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Irving Rosenberg (Christian Bale) and Sydney Prosser (Amy Adams) are two con artists who besides being business partners are also lovers. Irving is however married to Rosalyn (Jennifer Lawrence) and has adopted her son Danny (played by twins Danny and Sonny Corbo) from a previous marriage. FBI agent Richard DiMaso (Bradley Cooper) busts Irving and Sydney in the middle of a scam but he is ready to let them go scot free if they help him make four arrests. They decide to target Mayor Carmine Polito (Jeremy Renner).
You have to look long and hard to find another film with a stellar cast such as this, one that delivers superbly from beginning to end. Then again, this is the only way that it could have worked. Every word, every pause, every nuance is essential to character and plot. It needed to be delivered with just the right amount of irony, poignancy and sometimes, yes, desperation. Fortunately, everyone involved was more than up to the task.