Jeremy Renner Stars In A Wild True Story Heist Movie That’s A Streaming Hit

Jeremy Renner stars in American Hustle, currently in the top ten movies on Netflix.

By Lyndon Nicholas | Updated

Jeremy Renner in American Hustle

Although most fans know Jeremy Renner for his role as Hawkeye in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the star has had a number of other roles in film throughout the years. One of them, based on a true story and filled out with a star-studded cast including Christian Bale and Amy Adams, is gaining popularity on Netflix. According to FlixPatrol, the crime comedy-drama American Hustle is the #9 movie on Netflix.

American Hustle is based on the story of Irving Rosenfeld (Christian Bale), a con man turning tricks in the late 70s. When Rosenfeld and his con artist mistress Sydney Prosser (Amy Adams) are caught by FBI agent Richie DiMaso (Bradley Cooper) when attempting to run a loan scam, DiMaso recruits the two to work for him and the FBI in order to avoid serious jail time. Fearing for his step-son and wife Rosalyn’s (Jennifer Lawrence) well-being, Rosenfeld agrees, and as the scam unfolds, all involved realize that the corruption goes further than previously imagined, catching government officials like Carmine Polito (Jeremy Renner) in the process.

Although the synopsis sounds a bit outlandish, many viewers may be surprised to learn that much of the plot is actually based on true events. The movie references this with an opening sequence that relates, “Some of this actually happened,” and although names and events have been altered, Jeremy Renner and the rest of the cast are based on real people involved in a similar operation.

The events of the film are based on what was dubbed Abscam or Abdul Scam. Both in the film and real life, the scam revolved around introducing unsuspecting con artists and seedy individuals to a wealthy (and fake) millionaire sheik who would grant money in exchange for U.S. asylum. Many politicians, like the one Jeremy Renner’s character is based on, would seek political favors.

The sheik was an undercover FBI agent, and the scam lead to the prosecution of over a dozen government officials and politicians in real life. Jeremy Renner plays Carmine Polito, a fictional politician based on the real-life mayor of Camden, New Jersey, Angelo Errichetti, one of the individuals caught in the real-life operation. 

American Hustle features a star-laden cast led by Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, Bradley Cooper, and Jennifer Lawrence. Most of the movie’s leads had worked with director David O. Russell prior to filming, and the film is a who’s who of some of Russell’s most talented collaborators. Renner’s castmates have all won various awards and accolades including multiple Academy Awards, Golden Globe Awards, and even Grammy Awards.

The cast of American Hustle

Besides Jeremy Renner, each had previously worked with Russell and one another on at least one occasion, with Cooper and Lawrence starring alongside one another in Russell’s Silver Linings Playbook and Adams and Bale starring in The Fighter alongside Mark Wahlberg.

David O. Russell is known for his work on The Fighter and the romantic comedy-drama Silver Linings Playbook. Including American Hustle, the three films earned him three Academy Award nominations for Best Director. Russell co-wrote the script alongside Eric Warren Singer, whose other credits include The International, Only the Brave, and 2022’s Top Gun: Maverick

Originally released on December 8, 2013, Jeremy Renner’s American Hustle became Russell’s highest-grossing film to date. It netted an impressive worldwide total of $251.2 million. It was reviewed positively by critics as well, sporting a 92 percent on Rotten Tomatoes and a 90 out of 100 on Metacritic. 

American Hustle became critically lauded and received several awards and nominations. It received seven Golden Globe Award nominations, winning Best Motion Picture– Musical or Comedy, Amy Adams winning Best Actress – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy, and Jennifer Lawrence winning Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture. The film won Outstanding Cast in a Motion Picture at the Screen Actors Guild Awards. And notoriously received 10 Oscar nominations, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, and all four acting categories, but did not win any.  

American Hustle is available for streaming on Netflix, and fans of heists based on true stories should definitely give the film a watch if they haven’t already. Part of what makes American Hustle a classic is an underrated performance by Marvel star Jeremy Renner that fans who’ve only seen the actor as Hawkeye won’t want to miss.