Amsterdam is a 2022 period mystery comedy film directed, written, and produced by David O. Russell. The film features an ensemble cast that includes Christian Bale (who also serves as the producer), Margot Robbie, John David Washington, Chris Rock, Anya Taylor-Joy, Zoe Saldaña, Mike Myers, Michael Shannon, Timothy Olyphant, Andrea Riseborough, Taylor Swift, Matthias Schoenaerts, Alessandro Nivola, Rami Malek, and Robert De Niro. Its premise is based on the Business Plot, a 1933 political conspiracy in the United States, which follows three friends who are caught in the murder of a US senator in the 1930s. Filmed in Los Angeles from January to March 2021, it is Russell's first film since Joy (2015).
|Directed by||David O. Russell|
|Written by||David O. Russell|
|Edited by||Jay Cassidy|
|Music by||Daniel Pemberton|
|Distributed by||20th Century Studios|
Amsterdam was released in the United States on October 7, 2022, by 20th Century Studios. The film received mixed reviews from critics, most of whom praised the production design and the cast's performance, but criticized Russell's writing and direction.
- Christian Bale as Dr. Burt Berendsen, a war veteran with a prosthetic eye.
- Margot Robbie as Valerie Voze, a nurse
- John David Washington as Harold Woodsman, a lawyer and war veteran.
- Chris Rock as Milton King
- Anya Taylor-Joy as Libby Voze, Valerie's sister-in-law
- Zoe Saldaña as Irma St. Clair
- Mike Myers as Paul Canterbury
- Michael Shannon as Henry Norcross
- Timothy Olyphant as Tarim Milfax, a murderer
- Andrea Riseborough as Beatrice Vandenheuvel
- Taylor Swift as Elizabeth Meekins, the Senator's daughter
- Matthias Schoenaerts as Det. Lem Getwiller
- Alessandro Nivola as Det. Hiltz
- Rami Malek as Tom Voze, Valerie's brother
- Robert De Niro as General Gil Dillenbeck
- Ed Begley Jr. as Senator Bill Meekins
- Leland Orser as Mr. Nevins
- Tom Irwin as Mr. Belport
- Beth Grant as Mrs. Dillenbeck
- Colleen Camp as Eva Ott
In January 2020, New Regency announced the development on an untitled film written and directed by David O. Russell and starring Christian Bale, with filming expected to begin that April. In February, Margot Robbie and Michael B. Jordan were announced to star, but the latter dropped out before production began due to scheduling conflicts. Jennifer Lawrence was reportedly considered for Robbie's role, while Jamie Foxx was considered for Jordan's. In October, John David Washington was cast as Jordan's replacement. The rest of the ensemble cast was revealed between January and June 2021.
Filming was delayed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Principal photography took place between January and March 2021 in Los Angeles, California. Crew members included cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki, editor Jay Cassidy, and score composer Hildur Guðnadóttir. In April 2022, at CinemaCon, the film's title was revealed to be Amsterdam. In August, it was revealed that Guðnadóttir exited as composer, with Daniel Pemberton now composing the film. According to Robbie, on the last day of filming, they kept production going after their filming permit ended, so the police had to call "wrap" on the film.
A first look of the film was shown at the 2022 CinemaCon on April 27, 2022. The trailer was released on July 6, 2022, set to Ten Years After's 1971 song "I'd Love to Change the World". An edited version of the trailer was shown in theaters, revealing the film's release date as October 7. Character posters were released on September 12, 2022.
Amsterdam had its world premiere at Alice Tully Hall in New York City on September 18, 2022, and was released in the United States on October 7, 2022, by 20th Century Studios. It was originally scheduled for November 4, 2022, but was brought up to its October 7 date to avoid the release of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, another film released under The Walt Disney Studios. It will also be screened in IMAX, with a special screening preceded by a Live Q&A being broadcast in IMAX theaters nationwide on September 27, 2022.
In the United States and Canada, Amsterdam was released alongside Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile, and is projected to gross around $10 million from 3,000 theaters in its opening weekend, with some estimates reaching $15 million.
