Now starring Anne Hathaway and Rebel Wilson, “The Hustle” is a gender-swapped remake of the 1988 comedy “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels,” about two con artists with wildly different techniques whose tenuous partnership explodes after a potential victim comes between them. Even if the film was not directly inspired by Frank Oz’ low key classic, director Chris Addison’s (“Veep”) feature debut is descended from a long and impressive line of comedies where clever manipulators separate poor suckers from their money. Whether in preparation for “The Hustle” or as further research after watching it, Moviefone has assembled a short list of films where the law-breaking is almost as outrageous as the laughs drawn while our con-artist protagonists do their devilish work.
“The Brothers Bloom” (2009) - Future “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” director Rian Johnson was responsible for this idiosyncratic tale of two brothers, played by Mark Ruffalo and Adrien Brody, whose lives are dedicated to the grift - at least until the two can’t agree on what to do with an odd, wealthy heiress (Rachel Weisz) poised to become their next mark.
“Catch Me If You Can” (2002) - Steven Spielberg directs this true-life story of Frank Abagnale Jr. (Leonardo DiCaprio), a lifelong con artist who forges an unconventional, decidedly contentious friendship with Carl Hanratty (Tom Hanks), the FBI bank fraud agent determined to catch him.
“Focus” (2015) - Will Smith stars in this brisk, romantic film about a seasoned con man who meets his match in an ambitious grifter (Margot Robbie) who becomes his protégé, and eventually his lover, as the two of them attempt to outsmart a billionaire (Rodrigo Santoro) and his calculating henchman (Gerald McRaney). Oddly overlooked, it feels ripe for rediscovery.
“Heartbreakers” (2001) - Sigourney Weaver and Jennifer Love Hewitt play mother-and-daughter criminals who find it hard to give up old habits -- even against one another -- when the two of them decide to go their separate ways.
“Ocean’s Eleven” (2001) - Steven Soderbergh directs an all-star cast including George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon and Julia Roberts in this loose remake of the Rat Pack classic about a group of longtime colleagues who decide to knock off a casino.
“The Producers” (1967) - Mel Brooks later made a mint on Broadway with his adaptation of this wild comedy about an aging Broadway producer (Zero Mostel) who teams up with a neurotic accountant (Gene Wilder) to defraud investors by staging the worst play they can imagine, a runaway smash called “Springtime For Hitler.”
“The Sting” (1973) - George Roy Hill directs Robert Redford and Paul Newman in this Depression-era-set comedy about two grifters who team up to teach a lesson to crime boss Doyle Lannegan (Robert Shaw) after he murders their longtime friend and mentor.
“Trading Places” (1983) - A massive con marks the climax of this comedy about a Wall Street whiz (Dan Aykroyd) and a street hustler (Eddie Murphy) who exact revenge on two bored fat cats (Ralph Bellamy and Don Ameche) after they trade and turn upside down the pair’s lives for their amusement.
“The Wolf of Wall Street” (2013) - Director Martin Scorsese makes audiences laugh to keep from crying in this true-life story of Jordan Belfort (Leonardo DiCaprio), a stock broker whose illegal tactics attract the attention of the FBI after making insane profits.