Review: Jennifer Lopez steals the show in 'Hustlers'

This image released by STXfilms shows Jennifer Lopez (left) and Constance Wu in a scene from "Hustlers." 

It's Jennifer Lopez's world and we are all just living in it.

That pretty much sums up the wildly entertaining "Hustlers," the new film based on a New York Magazine article about a group of former strippers who scammed Wall Street clients out of tons of money.

Led by Lopez's electrically charged performance, this is a take no prisoners mobster movie set against the backdrop of the backrooms and back room dealings in strip clubs. It's slick, stylish fun that pulsates from the opening moment until the very end.

"Hustlers" is framed around Destiny (Constance Wu), who through flashbacks tells a reporter (Julia Stiles) her friendship with Ramona (Lopez) - and how Ramona took Destiny under her wings to teach her the strip club business.

Just as it looks like Destiny has found her stride, and has enough money to support her family, the financial crash of 2008 hits - and the rich clientele starts to fade away.

That's when Ramona comes up with a plan to take their hustle to another level - finding rich men, usually married, and drugging them so they can take their credit card information and run up huge bills for drinks and private dances.

It's a hustle that flourishes at first, but as the girls get more ambitious and power-hungry the seemingly perfect plan starts to go awry - leading Destiny to question if she wants to keep doing this.

Director Lorene Scafaria stages the whole thing like a modern day mob film - with Destiny's interview with the reporter serving as an effective framing device. The soundtrack is full of life and the camera just oozes confidence as these ladies continue to evolve their elaborate scheme.

Wu is good here, part of a strong cast of women that really bring this all to life in a convincing manner.

But they are all completely overshadowed by Lopez - who gives some of the best work of her career. From her first slow motion entrance, Lopez owns this role in a way that only bona fide movie stars can. She captures the essence of this character perfectly - a take no prisoners mommy bear who oversees it all with an iron fist and no regret whatsoever.

It's one of 2019's most memorable performances, a true showstopper in a film where no one wants the party to stop.

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