American Gangster - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

American Gangster Reviews

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June 12, 2016
Five stars hands down Mr. Washington.
½ June 2, 2016
This is a slow burn of a movie. It was difficult to initially get into it since it kept abruptly shifting scenes and introducing a variety of characters. The storyline development was stretched out, needlessly so at times. When it eventually all comes together, it's really solid and the last 30 minutes build to an attention getting, action-packed conclusion. All that said, this movie doesn't have any lasting effects. Its commentary on the bastardization of the American Dream is mediocre at best.
May 26, 2016
A by-the-numbers crime drama.
May 20, 2016
Good. But not great. Hard to pinpoint the highlights and strange for a film where the two main protagonists only meet within the final 5 minutes of the film. Was okay though.
May 17, 2016
American Gangster isn't in the categories like The Godfather or Goodfellas. When I first watched it, I didn't think much of it. I thought it would have been something like New Jack City, but it doesn't even add up to it. The piano scene was the best scene in the movie because that's how I felt after watching it.
April 22, 2016
Pride of Ownership, what the world is now to what it was. A world closely knit together of the underworld and the world above, everything is in order, while in other world there is chaos. This balance is sturbbed, striving for peace and answer and a new leader to take charge to see to it.
April 17, 2016
Exceptionally good film! Fantastic acting and linked in with it being based on a true story makes it a must see. 5*
April 1, 2016
"My Man!" Yeah, too bad he did a borefest like this, though. When Frank Lucas (Denzel Washington) killed his competitors, interest would spike. They were actually good scenes. But that wasn't often enough. American Gangster was quite the letdown. And made worse with that comical conclusion when he gets out of prison to see what the gang life has turned into. Crowe was just some slob, murmuring and half-assing his way about. None of the actors' best roles, that's for sure. This one's a stinker.
March 13, 2016
Denzel plays a HARDCORE drug dealer which stand alone made this film SAWEEEETTT!! Most of the dialogue was pure ownage as well!
½ March 5, 2016
Certainly no Godfather or Scarface, but entertaining enough if you loved those films as I did. The dull score, a somewhat by-the-numbers Washington / weedy performance from Crowe, and lack of original scenes let down what should have been a sure fire hit, despite the advantage of being based on true, remarkable, events.

The take-away that left me open mouthed - allegedly 75% of the New York drugs task force were found guilty of corruption, including drug trafficking. More dirt than Glastonbury :O
February 11, 2016
This movie was awesome, the action and the storyline were just the main reason this movie was awesome
February 9, 2016
Flawless. One of the best films ever made
½ February 9, 2016
a very good gangster movie in the path of goodfellas with a great cast
February 4, 2016
A very entertaining crime film with a New York vibe that's palpable. The cast is also excellent
February 4, 2016
I think that this film was amazing. My emotions were constantly changing and the acting was superb! I felt a sympathy for the gangsters, and sometimes I was surprised and amazed by some things that happened. But also to know that this epic story was true brings the film to a new level of greatness.
January 27, 2016
Powerful enhanced storyline.
January 24, 2016
This "sponsor" thing is pretty silly, but American Gangster looks like it could rank up there with The Godfather (but not quite up with The Godfather Part II!)
January 23, 2016
One of Scott's poorest films. The first two minutes are so promising that what follows is incredibly disappointing. I can't recommend this film. It's completely unsatisfying.
January 19, 2016
Denzel Washington and Ridley Scott are a lot alike. Good, solid all rounders who rarely put out straight out bad products (Like Book of Eli/2Guns or Exodus/Prometheus respectively) but rarely put out masterpieces (Like Glory/Training day or Blade Runner/ recently, the Martian respectively). Mostly their work is solid middle of the road very watchable stuff, whether we're talking Body of Lies of Safe House, Inside man or the much maligned but very watchable Robin Hood). So it makes sense that when the two work together, an intensely memorable and engaging movie can be the only result, one also starring Scott's spirit animal, Russell Crowe.

Now I'm the first to pick on unnecessary mob movies but this one is a story that needed to be told, one that touches on the worst parts of the 70s with an almost endearing hand, grimy New York corruption, gang violence and so forth. Starring a top-game Washington and a sedate, empathetic Crowe American Gangster keeps you glued to the screen for every minute even if you've seen the film three times before and it showers you with a secondary cast that pretty much has all the major african american hollywood players of ten years later. The direction is very 'late Ridley Scott' complete with hard-hitting montages set to music, drama squeezed out of everyday situations and slow meticulous pacing (perhaps a bit too slow) but it is the confident cool of Washington that sells the movie. Halfway between the manic Denzel of Training Day and the too-cool-to-exist Equalizer Denzel, Frank Lucas hits the sweet spot, managing to present what was apparently in reality a sort of hick South Carolina gangster with street smarts as a consummate business man, a Stringer Bell for the 1970s with reptilian intelligence and a violent streak. Denzel plays off his co-cast, one-upping every character on the wrong side of the law and finding a clever match only in the pristine cop portrayed by Crowe.

If American Gangster has a flaw is that it has no intensely memorable scene, something that you would never expect out of a movie that has the lead of Training Day and the director of Alien and Gladiator. Yet in it's biographical sensibilities the movie fails to deliver anything that stays with you across the years apart from the overall memory of a really well made product. A product, though, that is definitely worth watching.
½ January 16, 2016
Solid performances from Washington and Crowe. Very good story with great direction from Mr. Ridley Scott. Definitely worth watching if you're a fan of gangster films, Washington, Crowe, or Scott.
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