American Gangster Reviews
Washington and Russell perform really well, so, as a characters movie, it works. It doesn't work at all as a biopic. Too much Hollywood on it.
I also really like the attention to detail and the way the characters are developed, two stories are being told at once and when it cuts from one to the other, I was always so interested to see what would happen next, and again, the way everything comes together is so satisfying. Perhaps I shouldn't criticise the story though because I think everyone knows the 'bad guy' is going to have his rise, fall and eventual capture, even if it actually didn't have all that much of the 'fall'. The look of the film and everything that went into designing it is absolutely beautiful and it feels so authentic, you really feel like you've gone back in time, the Oscar nomination for Art Direction was deservedly earned and the soundtrack was great as well. A conversation about a microwave was just one of the nice little character moments that this film has plenty of, funnily enough I had a conversation with my father a couple days before watching this about when microwaves were first introduced and it was just a funny little coincidence. While Roberts was given quite a bit of background, which was good as it made his character deeper than he normally would have been in another film, I felt like I didn't know as much about Lucas, which is ironic, seeing as how what he does is the main focus of the film. Not to say he is poorly developed but I felt like it skimmed past quite a lot of his rise and didn't really give us much background on what was going on. It shows his initial beginnings and what happened with his family but then it seemed like it jumped quite a bit into the future. He also kept saying 'my man' and I thought it was going to transition into 'Training Day' at any moment, and it would seem oddly fitting as well. While the film is certainly a nice throwback to films of its type from years past whilst standing up on its own merits but I don't think it's the modern classic some are calling it.
Acting - 8
Writing - 8.5
Dialogue - 8.5
Plot & Characterization - 8.5
Cinematography & Editing - 7.5
Soundtrack/Score & Set Design - 8
How much I enjoyed it personally - 8