to think about that, but the basic premise of excess and greed was showcased very well; watching the wolf in action was more than enough and well presented by Leo's fine acting. Some of the minor characters and obscene scenes were distracting. I'd invite everyone who has investments to take a look and think carefully about their brokerage relationships again. Are you being cared for or creamed? Worth a watch!
on February 17, 2016
This film is based on life story that actually happened, decades prior to anyone watching this film. Machiavellian stuff happened long before they made a film about it. It is both a palatable and garrish hollywood treatment of the topic, it almost feels like John Hughes feel-good in a couple of places.
I feel this film points out the odd edges to our American dream. And the selling the dream to people who don't want to or don't know how to work for it, is destined for corruption. I enjoyed the philosophical side of this film. Was it simultaneously titillating and boring? Yes. A consequence of this lifestyle based primarily on decadence. Is it seductive? Yes. Will some people not see past this? Yes Can it help an individual clarify what what they desire to do apart from doing well? Yes.
It's a tale of a collapsing (or re-shaping) an empire, and one that doesn't endow it's own cultural morality and values within capital resources. Often times the enforcement or driver of value creation can be feeding the problem that swiftly becomes a political abyss. One could also argue only the new guys got caught. The old players know their way around this hand and the government. (a.k.a. Chase Manhattan acquiring WaMu).
Very rarely does the market add value. It adds capital, inflating or deflating varying attempts of value creation. A seductive usury with uncertain terms. Betting. We bet everyday on what neighborhood to live in, what schools will work out for our children, what career or position to take. The investor only loses money. Frequently stockholders dismantle and short-sale value in companies to keep high investment returns. Often they invest in something they believe in but it doesn't have the right stuff. Sometimes they sack a bunch of corporate freeloaders, or endorse them.
The market for companies can be a necessary evil to raise capital, often necessary for continuation or expansion of a business. Or to create wealth reward. Sometimes going public is selling a piece of your heart to keep your sells (excuse me) cells alive. Add middle-men who work in greed and numbers, it's downhill from there. The system lends itself to be predatory, to me that is the point of the film.
(completely agree with the comments regarding editing out 30 minutes.. numbed my caring about major events, towards end of the film).
Look at our country and many other organizations. You will see there are those who create real value for people be through business or through well managed organization of non-profit resources, this takes skill, learning, and hard work. Then there are those who scam their way to the top adding no value and cannibalizing for their personal gain. I've seen this equally in business and non-profits and social institutions alike (think schools, prisons, government). There are often blends in this behavior, people who are good at one thing, but then fake everything else.
If it's advantageous to be corrupt, without a strong cultural structure to and awareness how to live by other values, then sadly it follows, there will be corruption. This is pointed this out at the beginning of the film when setting their moral compass in discussing basic premises, are most people are motivated entirely by money? This is when an Amish furniture maker and Buddhist are mentioned as a counter-point.
on August 28, 2015
SERIOUSLY misunderstood. YES theres obscene amounts of drugs sex and obnoxious characters but this film on a deeper level is so much more. The ending made me feel ripped off but when i sat and thought about it, it was a perfect ending. The man they called "Wolfy" is what some would call a genius in his own right. This movie is filled with abstract thought provoking undertones and adds a sense of gritty realism. The story is centered around the main DiCaprio's character and his DEVELOPMENT. Folks who watched this movie please think about this. What kind of man was Jordan Belfort at the beginning of the film compared to the end? Bring in money, power, fame, drugs, and what comes of him? It all started with his talent, a rare ability at that. The ability not only to sell, but get into minds PERSUADE, MANIPULATE individuals, and convert, control, and rally even crowds. Jordan's ability to do this for himself AND teach others to do the same is amazing and is a skill certainly overlooked and envied by many.
This film is indeed about drugs, boobs, and inappropriateness; but its also the story of an innocent young hopeful with a gift, determined to make his dreams reality. whilst bombarded by the numerous vices that come with success. and it all started with his simple talent in sales. The movie ends as it does to show that "genius" is not only academic; and out of the many that want to do what Jordan can, only few are truly capable. When watching this movie, enjoy it but do not forget where and what started it all.
on January 25, 2016
I am only giving this movie 5 stars because of the incredible acting of all of the people involved in the making this movie. I would give it 1 star if I based it on the sex, drugs, and the language, because all of these actions are Horrible.The acting is Unbelievable and Wrenching at the same time. This movie is 3 hours long and it took us 2 nights to watch it. The acting is so good that it keeps you engaged just to see what happens next, but it is Stressful and Ugly. All of the actors played their parts very well and they were well selected to play their respective portrayals. This is based on a True Story, we kept saying to each other. If this is what really happens on Wall Street we are Doomed.
The drugs, the sex scenes, and the language are just incredibly dis-tasteful. The movie very much shows what Money, Power and Drugs can do to people. They talk about drugs that I never never heard of, but then I don't drink coffee, because of the drug that is within. This movie is very, very abusive to Women, in every way it can be.
The lack of Morals, shown in this movie, are probably as low as anyone can possibly go. The Writer and the Producer claim that this movie is based on a True Story. I am reasonably certain that there is a lot of Hollywood added to this movie, to increase the intensity of the story. This movie is rated R but I give it XXX because of, drugs, sex, nudity and language. The F word is used continuously. If you have a Loved one and you are trying to keep them away from drugs, then show them this movie and the end result, better think again.
Would I recommend this movie, well only to certain people. There are some humorous parts.