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The Hustle Movie Review – Great Chemistry, Predictable Story

Rebel Wilson and Anne Hathaway make a great con-woman team.

Reviewed by on May 10, 2019
Rating: 3 Star Rating

Kidzworld reviews The Hustle which pits posh Anne Hathaway against down and dirty Rebel Wilson as rival con-women. The women have great acting chemistry but the story’s major secret is easy to guess. Read our movie review!

By: Lynn Barker

In The Hustle, smalltime con-woman Penny (Rebel Wilson) talks men in bars out of money by working an “I have a really hot sister who needs financial help” angle. Meanwhile, in the south of France, very classy, posh con-woman Jo (Anne Hathaway) and her two associates con a man in a fancy casino out of a diamond bracelet. After watching Penny at work on a train, Jo learns that this rival is going to work scams in her territory. This won’t do! Jo works a con that lands Penny in jail. When Penny learns the truth, she threatens to expose Jo to the authorities. They work together successfully and eventually compete to con the same mark. He’s Thomas (Alex Sharp) an innocent internet tech millionaire. Who will get his money first?

The Hustle Movie Trailer


Will Penny successfully con Thomas?Will Penny successfully con Thomas?Courtesy of MGM

Different Styles

In the states, small-time con-woman Penny cons a man waiting for a hot blind date into giving her $500 for her “sister’s” boob-job.

Penny tells a mark she needs money for her hot sisterPenny tells a mark she needs money for her hot sisterCourtesy of MGM

In France, upscale con-woman Jo and her two associates con a man out of five hundred thousand dollar bracelet.  Later, on a European train, Jo watches Penny con a guy to get a free meal and use her “hot sister” ploy successfully. When she learns that Penny is going to try to operate in her territory, she decides she must get rid of her. During Penny’s new con in France, Jo’s associate, pretending to be a cop, is able to tell the mark what’s going on and Penny ends up in jail. Jo comes to the “rescue” and gets her released but Penny learns she was conned and comes back to get even.

Jo tries to get Penny to leave her territoryJo tries to get Penny to leave her territoryCourtesy of MGM

Reluctant Partner

When invading Jo’s mansion by the sea, Penny threatens to turn her over to the authorities unless Jo teaches her everything she knows. After some funny but successful schooling, the two team up in a crazy con in which Penny “plays” Jo’s completely crazy sister. It works several times but Jo refuses to give Penny her cut of the take saying she’s not ready. Penny walks out but, on a plane back home, meets a man who Jo conned and realizes she was trying to get rid of Penny. She returns to Europe and messes up one of Jo’s posh hotel cons. It’s a turf war! The two decide to compete by trying to con the same man out of $500,000. Whoever does so first, wins the territory. Their mark? Thomas, a cute and innocent-seeming tech millionaire at the hotel.

Penny wants Jo to teach her the fancy con gamePenny wants Jo to teach her the fancy con gameCourtesy of MGM

Blind Girl

Penny seems to be winning the bet by pretending to be a blind girl. Thomas really falls for her act until Jo pretends to be a psychiatrist who can cure the girl’s blindness. Thomas really seems to be into Penny’s fake blind girl. She starts feeling sorry for him and is attracted. Jo sees this and moves in with her own planned seduction.

Jo tries to seduce ThomasJo tries to seduce ThomasCourtesy of MGM

Will Penny back off and end the bet or stick with her con? Who will win? Is Thomas even who he seems?

Penny pretends to be blindPenny pretends to be blindCourtesy of MGM

Wrapping Up

The Hustle is a gender-bending remake of the popular 1988 comedy classic Dirty Rotten Scoundrels starring Michael Caine and Steve Martin. A lot changes with women in the lead parts and Rebel and Anne have great acting chemistry making the humor “real” and keeping it rolling along nicely. We hope they make another movie together.

Penny threatens to expose Jo as a con-womanPenny threatens to expose Jo as a con-womanCourtesy of MGM

However, if you aren’t familiar with the earlier film and most teens and tweens certainly aren’t, it is too easy to guess the secret of who is really conning who as the story progresses. Also, laughs are uneven. Sure, many are provided by Rebel’s great physical comedy and she comes up with some hilarious verbal banter as well but, on the minus side, a whole section of the movie is devoted to several cons in which Rebel’s character Penny plays a totally mad sister in costume to Anne’s character Jo’s gorgeous Brit.. It goes on far too long and wasn’t all that funny the first time around. A few other comedic attempts fail.

Jo poses as a psychiatristJo poses as a psychiatristCourtesy of MGM

We did enjoy the two con-women’s differing styles and eventual friendship. Rebel and Anne’s antics together really work so well that, despite the film’s flaws, we can award 3 stars.

The Hustle Movie Review: 3

The Hustle Movie PosterCourtesy of MGM

See The Hustle in theaters now.

Write Down Your Opinion!

Are you a fan of Anne Hathaway or Rebel Wilson? What do you like about each actress? Do you like funny movies that star women? Do you like con-game films? Let everyone know this and more with a comment or write about it on your Kidzworld profile page!