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on September 1, 2015
I was not familiar with Jordan Belfort (the guy the movie's based on) before watching it.
I've seen most of DiCaprio's work and this is an encyclopedic showcase of what he is capable of as an actor. This isn't his best film, but it's one of his best performances.
Some sequences are uproariously funny. Truly. Uproarious.
I can see why it did not get the over the top accolades that the "best" films tend to get. Something is lacking about the narrative and the character arcs. There's no deep emotional underpinning, or overarching message. But it has an Olvier Stone-esque quality of cinematic fireworks. And thanks to DiCaprio's virtuosic acting and Scorcese's manic, masterful directing, I couldn't wait to see what happened next.
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on December 7, 2017
Probably one of my favorite recent movies. Although it is loosely based on Jordan Belfort actual experiences. It has a nice Hollywood twist, DiCaprio plays Belfort marvelously. This movie does have alot of F words in it, I think holding the record at 516 or an average of 3.16 per minute. This movie is NOT for people who are easily offended by cussing, sex, or drugs. This movie is great to watch with the guys!
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on March 11, 2015
This movie may be fictional, or may be based on an actual person, but most likely is a composite of many of the Wall Street Wizards that are experts at moving money from your pocket to theirs with every time you change anything, and they instigate the changes and collect the commission. The good news is that the Security and Exchange Commission supervises this process to ensure their cut of the profits. Another fine example of your government at work to protect you from making bad mistakes. Why not let the professionals make the mistakes for you and blame it on the market changes which they created.

This is a good look inside some of the darker parts of the world of finance. Everyone how plans to save more than a dollar should see it, but should learn to recognize the types of operators and general practices, not the flamboyant Hollywood treatment of the story and characters. It is far worse in real life. See Trading Places movie for another viewpoint of the world of finance.

The scary part is the fact that this kind of activity exists every day. And the small investor will loose every time because the financial world is too big to fail. So dig deep to pay for overpriced tickets to see the scoundrels in action. But like when in Las Vegas or Hollywood, keep some money in a different pocket just in case....
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on June 24, 2014
Disclaimer: I turned off after hour two, planning to resume later but never did...
This film at 3 hours long could have been much more sophisticated with better character development. The first two hours were essentially like watching a National Lampoons movie about a frat house, except the characters are rich and the acting is better.

Main character played by DiCaprio starts out a "good guy". Rather than exploiting the 3-hours to show a gradual evolution from straight-laced over-achiever to maniacal, sex- and drug-obsessed white collar criminal, the film simply jettisons the character from the former to the latter, so the audience doesn't get a chance to feel bad for him, or to fondly remember what he used to be, or to think of him as the product of his environment, instead he's just another punk who's gotten rich by stepping on other people.

I think the director wants us to like or at least pity this character, but it's hard to when he is so one-dimensional.

Also it seemed to also be trying to mix in a mob theme at times but this was inconsistent. There were times when I felt like I was watching a present-day Casino or Good Fellas, but it was missing the substance that both those films had, and the conflict of simultaneously liking and despising the characters.

So why, might you ask, am I giving this film 3-stars? For one, I didn't watch the last hour and will give it the benefit of the doubt that it would have regained my interest at some point. Two, acting was very good all around. Three, it made me chuckle multiple times. Four, it didn't try to be politically correct.
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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.
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on April 30, 2014
This is a good movie, it's not slow by any means, although I think 3 hour movies are a little self indulgent on the part of those creating it. It's like a 5 page resume. No more explanation required. People have brains and I think a lot of what people remember from movies is what they imagined rather than what they saw. I see this all the time when someone is describing a great scene and interjecting their "inferences" into it. The movie could have been shorter and wouldn't have lost much.

But I digress. The move is great. But the over the top partying scenes are exaggerated. Even Def Leppard during their hayday when they had groupies giving them bj's under the stage during the drum solo couldn't aspire to the level of mayhem depicted in some of those scenes. I'm sure there was a lot of cheering and clapping when Jordan was giving speaches, and I'm sure there was a lot of cocaine floating around the office, but I just couldn't help but get the sense that the filmmaker was trying to embellish the partying and drunken debauchery just a bit to drive the point home. We get it. They made craploads of money and snorted a lot of cocaine.

But aside from that, without knowing the actual story of Jordan Belfort, I can't say if anything else is over-embellished or just plain made up. It was a fun movie to watch. Leonardo is and will always be one of my favorite actors. But It's almost creepy how this movie and another of his latest movies - The Great Gatsby - both depict ridiculously over the top "party like there's a gun to your head" scenes. If I were Leo, I'd watch out for being associated with disingenuous tales.

Jerry Boutot
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on January 25, 2016
Wolf of Wall Street is a raucous, and at times hilarious movie about greed and excess. I don't regret watching it, but it is a serious commitment, clocking in at just under 3 hours, and featuring non-stop self-indulgent behavior to the point of tediousness. I feel as though the movie could have been closer to 2 hours if Scorsese and Leo cut down on the scenes of extended dialogue between the Queens buddies. I feel that these particular scenes were hilarious to make - my guess is that Scorsese let Leo, Hill, and the others improv the hilariously vile dialogue - but I still felt that they always dragged on a bit too long. I do appreciate Scorsese's attempt at making a sort of "Grand Tour of Excess", and I did enjoy watching this, but probably won't watch it again.
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on March 7, 2016
I'll say it: Martin Scorsese can sometimes be an onverly indulgent director. Though the worst of his movies often can start strong, the narratives can tend to meander. The Wolf of Wall Street is not one of those movies. One of the better paced Scorcese movies, this one starts fast and finishes hard. I laughed the whole way. Beautifully shot and perfectly editted. (Don't miss the effects reel. There were immaculate CGI elements throughout the whole film that you didn't realize were there.) Watch this one if you're in the mood for something juvenile and crass -- at least as far as the charachters go, because the movie is anything but. This movie would be a fun farce except for the fact that the events it depicts mostly happened in the real world.
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on May 1, 2017
I only put 4/5 stars because ...Disc was in great condition since it was bought new that's how I figured it should arrive... but the case wasn't in the best condition for it to be classified as new...
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on July 6, 2015
Those who rated this movie poorly were put off by its ribald, scurrilous language and unsavory characters. These stockbrokers, more like charlatans, were opportunist and exploited their clients because of their own avarice and greed. Most would not condone such ruthless and unscrupulous behavior, and they expressed their disapproval through a 1 star review, skewering the messenger. However, this parody or caricature was based on true events that actually happened. It's telling the story as it was. What I'd give to be in DiCaprio's sumptuous shoes without going rogue or gaminerie! His cache of status symbols included a Lamborghini and a yacht that showcased him to be a profligate. At three hours, it was a little too long, protracted, and overwrought in some scenes. I much prefer Scorsese's vogue and au courant rendition to the insipid and passe "Wall Street" with Michael Douglas and Charlie Sheen.
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