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Highly Suspect Reviews: Amsterdam

Amsterdam Movie Review


Based (loosely, very loosely) on the Business Plot of 1933, David O. Russell’s Amsterdam follows three old friends who come back together through complicated plot devices to clear the names of two of them for a murder they didn’t commit, and figure out who killed someone and why. That’s the most basic way to describe this very not basic movie. Burt (Christian Bale) is a doctor injured from WWI who upon his return learned that the upper crust of medical society has no real interest in treating returning indigent soldiers so he forms his own barely legal practice to help them. Harold (John David Washington) is also a veteran who became close with Burt during the war and now is a lawyer. Valerie (Margot Robbie) was a nurse they met and became instant besties with overseas. The three absconded to Amsterdam to live a life of fun and art until Burt’s responsibilities led him to break the ‘pact’ and return home. Many years later Burt and Harold find themselves taking a case brought by the daughter of their old beloved General who believes he did not die recently of natural causes but was murdered. When she ends up killed right in front of them and the murderer loudly points the finger at them, they end up on the run and trying to figure out what the hell is going on. This leads to them reconnecting with Valerie in an unexpected way and the trio is on the hunt for the killer or killers while trying to avoid prosecution themselves. All this leads to a giant conspiracy (the part actually based on reality, look it up as it will sound awfully familiar), wacky hijinks, and a lot of familiar actors and actresses. Chris, Ben, and Frank certainly don’t get the hate this movie has engendered in some, but aren’t going to overpraise it either. Listen to their review.


DIRECTED BY: David O. Russell

STARRING: Christian Bale, 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, Robert De Niro, Ed Begley Jr., Leland Orser, Tom Irwin, Beth Grant, Colleen Camp, Casey Biggs, Dey Young




Photo on 2011-10-02 at 13.02Christopher Lawrence Cox (Founder, Da Boss)

Born in the wilds of northern Virginia, Chris managed to put all of his survival skills to use and barely escaped with his life to Austin Texas in 1992 where ever since he’s dabbled in everything from plumber’s assistant to sandwich maker, from band to bar management. An opportunity to see theatrical release films for free by becoming a critic on a local public access show called “The Reel Deal” turned into a full-time job when Chris and his friends decided to take it to the internet. They built the site, adding multiple podcasts and animated features, to no small amount of success. During this time, a fortuitous friendship sprung up between Chris and young Brian Salisbury, who was also a local film critic, and they merged their forces of will, and their laundry list of ideas for shows, to eventually build this community of critics. While Brian eventually followed his heart to a new family, Chris continues on with a cast of colorful folks from all over the country (and a few others). You can also check out Chris in his videocast, along with Martin Thomas and Danni Danger, that One Of Us does with our friends at Bell of Lost Souls: Crossover Event. He also regularly guests on the video game website Rage Select. Follow Chris on Twitter and Facebook and check out his Amazon Wish List.



Frank Calvillo (Highly Suspect Reviews, Screener Squad)

Born and raised in South Texas, Frank currently lives in Austin and has been in love with movies ever since his father showed him some Three Stooges shorts when he was five years old. Today he loves all kinds of film, regardless of era, country, budget or genre. He believes every film has an audience and is at least one person’s favorite movie. After writing for Sight & Sound and Slackerwood, he now writes for Cinapse where his increasingly random taste in all flavors of cinema (from Rashomon to Mars Attacks!) continues to thrive. His ultimate goal is to write a script for his boyhood crush, Michelle Pfeiffer.



Ben Glasthal (Highly Suspect Review, Screener Squad, Breakfast Pub, Unstabletop Gamers, Video and Audio Editor)

Born in Boston, then ending up in Dallas, Texas in the early 2000s, Ben has always had a passion for film. He started in film school not long after where he launched where he still writes reviews to this day. He’s since moved to Austin where he has been also hopping on podcasts and both editing and shooting videos for One of Us. A fan of films from almost all genres, and many that predate him more than makes sense, he is anything if not eclectic in what he’s watching at any point. For the rest of his free time, he can be found biking, drinking craft beer, being an amateur photographer, and playing video games by himself or on Twitch. He’s best found on Instagram or Twitter as @MovieReelBen.



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