Flight Flick: When the Time Comes, You’ll Definitely Want to Board With ‘Hustlers’

PHOTO: : Entertainment Pictures/Alamy Stock Photo

Me, talking to my seatmate(s) about Jennifer Lopez: “I don’t know a better person.”

We here at Fodor’s like to travel. We here at Fodor’s also like to watch films. Sometimes, when we travel, we watch films (imagine that). Odds are, if you’re reading this, you too travel and you’ve occasionally passed the travel time—when you’re in the air, specifically—by watching a movie. And that’s why we’re starting this column—to see what movies are worth tuning into. We’ll be regularly examining recently-released motion pictures to see if they’re worth rushing to the theater for, holding off until you come across them on the airline’s in-flight entertainment system, or both.

Today, we’re discussing Hustlers.

The Basics

Written and directed by Lorene Scafaria (Seeking a Friend for the End of the World), Hustlers is based on a New York Magazine article titled “The Hustlers at Scores,” which chronicled the lives of a posse of strip club employees—brought to life onscreen by Constance Wu, Jennifer Lopez, Keke Palmer, and Lili Reinhart—who banded together to make MONEY from run-of-the-mill Wall Street suits that frequented the women’s place of employment, Scores New York.

The Review

No spoilers, but this remarkable motion picture may not be remembered for reinventing modern cinema—I don’t make the rules!—but is very good and features multiple standout performances, a snappy script, excellent cameos, and arguably some of the best montages ever put to screen. If you’re into comedies, crime dramas, dramas (generally), good acting, good music, sequins, heists, high heels, dancing, and sleazy rich men getting their comeuppance, you’ll like this.

How Can I Maximize My In-Flight Experience While Watching This?

I can break it down if that helps.

1. We recommend you consume some sort of alcoholic beverage while you watch it (responsibly, of course). Let your hair down!

2. Hustlers is ultimately about friendships and sisterhood. Literally, when the heist element of the story kicks in, the core cast introduces themselves to the aforementioned rich men as sisters, before taking them for all they’re worth. This sense of camaraderie might inspire you to strike up a conversation with your seatmate and y’all can hoot and holler!

Disclaimer: If a literal child is your seatmate, you may want to think twice about smashing that play button. Sure, when they’re aired on in-flight entertainment systems, movies are edited to remove overly explicit scenes and images. But, because much of the story takes place in a strip club, there’s kind of no getting around erotic dancing, gyrating, and, controlled substances.

Does It Pass the Time?

The movie runs a cool 110 minutes and is paced breezily enough that you won’t be checking your watch. It’s a helluva lot better than shutting your eyes for two hours and praying for the sweet release of sleep.

Best Time to Use the Lavatory

You’ll have the remote, so to speak, so it’s up to you. The film has multiple montages, so I SUPPOSE one of those might be a window to hit pause. But know that they’re all quality and many involve Lopez stomping through curtains in glitzy stilettos, which obviously demands to be seen.

I’m going to repeat myself: please do your damndest to not interrupt the viewing experience any time the charismatic Lopez is onscreen. She owns the role—find me another actress who can strut in a fur coat as efficiently, I’ll wait. And so will you!  

Are There Actually Any Planes in the Film?

There are no actual planes in this film and, thankfully, no intense moments involving planes that might warrant a trigger warning. However, at one point icon Lopez, who plays group ringleader Ramona, recalls a story where her character—who loathes flying—once gave into the demands of her “client” and joined him on his private jet where she horked in the lavatory onboard. Ramona tells the tale over a decadent Christmas dinner and never in my dumb life have I enjoyed a barf yarn so much.

In Theaters, In Flight, or Both?

Are you kidding?! BOTH! Both! Both. Jennifer Lopez in a fur coat saying, “The world is a strip club!”