Max Parsons’s review published on Letterboxd:
One thing I love about Martin Scorsese is that he's a legendary film director who still knows how to make a great film in this present day, despite having a prolonged career. Most directors (as well as musicians), who were at a point in their career tremendously talented, start to lose that magic touch after aging and can no longer create anything great like they use to. In Scorsese's case (similar to most great directors), it has been a number of decades since when he brought us his supposed top-tier works, such as Taxi Driver and Raging Bull. However, the director has continued this greatness throughout the rest of his career, unlike most people, and is even outdoing most filmmakers today with his quality of work.
Martin Scorsese even knows how to create a wildly entertaining film depicting Wall Street stockbrokers, who have lifestyles of debauchery. The Wolf of Wall Street is a very enjoyable and thrilling ride from start to finish. Although it's arguable that the film is excessive with showcasing Jordan Belfort's lavish and ridiculous life, I'd be lying if I said that I didn't enjoy it.
The chronicle of Jordan Belfort's life is, as mentioned, a genuinely fascinating one. It is shown in a manner which is energetic and satirical to make the subtext compelling, while being meaningful. Jordan Belfort's story is a great tale of corruption within Wall Street stockbrokers and is relevant to the greed and excess that occurs in American society. The depiction is often black and very explicit, but Scorsese utilizes this very well, as there are so many memorable moments throughout The Wolf of Wall Street. Though the content is wild, it is cleverly used for an amusing satire.
Leonardo DiCaprio's performance as Jordan Belfort is outstanding. He manages to have such a charismatic and fascinating screen presence throughout the whole film, making it completely captivating for the viewer. The supporting cast are great too and Jonah Hill is often hilarious as Belfort's partner in crime, Donnie; and the scenes with him as well as the other characters on drugs are especially hysterical. I also loved Matthew McConaughey's brief appearance at the beginning and he is absolutely excellent. Another thing I really liked about The Wolf of Wall Street was the soundtrack - the choices of songs are great in my opinion and it created a nostalgic and enjoyable vibe.
I wouldn't call The Wolf of Wall Street the phenomenal film that some people have said it is - but the film is massively entertaining and to the point where you don't feel the long run time very much (something rare for a film to achieve). This is Scorsese's best film since The Departed and one of my favourite films of 2013. Martin Scorsese successfully captures a vibrant and bold, yet relevant portrayal of the controversies caused by greed and corruption, and crafts it into a completely fascinating experience.