Hustlers is a 2019 American crime drama film written and directed by Lorene Scafaria, based on New York magazine’s 2015 article “The Hustlers at Scores” by Jessica Pressler. The film stars Constance Wu, Jennifer Lopez, Julia Stiles, Keke Palmer, Lili Reinhart, Lizzo, and Cardi B, and follows the story of a group of strippers who begin to embezzle money from stock traders and CEOs who visit their club.
The film had its world premiere on September 7, 2019, at the Toronto International Film Festival, and is scheduled to be theatrically released in the United States on September 13, 2019, by STXfilms. It received positive reviews from critics, with particular praise for Lopez’s performance.
The story centers around a group of strippers in New York City, led by an ambitious single mother, as they lie, steal, and hustle dozens of wealthy men when the sex industry bottoms out during the late-2000s financial crisis. A journalist covering the story for a magazine interviews one of the ringleaders and tries to figure out where it all went wrong.
On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 89% based on 55 reviews, with an average rating of 7.78/10. The site’s critical consensus reads: “Led by a career-best performance from Jennifer Lopez, Hustlers is a uniquely empowering heist drama with depth and intelligence to match its striking visual appeal.”
On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 80 out of 100, based on 20 critics, indicating “generally favorable reviews”.
Kate Erbland of IndieWire gave the film a “A-“, calling it “funny, empowering, sexy, emotional, and a bit scary” and saying that the “Oscar chatter for Jennifer Lopez’s revelatory, nuanced, and emotional turn as a brilliant con artist and better exotic dancer is no joke.”
Variety’s Peter DeBruge wrote: “Flashy, fleshy and all-around impossible to ignore, Hustlers amounts to nothing less than a cultural moment, inspired by an outrageous New York Magazine profile…adapted by writer-director Lorene Scafaria at her most Scorsese, and starring Jennifer Lopez like you’ve never seen her before.”
Justin Chang, writing for the Los Angeles Times, called the film “brassy and invigorating” and wrote “…Scafaria’s clear-eyed grasp of that distinction that makes Hustlers more than just a girls-gone-wild cautionary tale, a peekaboo parade or a hypocritical amalgam of the two. The movie’s empathy for its leads and its wholly justified rage against the architects of financial collapse is held in check by the knowledge that every hustle has its collateral damage.”