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Amsterdam's Star-Studded Cast Couldn't Save The Film's Unfinished Plot

It's easy to imagine how those at 20th Century Studios envisioned "Amsterdam" playing out with audiences. The 2022 period piece mystery certainly had plenty of hype around it, in no small part due to its absolutely stacked cast. However, what ended up conspiring gave moviegoers a mystery of their own to solve. 

"Amsterdam" chronicles a trio of friends who, after being separated for many years, reunite following the mysterious death of a retired army general that leads to the discovery of a potentially world-threatening government conspiracy. Based loosely on the real-life Business Plot of 1933, the David O' Russell-directed flick came with more than just an intriguing premise, as the film's hefty cast of A-listers including Christian Bale, Margot Robbie, John David Washington, Rami Malek, Robert DeNiro, Anya Taylor Joy, Andrea Riseborough, and even Taylor Swift — to name a few — should be able to carry such a production with their eyes closed. 

But the film's release told a different story. "Amsterdam" not only flopped at the box office, only grossing $31.2 million on an $80 million budget, but it was a critical miss as well, with a 32% Tomatometer score on Rotten Tomatoes. 

Trying to investigate why the film didn't work, Redditor u/hotcolddog believes they've cracked the code, commenting, "Cast? Great. Chemistry? Great. Production design? Great. Plot? ... " Others came to similar conclusions.

Is the movie is trying to be bad on purpose?

It seems no number of celebrities could help "Amsterdam" work for audiences. For many, the film's chaotic mystery plot left them with more questions than answers, such as Redditor u/Colalbsmi who comments, "I was very confused while watching it." The eventual unraveling of the plot left the user more frustrated, commenting, "I thought there was a greater overarching plot ... When that ended up not being the case I was surprised how simple(?) it was." 

Others couldn't quite decipher the tone. Redditor u/Findernotseeker, while admiring the cast, was less impressed by the film's confused feel, saying, "I couldn't tell when it was taking itself too seriously or not seriously enough ... I was painfully aware I was watching a movie the entire time." In its efforts to balance quirkiness with intrigue, the film ended up only angering viewers more than they expected. 

Redditor u/marineman43 is one of these less forgiving fans, calling "Amsterdam," "...one of the worst movies I've ever seen. I don't know if there was some kind of satire angle going on, but if there was and the premise is 'haha look at how bad we made this movie, isn't that funny?' the answer is, unfortunately not really." At the end of the day, "Amsterdam" very well could have been a fun-filled time, but its mind-numbing storytelling resulted in anything but that.