The go-anywhere mind of David O. Russell takes us into the late 1970s, a world of huge collars and bad hair. Although there’s no denying how incredibly freakin’ cool American Hustle is, it does from time to time trip over its many absurdities. Much in the way Boogie Nights winked to the crowd about its idiotic characters, American Hustle takes aim at an actual congressional corruption scandal, but does so as a double-barreled comedy on Red Bull. So yes, this is one of the best times at the movies this year but it may not be one of the very best movies of the year. Kudos all around to the cast – Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, and Jeremy Renner – because they’re a big part of the fun. It’s just worth wondering how great this could have been if Russell took a more serious approach to it.