On the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, 35% of 121 critics gave the film a positive review, with an average rating of 5.1/10. The site's critics consensus reads: "Amsterdam has a bunch of big stars and a very busy plot, all of which amounts to painfully less than the sum of its dazzling parts." Metacritic assigned the film a weighted average score of 48 out of 100 based on 35 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews."
In positive reviews, Pete Hammond of Deadline Hollywood lauded the "complex" screenplay, "uniquely conceived" characters, cinematography, costume, production, and score. Giving the film four out of five stars, James Mottram of South China Morning Post described Amsterdam as "a Hal Ashby-style caper full of fireworks with contemporary political overtones". Scott Mendelson of Forbes described it as an "all-star delight" with "strong production values" and a "terrific ensemble cast delivering some top-shelf work." Chris Knight, writing for National Post, admired the film's "rattling" pace, "lovely" screenplay and supporting cast. Brian Truitt of USA Today, Ryan Swen of Slate and Oliver Jones of The New York Observer gave the film three out of four stars. Calling it a thoroughly entertaining, "whimsical whodunit" and "quirky, big-hearted trip", Truitt's praise was focused on the cast, especially the "crowd-pleasing" chemistry between Bale, Robbie and Washington. Swen complimented the film's sentiment and "detail-rich" narrative. Jones wrote, the film is "quite odd and discombobulating, but if you allow its turned up and persistent energy to sweep over you, and soak in the joy and righteous anger that animates its generous spirit, the end result is decidedly moving, and—at some points—even enthralling."
Several critics found Amsterdam overambitious and tonally inconsistent. Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian rated the film three out of five stars and complimented its humor, but felt the story was "exhaustingly wacky". /Film's Jeff Ewing said Amsterdam "has a number of charming scenes, a stunningly top-tier cast, and flawless cinematography", but cited "wildly fluctuating tones" and "plot contrivances" as its shortcomings. Rating it B–, The A. V. Club's Jordan Hoffman found the cast "energetic, entertaining, and enjoyable", but dubbed the film "an overly ambitious political potboiler". David Rooney of The Hollywood Reporter said Amsterdam is "a lot of movies inelegantly squidged into one—a zany screwball comedy, a crime thriller, an earnest salute to pacts of love and friendship, an antifascist history lesson with fictional flourishes." He commended the lead performances, cinematography, production and costume, but felt its material suits a limited series more than a film. Paste's Aurora Amidon commended the "vibrant" cinematography", "whip-tight" editing and the cast's "incredible" performances, despite the "bewildering" story. Reviewing for Screen International, Tom Grierson called the film an "overstuffed murder mystery" with a "convoluted" story, but cheered some aspects—the plot's "unpredictability" and the "indulgent cheekiness" of the film. Variety critic Peter Debruge dubbed it a "beautifully shot" yet "overstuffed social satire" with intelligent ideas poorly executed. Ian Freer of Empire said Amsterdam "fails to amount to more than the sum of its occasionally impressive parts". Leah Greenblatt, writing for Entertainment Weekly, rated Amsterdam a C+ and described it as an "odd shaggy-dog mystery" with a "hectic" story, but called the production and costume design "impeccable".
Some reviews were very critical. Rating it two stars out of five, Robbie Collin of The Daily Telegraph found the dialogues unimpressive and wrote Russell's script "makes heavy weather" of the story. Describing the plot as a "wanton disarray", IndieWire's David Ehrlich rated the film a C−, owing to its "negligible" entertainment value. Barry Hertz of The Globe and Mail wrote "Amsterdam so badly wants to be a light romp with heavy-duty meaning that it cannot help but be flattened by a sagging self-exhaustion." Mark Kennedy of Associated Press said the film "reaches for something contemporary to say about race relations, concentration of wealth, veterans and fascism but ends up with a plodding, mannerist noise." Giving it an F rating, Chase Hutchinson of Collider criticized the film's "egregious" editing, "banal" dialogues, "muddled" tone, and overall "lack of vision".
- Brent Lang; Matt Donnelly; Rebecca Rubin (September 28, 2022). "Can David O. Russell's Star-Studded 'Amsterdam' Survive Withering Reviews and Bad Buzz?". Variety. Retrieved September 29, 2022.
