“Hustlers” is the feel-good movie no one saw coming

Jocelyn Sandusky, Reporter

“Hustlers” is so much more than a J.Lo stripper movie.

Directed by Lorene Scafarcia, the film retells the true story of a group of exotic dancers who drug men and steal their financial information following the 2008 financial crash.

Jennifer Lopez stars as the ring leader and motherly figure, Ramona Vega. In the wake of the financial crisis, Vega feels her lavish lifestyle slipping away and concocts a plan to target and drug wealthy men so that she and her team can take back what was once theirs. In her performance, Lopez perfectly captures the progression of Vega’s greed and increasing dismissiveness as she becomes more powerful.

Lopez is in great company on screen, with fantastic performances from Constance Wu, Keke Palmer, Lili Reinhart, and surprisingly, Cardi B. Everyone on screen gives captivating and convincing performances.

With such charismatic performances, it is hard not to root for them. Sure, what they are doing is illegal and wrong, but they are doing what they need to do to survive.

The film highlights the fact that these women are human and are not doing anything anyone else would not do. They have all had hard lives and are trying to help themselves while inflicting as little pain as possible.

As Lopez says in the movie, “if we don’t do it, someone else will.”

The film is wildly entertaining, funny, and sexy. Scafarcia takes a very serious crime and turns it into a fun and thrilling ride with a glitzy and the glamorous New York City backdrop. She perfectly paced the film so that it never became boring or tedious and knew exactly when to introduce a new facet to the story. It was clear that she respected these women and their stories and wanted to make them as relatable as possible. She teetered on the edge of sympathy and understanding.

The film’s soundtrack also added to the excitement and almost made the audience feel like they were part of the team.

As Vega became bolder, the thrills and unpredictability grew larger. The edge-of-your-seat suspense, waiting for someone to make a fumble and make the operation come crashing down, is offset by a lot of laughs. It is an incredibly well-rounded film.

In addition to the thrills and laughs, it is also incredibly touching and relatable. The film proves that your family can hurt you more than anyone else in this world, but at the end of the day, they are also the ones who will love and stand by you the most.