A year of fantastic cast performances deserves a spotlight
Best in show: Bradley Cooper
Other stand-outs: Christian Bale, Jennifer Lawrence, Jeremy Renner
Thoughts: Most everyone is firing on all cylinders in David O. Russell's slick "inspired-by" retelling of the Abscam scandal. Cooper's desperate and obsessed lawman and Lawrence's flighty New York housewife make for some of the film's best moments, while Bale and Renner deliver grounded and immersed work as well. The ensemble fills out with great touches from the likes of Louis C.K., Michael Peña and Jack Huston, among others.