American Gangster (2007)
Critic Consensus: American Gangster is a gritty and entertaining throwback to classic gangster films, with its lead performers firing on all cylinders.
Nobody used to notice Frank Lucas, the quiet driver to one of the inner city's leading black crime bosses. But when his boss suddenly dies, Frank exploits the opening in the power structure to build his own empire and create his own version of the American Dream. Through ingenuity and a strict business ethic, he comes to rule the inner-city drug trade, flooding the streets with a purer product at a better price. Lucas outplays all of the leading crime syndicates and becomes not only one of the city's mainline corrupters, but part of its circle of legit civic superstars. Richie Roberts is an outcast cop close enough to the streets to feel a shift of control in the drug underworld. Roberts believes someone is climbing the rungs above the known Mafia families and starts to suspect that a black power player has come from nowhere to dominate the scene. Both Lucas and Roberts share a rigorous ethical code that sets them apart from their own colleagues, making them lone figures on opposite sides of the law. The destinies of these two men will become intertwined as they approach a confrontation where only one of them can come out on top. … More
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as Frank Lucas
as Detective Richie Rob...
as Detective Trupo
as Huey Lucas
as Mama Lucas
as Lou Toback
as Ellsworth "Bumpy" Jo...
as Freddie Spearman
as Moses Jones
as Alfonse Abruzzo
as Jimmy Zee
as Laurie Roberts
as Javier J. Rivera
as Nicky Barnes
as Dominic Cattano
as Mrs. Dominic Cattano
as Charlie Williams
as Joey Sadano
as Joe Louis
as Turner Lucas
as Chinese General
as Stevie Lucas
as Richie's Attorney
as Detective in Morgue
as Dexter Lucas
as Melvin Lucas
as Terrence Lucas
as U.S. Attorney
as Moses Jones
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Critic Reviews for American Gangster
Though it's certainly admirable to aim high, it's like Frank Lucas himself says: "Either you're somebody, or you ain't nobody." Unfortunately for American Gangster, it ends up somewhere between the two.
It's 157 minutes long, but immerses its audience with its twists and intricacies as it plays out and considers the logistics and consequences of crime and police corruption, with a plethora of show-stealing performances from the cast.
American Gangster is an epic, true crime drama, that although not entirely original in its premise is excellent in its execution.
Flattened by Scott's cardboard evocation of New York in the '70s, Zaillian's shallow criticism of corrupting power, and weirdly bloodless performances
Audience Reviews for American Gangster
American Gangster tells of the rise of 70s Harlem drug baron Denzel Washington and the efforts of crusading detective Russell Crowe to bring him to justice. Once again Ridley Scott proves he is one of the best directors working today, brilliantly bringing the Harlem of the period to life and essentially telling two tales in tandem in an intelligent and always entertaining way. Denzel is always better in his shadier roles, and this for me has to be one of his best. It does not have the grit and intensity of Scorsese's gangster pieces and the action/violence is sparse. It's more in the vein of something like Infernal affairs or a 70s version of The Wire in its treatment of the story and Scott's pacing is spot on, as the film despite its two and three quarter hour length never drags. The climactic shoot out is brilliantly done, delivered by Scott in a way you know his brother is completely incapable of; his version probably would have been an unwatchably choppy hallucinogenic migraine. It would have been nice to see Crowe and Washington share the screen a little more, but otherwise it delivered on every level. It doesn't challenge the classics, such as The Godfather or Goodfellas, but more than holds its own against other heavyweights such as Donnie Brasco and The Departed.
Ridley Scott develops a masterpiece to be enshrined historically as a magnificent crime/drama classic. American Gangster provides what is to be expected of the obvious title: violence, drugs, and a daring story. The film is also given an extra push by its groundbreaking cast, especially Washington & Crowe. 4/5
Another great film starring Denzel. It has a good amount of violence (if that kind of thing matters to you), and a great story line. If you like movies such as Scarface and The Godfather, then this is a good movie to watch within that genre.
American Gangster Quotes
|Dominic Cattano:||Success. It?s got enemies. You can be successful and have enemies or you can be unsuccessful and have friends.|
|Frank Lucas:||There's your 20 percent.|
|Ellsworth "Bumpy" Johnson:||This is the problem. This is what's wrong with America. It's gotten so big, you just can't find your way. The grocery store on the corner is now a supermarket. The candy store is a McDonald's. And this place, a super-fucking discount store. Where's the pride of ownership, huh? Where's the personal service? You see what I mean? Shit. I mean, what right do they have, of cutting out the suppliers, pushing out all the middlemen, buying direct from the manufacturer? Sony this, Toshiba that. All them Chinks putting Americans out of work. That's the way it is now. You can't find the heart of anything to stick the knife.|
|Chinese General:||Quitting when you are ahead is not the same as quitting.|
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