Amsterdam [Grade: 78.33%]

Director: David O. Russell

Story By: David O. Russell

Cast: Christian Bale, John David Washington, Margot Robbie, Robert De Niro, Michael Shannon, Mike Myers, Zoe Saldana, Rami Malek, Anya Taylor-Joy, Chris Rock, & Taylor Swift

* * *

This film meets the expectations of the trailer, but doesn’t conclude with that same expectation level. 

* * *

Theme & Story: A-

Pacing: A-

Character: A-

Overall “Paper” Score: A-

* * *

Entertainment Factors

General Public: Wait for Streaming

Murder Mystery/Drama Fans: Wait for Streaming

Film Enthusiasts: Interesting Enough

Overall “Viewing Experience” Score: Wait for Streaming

* * *


1. A mystery love story of Veteran friends who are reunited to find the cause of death for a revered general that leads to them unexpectedly searching to clear their own names of a related murder, and rekindling their relationships along the way. This is Amsterdam.

Thematically, I was able to follow a film that focused on the intersections of class, love and loyalty, patriotism, and the genuine passion to help/be there for other people. Despite it feeling like a lot, I felt the film did a pretty good job executing the theme(s). 👍🏾

I think the story overall was strong. There wasn’t a particular Act that stood out more than another. Now Acts Two and Three were definitely the more engaging and accessible of the Acts, but in all its fast pacing and somewhat odd and nonsensical vibe, Act One still had a charm about it. And there was purpose behind everything being presented. 👍🏾

I think I really loved the role of the love story in the midst of all this mystery that also aids in its solving. 👍🏾

2. The way Taylor-Joy and Robbie carried on that couch so casually was just one example of how superb the performances were. 😂

3. That damn eye! 😩😂

4. Baby Listen, John David Washington… 😍

5. Amsterdam is a pretty wild 124 minutes of film. For me, the pacing matched the energy of the story and characters which felt like riding a really good rollercoaster. The love story/stories and collection of clues were like the build up to the peaks of the coaster, and the mystery were the drops and the plateaus of twists and turns. So for the story, pacing was good. 👍🏾

For characters, I am a little on the fence. I think the story does well pacing how our three meet. But there’s something about Burt’s storyline with his wife, and Valerie’s storyline with her family that seem a bit rushed… BUT I also felt what was provided was also intentionally paced and clear enough in order to support the movement of the plot. 🤷🏾‍♂️

6. I think…I’m in love with Margot Robbie (LOL LOL) My goodness, she just commands the screen! She’s so amazing.😩🙌🏾🙌🏾🙌🏾

7. Not pushed into the street and ran over! 🫢

8. Now…that “nonsense song” moment… beneficial later on, but felt a little random when introduced. 🥴

9. Ugh! To piggyback off point #6, I just really wish more was unpacked with her character, OR just not elaborated on as much as they did. Valerie was so much of a personality. 🤦🏾‍♂️

10. First of all, this was such an odd but well cast trio. I loved their chemistry and overall engaging with one another. It was rather fun and witty. Additionally, I appreciated how the trio was also an embodiment of the story’s themes. They were well thought out. 👍🏾

I really enjoyed Christian Bale’s performance as this really chaotically organized and determined Burt. I felt he really carried out the themes of loyalty and helping others while also dealing with a different level of class that impacted his ability to be helpful, and his love life. Such a complex character. 👍🏾

John David Washington as Harold was also solid, and did a decent job carrying out themes of class and a passion to help others in the more obvious way, but also with a level of complexity thanks to the writing. 👍🏾

Margot Robbie as Valerie was possibly the most engaging of the three. Loyalty and love were the main aspects of the theme I felt she carried out best, with class just being an obvious part of her character’s identity. Though she was the most engaging, as mentioned in a previous point, I think it was probably to hide that her character isn’t the most flushed out, especially once we see her with her family. 🤷🏾‍♂️

* * *

Overall #Amsterdam gives the video game LA Noir – meets Death on the Nile – meets HYDRA from the MCU – meets Da Five Bloods 

Was this film something that needed to be experienced in a theater? Yes and no…. The cast, energy of the plot, and vision for the story all work to give that theatrical need; but the story, though solid, didn’t have enough of a “social critique BANG” when it was all over, and it looked like it was attempting to do so. This is what makes me feel like it could’ve been available for streaming. 

But I will say, you can definitely tell the experience and strength of every key actor in this film. They worked so well together, and every performance and engagement with one another felt top tier. 

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