What You Need To Know:
Based on a true story, THE WOLF OF WALL STREET is about Wall Street wizard Jordan Belfort. Directed by Martin Scorsese, it follows Jordan as he rises from being a young newlywed with ethics to becoming an utterly craven manipulator of both people and the law. He and his friends start a penny stock company earning 50 percent sales commissions. As the money flows, Jordan gives the company a high-falluting name and phony background to take money from rich people. Soon, they draw the attention of a by-the-book FBI agent. Jordan begins a dangerous game of chicken with the feds to see who will blink first.
THE WOLF OF WALL STREET is skillfully filmed at a dazzling pace, but it’s an exhausting exercise in excess that runs much too long. WOLF parallels Scorsese’s 1990 gangster epic GOODFELLAS in scope. It just substitutes nearly constant, graphic sex and nudity for violence while adding Scorsese’s usual blistering amount of foul language. It also contains a tremendous amount of drug abuse. THE WOLF OF WALL STREET is one of the worst movies of the year.
(PaPaPa, HoHo, LLL, VV, SSS, NNN, AAA, DDD, MMM) Very strong pagan, immoral worldview of hedonistic excess, plus strong homosexual content when man unexpectedly walks in on a homosexual orgy his butler is having while the man was away and some shots of women kissing during other orgy scenes; at least 506 strong obscenities and 40 profanities; strong violence includes man is beaten, stoned man wrecks his car into other cars several times while driving slowly, and man almost chokes to death on a piece of food in one extensive scene as he stoned friend tries to save him; nearly constant depicted fornication, adultery, and orgies, including man unexpectedly walks in on a homosexual orgy his butler is having while the man was away, and some women seen kissing one another during orgy scenes; full female nudity shown in at least three scenes and lots of upper female nudity, rear female nudity, and upper and rear male nudity; extreme alcohol use and abuse; some smoking and even more extreme drug use and abuse, especially cocaine and pills; and, extreme miscellaneous immorality includes fraud, deceit, lying, cheating, attempted bribery, smuggling, and forgery.
Sadly, subtlety is not acclaimed filmmaker Martin Scorsese’s strong suit. His new movie, THE WOLF OF WALL STREET is an overwhelming, overstuffed display of debauchery and greed based on the true story of disgraced Wall Street wizard Jordan Belfort. Even the acting and filmmaking are excessive. The movie has a stridently pagan tone that’s made worse morally by its humorous approach to the material and many graphic orgy scenes laced with heavy drug use.
The story follows Jordan’s exploits over the course of four years as he rises from being a young newlywed with ethics to becoming an utterly craven manipulator of both people and the law. Jordan is immediately corrupted by his first boss (played by Matthew McConnaughey), who encourages him to drink a lot of alcohol and start using cocaine in order to be competitive with the insanely fast-paced lifestyles of his jet-set Wall Street peers. His boss also advises him that the goal is not to make money for stock market investors, but to convince them to give you as much of their money as you can.
Eventually, that firm shuts down due to the 1987 crash. Jordan takes a job selling penny stocks (mostly worthless stocks that trade for a few pennies per share) for a 50 percent commission. He immediately applies his high-end sales techniques to this under-the-radar financial racket.
As the money flows, he befriends and partners with Donnie Azoff (Jonah Hill), a jovial yet none-too-bright family man who seems to go along with and even escalate Jordan’s bad behaviors. He and Donnie start their own penny stock company, with some friends from the neighborhood where Jordan grew up. Just as quickly, Jordan leads his colleagues into rebranding themselves as a long-standing trading firm with a largely fictional history. The company grows from a telemarketing warehouse to a fancy Wall Street office. In the process, the money, sex, and drugs come faster and faster.
However, Jordan and Donnie get too flashy for their own good. They draw the attention of a by-the-book FBI agent (Kyle Chandler). Jordan decides to begin a dangerous game of chicken to see who will blink first: the FBI or Jordan.
THE WOLF OF WALL STREET is skillfully filmed at a dazzling pace, but it’s an exhausting exercise in excess that runs much too long. WOLF parallels Scorsese’s 1990 gangster epic GOODFELLAS in scope. It just substitutes lots of graphic sex and nudity for violence to shock the audience while maintaining Scorsese’s usual blistering amount of foul language. It also has a tremendous amount of drug abuse and drug references.
THE WOLF OF WALL STREET focuses on its immoral characters and their outrageous behavior. The FBI agent is seen as merely the protagonist’s antagonist. To focus so much celluloid on this much depraved activity isn’t art. It’s trashy and abhorrent. Why THE WOLF OF WALL STREET is only rated R is thoroughly baffling and extremely upsetting.