Disappointing Cons: ‘The Hustle’ Fails to Meet ‘The Movie Grader’s’ Standards

Grade: F

Author: Billy Madden

‘The Movie Grader’ doles out an ‘F’ to The Hustle, a film that failed to live up to my fondness for con artist movies. Stellar examples like 21, Trading Places, and the unbeatable Dirty Rotten Scoundrels promise an exciting payoff and hearty laughs. But The Hustle fell short.

While Anne Hathaway and Rebel Wilson may seem like a promising comedic duo on paper, the on-screen chemistry did not measure up, Hathaway delivered a solid performance, adopting multiple personas with fitting accents, but Wilson’s attempt fell flat.

The film’s premise circles Wilson’s character aspiring to join Hathaway’s circle of con artists. As a con artist, movie fan, and follower of Hathaway, I anticipated a rollicking 93 minutes. Alas, I found myself struggling to stay engaged.

Humor is scattered thinly throughout, mostly recycled jokes hinting at lazy writing. It’s hard to laugh at overdone, cheap humor. The film’s true highlights were the scenic French Riviera vistas, outlandish hotels, and the duo’s high-fashion wardrobes. This opulent backdrop created a facade of sophistication, starkly contrasting the film’s lackluster content.

Regrettably, the real con was not in the movie but in the viewers. The marketing team brilliantly swindled us into expecting a non-stop laughter fest.

If you’ve had your fill of a disappointing Hustle, return to a sure bet: give Dirty Rotten Scoundrels another watch. Its charm remains undiminished for me, even after countless viewings!


Josephine Chesterfield is a glamorous, seductive British woman with a penchant for defrauding gullible men from their money. Into her well-ordered, meticulous world comes Penny Rust, a cunning and fun-loving Australian woman who lives to swindle unsuspecting marks. Despite their different methods, the two grifters soon join forces for the ultimate score — a young and naive tech billionaire in the South of France.

  • Rating: PG-13 (Language|Crude Sexual Content)
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Original Language: English
  • Director: Chris Addison
  • Producer: Roger BirnbaumRebel Wilson
  • Writer: Jac Schaeffer
  • Release Date (Theaters): May 10, 2019, Wide
  • Runtime: 1h 34m
  • Distributor: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
  • Production Co: Camp Sugar, Cave 76
  • Aspect Ratio: Scope (2.35:1)

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