Hustlers Parent Guide
This movie might have a whole lot of heart, but it also has a lot of nudity, profanity, and drug abuse. Not to mention a criminal conspiracy and assault.
Parent Movie Review
Destiny (Constance Wu) has been struggling to make ends meet, drifting between careers, and primarily supporting herself and her elderly grandmother by stripping. In her new club in New York City she meets Ramona (Jennifer Lopez), who teaches her how to spot wealthy Wall Street patrons and squeeze all the cash out of them she can. But then Destiny discovers she’s pregnant just as the 2008 financial crisis makes stripping a lot less lucrative. Luckily, Ramona and her fellow exotic dancers are resourceful. They decide to boost their incomes by finding wealthy stockbrokers, getting them borderline unconscious with drugs and alcohol, and racking up big charges on their credit cards.
I didn’t have high hopes for this movie, but I was pleasantly surprised at its emotional heart. There’s no doubt Hustlers gets some salacious appeal from being set in a shaker bar, but the film focuses more on the characters as complex people than on ogling their bodies as their clothes come off. That’s not to say there isn’t a lot of pole dancing going on, but actual nudity is almost completely limited to secondary characters in the background. Ramona, Destiny, and the other women are the focus of the story as they develop their relationships with each other and find ways to get along in a precarious economic climate.
There’s also a certain schadenfreude in watching the supposed Wall Street geniuses responsible for the financial crisis (who preserved their own wealth and pensions) get taken for thousands of dollars by a group of women they treat with total disregard. While I don’t advocate drugging and robbing white collar criminals, I will admit to a visceral pleasure in watching these “Masters of the Universe” get taken down a notch.
Obviously, Hustlers is completely unsuitable for family viewing. While revenge might be satisfying, it’s hardly a redeeming moral message, let alone one strong enough to counterbalance the cascade of content concerns with the film. And there are lots of content issues – from the 100 profanities in the film to the ubiquitous use of drugs and alcohol, and the non-stop sexual content. Not surprisingly, a movie about strippers features nudity, scenes of exotic dancing, and sexual situations. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
So yes, it’s a based-on-a-true-story movie about strippers who rob their clients blind by plying them with drugs and alcohol. But it’s got a surprising amount of humanity mixed in there along with the pole dancing. And some full-frontal male nudity, just to get back at the straight guys who paid their admission to see J-Lo strip. Seems fair to me.Directed by Lorene Scafaria. Starring Constance Wu, Jennifer Lopez, and Julia Stiles. Running time: 110 minutes. Theatrical release September 13, 2019. Updated September 13, 2019
Rating & Content Info
Why is Hustlers rated R? Hustlers is rated R by the MPAA for pervasive sexual material, drug content, language and nudity
Violence: An individual is struck across the face. Some blood is shown. A dead body is shown – the person died of natural causes.
Sexual Content: Women are frequently shown in various stages of undress – and sometimes undress each other in their performances. Breasts are frequently seen, although usually in the background. Revealing costumes show most of their buttocks as well. Women are taught how to pole dance and lap dance. Characters are shown engaging in “exotic dancing”. There are references to prostitution, although none is directly shown. There are references to a number of sexual behaviors I won’t describe here. A sex toy is shown but not used. An unconscious man is shown fully nude in a scene that is played for laughs.
Profanity: There are approximately 100 uses of profanity, including the sexual expletive, a scatological word, slang terms for genitals, and terms of deity. A racial slur is used.
Alcohol / Drug Use: Individuals are shown drinking to the point of severe intoxication. People use cocaine in a recreational context. Both drugs and alcohol are treated as a natural part of a party environment. Characters smoke cigarettes. Individuals are dosed with a combination of MDMA and ketamine without their consent.
Page last updated September 13, 2019
Hustlers Parents' Guide
Destiny and Ramona concoct a plan to get revenge on men who have destroyed the economy and who treat them with contempt. Do you think their behavior is justified? Do you think “two wrongs make a right”? Or do you think there are absolute moral rights and wrongs?
Hustlers is based on a true story.
New York Magazine’s article that broke the story: The Hustlers at Scores
Slate.com assessing the accuracy of the film: What’s Fact and What’s Fiction in Hustlers.
Related home video titles:
Catch Me if You Can follows expert conman Frank Abagnale (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his attempts to elude lawman Carl Hanratty (Tom Hanks) across several state and national borders. It has a lot of the fun con elements with a lot less language and fewer sexually explicit scenes.
Dirty Rotten Scoundrels features two conmen (Michael Caine and Steve Martin) competing to see who is more able to rip off an unsuspecting target the fastest. If you want to watch the gender-flipped version, check out The Hustle.
Two con-men set up an elaborate con to get revenge on the mob boss who killed a friend in The Sting. This classic film stars Robert Redford and Paul Newman and is one of the best in the genre.Ocean’s Eleven is perhaps the prototypical con movie, although it’s more of a heist than a con at its core. With a cast including George Clooney, Brad Pitt, and Matt Damon, there’s a reason it has such a hold on the genre.