DiCaprio has hinted before that comedy might be his natural calling -- think of Catch Me If You Can -- but his energy here is not just fun, it's discovery.
For three hours the movie operates at a ridiculous comedic pitch. You never forget you're at the circus. You never lose site of the lawlessness, the reckless pleasure, the sheer lunacy and lack of regulation.
Scorsese unleashes a furious, yet exquisitely controlled, kinetic energy, complete with a plunging and soaring camera, mercurial and conspicuous special effects, counterfactual scenes, subjective fantasies, and swirling choreography on a grand scale.
The Wolf of Wall Street is a magnificent black comedy: fast, funny, and remarkably filthy.
Man, does this movie have a savage bite.
I couldn't buy it, and couldn't wait for the hollow spectacle to end.
It's hard not to feel there is a better revisit of Scorsese's crime gem already in theaters, David O. Russell's American Hustle.
Though "Raging Bull" must still go down as Martin Scorsese's greatest achievement, "The Wolf of Wall Street" makes the race for No. 2 a lot more interesting.
J. R. Jones
As with Goodfellas, Scorsese's helpless attraction to the very behavior he wants to indict becomes the movie's serrated edge.