The Tomatometer rating – based on the published opinions of hundreds of film and television critics – is a trusted measurement of movie and TV programming quality for millions of moviegoers. It represents the percentage of professional critic reviews that are positive for a given film or television show.
From the Critics
From RT Users Like You!
The Tomatometer is 60% or higher.
The Tomatometer is 59% or lower.
Movies and TV shows are Certified Fresh with a steady Tomatometer of 75% or higher after a set amount of reviews (80 for wide-release movies, 40 for limited-release movies, 20 for TV shows), including 5 reviews from Top Critics.
Percentage of users who rate a movie or TV show positively.
Like much of his oeuvre, Scott's scaled-up movie is bigger than life - and lesser for it. But while never digging deeply or darkly enough to match its own grand vision of itself, slick technique drives the story forward with pace and style.
For all its grit, style and atmosphere, Gangster never sweeps you away. It has neither the lurid bravado of De Palma's "Scarface" nor the intimate grasp of the criminal lifestyle you find in Scorsese or Coppola.
As with an earlier star who fed off career criminals, Humphrey Bogart, there is always something a bit smarmy about Washington, even in his heroic mode; the nastier his character grows, the looser his acting becomes.
Every bit as generic as its title, American Gangster is a Frankenstein creature of a film, put together from the parts of other famous gangster flicks yet lacking in both the fury and wild-eyed vision the best of the genre have to offer.
A strikingly photogenic but lethargic cops and crimelords yarn, it gives us a number of formidable talents laboring on a story that never develops the headlong momentum it needs. It's a brooding, serious character study impersonating a crime thriller.
American Gangster shoots for epic stature and misses, but Washington hits the mark from start to finish in one of the year's best performances, the one element that earns the larger-than-life status the rest of the film so desperately seeks.
Normally, Scott loves his flash-bang setpieces, but he proves equally adept at low-key verisimilitude and long-form storytelling, the kind that sprawls out over years of incidents that only gradually add up to a powerful whole.
Washington, as real-life heroin kingpin Frank Lucas, and Crowe, as detective Richie Roberts, are on a collision course with one another that's bursting with the gritty period atmosphere of 1970s Harlem.