American Gangster

2007

American Gangster

Critics Consensus

American Gangster is a gritty and entertaining throwback to classic gangster films, with its lead performers firing on all cylinders.

80%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 211
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Movie Info

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.

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Cast

Denzel Washington
as Frank Lucas
Russell Crowe
as Detective Richie Roberts
Josh Brolin
as Detective Trupo
Chiwetel Ejiofor
as Huey Lucas
Ruby Dee
as Mama Lucas
Ted Levine
as Lou Toback
Clarence Williams III
as Ellsworth "Bumpy" Johnson
John Hawkes
as Freddie Spearman
Yul Vázquez
as Alfonse Abruzzo
Malcolm Goodwin
as Jimmy Zee
Carla Gugino
as Laurie Roberts
John Ortiz
as Javier J. Rivera
T.I.
as Stevie Lucas
Cuba Gooding Jr.
as Nicky Barnes
Armand Assante
as Dominic Cattano
Kathleen Garrett
as Mrs. Dominic Cattano
Joe Morton
as Charlie Williams
Ritchie Coster
as Joey Sadano
Ric Young
as Chinese General
Common
as Turner Lucas
KaDee Strickland
as Richie's Attorney
Norman Reedus
as Detective in Morgue
J. Kyle Manzay
as Dexter Lucas
Warner Miller
as Melvin Lucas
Albert Jones
as Terrence Lucas
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News & Interviews for American Gangster

Critic Reviews for American Gangster

All Critics (211) | Top Critics (54)

  • Ridley Scott's gangster flick aims high and mostly measures up.

    Oct 18, 2008 | Full Review…

    Bob Mondello

    NPR.org
    Top Critic
  • Scott's not interested in fireworks but small implosions of the soul and ego.

    Feb 3, 2008 | Rating: B | Full Review…
  • One of the most intelligent gangster movies in years.

    Jan 4, 2008 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • Here's a startlingly original true-life story told in an oddly unoriginal way. And that attempt at instant classic status in the title doesn't quite convince. It's got no more dark grandeur than American Idol.

    Nov 16, 2007 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…
  • Sharp, observant and true to the period, the film-making is, on the whole, less determined to show its virtuosity than in Scott's other work.

    Nov 15, 2007 | Rating: 4/5
  • A cocksure upstart that has swaggered onto the scene, confident that it can take its place at the table with the big boys.

    Nov 15, 2007 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

    Wendy Ide

    Times (UK)
    Top Critic

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