And yet, the film, bolstering more stars than in the heavens, to quote an old line — and a budget that's upwards of $80 million — is arriving in theaters having been pulverized by the critics who have published so far and hoping to rescue its investment by overcoming the reviews to be a commercial success.
- D'Alessandro, Anthony (October 4, 2022). "Will 'Smile' Outshine 'Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile' & 'Amsterdam' At Weekend Box Office? – Preview". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved October 4, 2022.
- Collin, Robbie (September 29, 2022). "Amsterdam, review: Margot Robbie's star power can't save this tangled comic thriller". The Daily Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved September 29, 2022.
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- Chitwood, Adam (November 30, 2020). "'Joker' Composer Hildur Guðnadóttir to Score David O. Russell's New Movie". Collider. Archived from the original on January 28, 2021. Retrieved January 20, 2021.
- "Daniel Pemberton Scoring David O. Russell's Amsterdam". Film Music Reporter. August 6, 2022. Retrieved August 6, 2022.
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- @AmsterdamMovie (September 12, 2022). "Take a look at these brand new character posters and experience #AmsterdamMovie only in theaters October 7" (Tweet). Retrieved September 30, 2022 – via Twitter.
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- Hammond, Pete (September 28, 2022). "'Amsterdam' Review: Christian Bale & All-Star Cast Light Up David O. Russell's Timely Blend Of Fact And Fiction". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved September 29, 2022.
- Mottram, James (September 30, 2022). "Amsterdam: Christian Bale leads star-studded comedy-thriller". South China Morning Post. Retrieved October 1, 2022.
- Mendelson, Scott (October 4, 2022). "Review: David O. Russell's 'Amsterdam' Is An All-Star Delight". Forbes. Retrieved October 4, 2022.
- Knight, Chris (October 4, 2022). "Film review: Amsterdam is a busy movie, and that's not a bad thing". National Post. Retrieved October 5, 2022.
- Truitt, Brian (October 4, 2022). "Review: Christian Bale, Margot Robbie take an all-star cast to buoyant 'Amsterdam'". USA Today. Retrieved October 4, 2022.
- Swen, Ryan (October 4, 2022). "'Amsterdam' Review: A Picaresque About Taking on Fascism". Slant Magazine. Retrieved October 5, 2022.
- Jones, Oliver (October 4, 2022). "David O. Russell's 'Amsterdam' Is Overstuffed, Manic And Enthralling". The New York Observer. Retrieved October 6, 2022.
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- Hoffman, Jordan (October 4, 2022). "In Amsterdam, Bale, Robbie, and Washington work hard to have fun". The A.V. Club. Retrieved October 4, 2022.
- Rooney, David (September 28, 2022). "'Amsterdam' Review: Christian Bale and Margot Robbie Head Starry Ensemble in David O. Russell's Chaotic Cautionary Tale". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved September 29, 2022.
- Amidon, Aurora (October 3, 2022). "A Superb Cast Cannot Salvage Amsterdam's Hot Mess". Paste. Retrieved October 5, 2022.
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- Debruge, Peter (September 28, 2022). "'Amsterdam' Review: Three Amigos Try to Save America in David O. Russell's Ungainly Period Dramedy". Variety. Retrieved September 29, 2022.
- Freer, Ian (October 4, 2022). "Amsterdam". Empire. Retrieved October 5, 2022.
- Greenblatt, Leah (October 4, 2022). "David O. Russell's odd, fitful 'Amsterdam' is all stars and shenanigans". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved October 4, 2022.
- Ehrlich, David (September 28, 2022). "'Amsterdam' Review: David O. Russell's Star-Studded Plea for Kindness Rings Hollow". IndieWire. Retrieved September 29, 2022.
- Hertz, Barry (October 3, 2022). "Review: Christian Bale and Margot Robbie miraculously survive David O. Russell's maddening Amsterdam". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved October 4, 2022.
- Kennedy, Mark (October 4, 2022). "Review: 'Amsterdam' wastes incredible talent on a dull story". Associated Press. Retrieved October 6, 2022.
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