Full Movie Reviews
Matthew Brady - wrote on 11/17/2014
Dominic Cattano: "Success. It?s got enemies. You can be successful and have enemies or you can be unsuccessful and have friends".
The story is about 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.
They always comes a time in movies were I mostly get sucked in by the character's or story, and American Gangster does both right, because this is a flawless movie with spellbinding acting and brilliant directing.
Denzel Washington and Russell …
KingInTheNorth - wrote on 07/18/2013
This movie is not like other Ridley Scott movies. Neither Sci-Fi nor drama/action. This time he tried crime. And it totally worked. He chose a damn good script a great cast and a good crew.
The cinematography is astonishing it looked damn real. The production design and the costumes were great either. It was fitting perfect. Russell Crowe finally gives a great performance again and Denzel is just as always perfect. The rest of the cast is great too. Especially the mother of Frank Lucas (I don't know the name of the actress)
Ridley Scott took his job very serious again, and makes the movie look more perfect. The movie gets even better because it is based on a true story. That all makes more interesting. The final showdown was a bit outrages I think but still this is a great movie …
Daniel Corleone - wrote on 12/17/2012
"You can be successful and have enemies or you can be unsuccessful and have friends." - mafia boss Dominic Cattano (Armand Assante). There are times when Awards bodies don't give sufficient recognition to powerful, well crafted and lifelike films. This picture unfortunately falls under that presumption. having a copy of the alternate ending makes you appreciate the different ideas for the ending (and which is more effective). A real story focused on Frank Lucas (Denzel Washington), a right-hand man of mob boss Ellsworth "Bumpy" Johnson (Clarence Williams III). Honest Newark detective Richie Roberts (Russell Crowe) is hated by his colleagues and vows to get rid of police corruption. Nicky Barnes (Cuba Gooding, Jr.) is a criminal who has dreams while Nick Trupo (Josh Brolin) have …
Lee - wrote on 11/05/2012
Personally i think that director Marty Scorcese is the king of this genre however will have to admit that Ridley Scott did a fine job here, alleviating from his usual sci-fi genre that he also directs so well. American Gangster is the rags to riches story of fomrer drug king pen during the 70's Frank Lucas (Denzel Washington). After being a driver for 15 years for then Harlem king pin Bumpy Johnson (Clarence Williams III) Bumpy dies leaving Lucas to take over his business . In a rather ballsy movie, he decides to eliminate the middle man (the mob) and buy the drugs from the war torn country of Vietnam himself. Now i personally have watched a load of films on drug trade and trafficking, usually finding a majoirty of them quite cool and somewhat fascinating, however there is nothing cool …
Yojimbo - wrote on 01/26/2012
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 …
Beyond Chaos - wrote on 06/12/2010
Although decent, this movie could've used some tighter editing (Pietro Scalia is usually very dependable - what went wrong?) and a stronger overall story arc. There are some scenes of individual power - almost all of them involving Denzel Washington as the villain. But Russell Crowe's child custody subplot is unnecessary as they could've mentioned it in one scene or even a line and it would've had the same impact.
Plus, it lacks the scope and visceral shock of movies like the first two Godfather films or Goodfellas. There's nothing here you haven't really seen before (unless you're totally unfamiliar with the gangster genre) and no memorable/iconic sequences.
Ridley Scott should probably stick to directing sword & sandal epics or sci-fi thrillers because this doesn't play to his …
mdtinney - wrote on 10/17/2009
American Gangster seemingly has all the ingredients of a great movie: a great story, (multiple) Oscar-winning stars, a very solid supporting cast, and a good director. However, the film is not the sum of its parts. How do you go wrong with a gangster movie starring Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe, and Ridley Scott directing? Watch American Gangster, and you'll see. The film lacks a great deal of character development, and it seems the details on both sides of the story are left out in favor of attention-grabbing scenes and montages. You have to give them credit. Even at 2 1/2 hours, American Gangster never drags. However, it seems awfully abbreviated, as if someone cut out most of the scenes that involved plot/ character development. With those details included, this could have been …
Franz Patrick - wrote on 06/14/2008
It's a pretty strong movie but it's not as strong as most people claim. I thought it was a bit too long due to approximately ten scenes that show Frank Lucas as an influential and powerful businessman. Two or three would have been enough. Greatness comes when Russell Crowe (Detective Richie Roberts) and Denzel Washington's (Frank Lucas) characters get closer and closer. One can just feel the tension of the situation and the grittiness of the film becomes alive every time a clue is presented to Russell that will eventually lead to Washington. That said, at times I felt that film is trying too hard to be epic--somewhere along the lines of "The Godfather"--or badass, to the point where it kind of glamourized the drug world. This is definitely one of the most overhyped films of 2007 because …
GeminiSixty6 - wrote on 05/06/2008
I had really high hopes for this film when I sat down to watch it. It has two of my favorite actors (Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe), and one of my all time favorite directors (Ridley Scott). Now don't get me wrong I enjoyed the film, but I was expecting something really solid. I felt like the film couldn't make up it's mind on where it wanted to go. Now it's based off of a true story, which is all fine and dandy, but it just felt like a lost film in some parts.
I felt like the entire way through the film they were preaching police corruption, and that Detective Richie Roberts (Russell Crowe) was more concerned about bringing about an end to that than stopping the drug problem. I guess that rubbed me the wrong way or something. Then towards the end of the film they start …
JayFilmCrave - wrote on 12/04/2007
I will openly admit that I tend to enjoy Ridley Scott's cinematic style. Most of his movies really pull me into the film, but sadly, this film didn't quite manage that same pull. The movie has some incredible shots, the one that comes to mind is when Russell Crowe chases Chiwetel Ejiofor through the projects where Frank Lewis packaged his heroin. It has an incredible pace yet manages not to be confusing. I would say a good number of films that attempt chase scenes like this one come out as rattling and disorientating. Although there are a few other scenes that are remarkably good in this film, the movie itself lacks an intensity that compels the audience to continue watching.
The acting was good from everyone involved, I actually found Cuba Gooding Jr. did particularly well in …