Jennifer Lopez gives an assured and charismatic performance in “Hustlers,” the true story of some Manhattan strippers who, during the financial crisis of 2008, began drugging and ripping off their Wall Street clients. Constance Wu plays a stripping newbie J-Lo takes under her wing. The ethics of this female empowerment story are dubious, but “Hustlers” takes an appropriately cynical stab at our money mad culture.
“Official Secrets” is a taut true-life thriller about an incident that occurred in Britain during the leadup to the 2003 Gulf War. Keira Knightly plays an intelligence specialist who leaks a classified document which could have proven that the invasion of Iraq in was illegal. Ralph Fiennes plays her lawyer. The actors are fine and ethical questions are intriguing even though the movie’s pacing falls short.
Documentary filmmaking firebrand Morgan Spurlock is back skewering the fast food industry in “Super Size Me 2: Holy Chicken!” This time, he sets out to open his own fried chicken franchise and raise his own poultry, exposing some of the more outrageous and unsettling aspects of the industry’s farming and marketing methods. It serves up a spicy combo of information, humor and outrage.
“Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice” is a very entertaining documentary that allows the pop music icon to tell her own story as well as providing insight from a number of people who were an integral part of her remarkable career. While it doesn’t delve too deeply, it’s still involving overview packed with terrific music.
Also opening this week, “Freaks” is a sci-fi thriller with Emile Hirsch. “The Goldfinch” is a thriller based on the bestselling novel. Teen gangs battle one another after all adults have perished in the thriller, “Riot Girls.” “Fiddler: Miracle of Miracles” is a documentary about the classic Broadway musical, “Fiddler on the Roof.”