Martin Scorsese’s best picture since Goodfellas
and his fifth with Leonardo DiCaprio is at once hilarious, terrifying, hallucinogenic, infuriating, awe-inspiring, meandering and, at three hours, utterly exhausting. It’s also (in this critic’s opinion) the best movie of 2013, possibly DiCaprio’s finest work and the bitch slap that Wall Street deserves—even if the true but ludicrous story of financial criminal, stock-market juggernaut and rampant drug addict Jordan Belfort could inspire others to aspire to his level of douchebaggery. This is a man who makes Gordon Gecko seem like Mother Teresa. With his buddies, he runs roughshod over the financial well-being of rich and poor alike and creates for himself a world of drug-addled debauchery that makes Hunter S. Thompson’s escapades seem like a college freshman’s. Some may scoff at the runtime, or at the film’s episodic look into Belfort’s debauchery, but both just serve to further pummel you into submission as our “hero” glides through a privileged life with a steady diet of Quaaludes, cocaine, hookers, alcohol, sushi and hubris. Every moment counts. Every scene is frontloaded with hysterics and backloaded with dread. It is a modern masterpiece of excess, style and lunacy.